The following are the most interesting facts that we gathered about the infamous Texan High School Football culture:
1) It is in the Genes – Football is undoubtedly the most popular and a highly anticipated leisure activity in Texas. It is a globally accepted norm that on Friday nights, Texans are glued to their television sets to watch high school play-offs whereas their Saturdays are reserved for watching college games and the NCAA. Only a few lucky fans manage to reserve their seats in packed-stadiums to watch the entire match live.
2) Elaborate Stadiums, Massive Funding and Media Connection – A popular film that was later adapted in the form of a hit-television series tiled, “Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team and a Dream” showcased the possessive passion that the people of Texas have about their local football teams. Interestingly, Texans are known for their exorbitant expenditure to promote the game. For example, Eagle Stadium was inaugurated in the year 2012 that involved an expense of a whooping $60 million by the Allen Independent School District. The funds for this overtly expensive stadium were contributed by the local residents of the area. Ironically, the stadium was forced to close down owing to structural issues, in the year 2014. A rival in McKinney, is all set to build a stadium that is not only bigger but also $10 million more expensive than the infamous Eagle Stadium. It boasts of 12,000 seats, a fifty-five foot wide ‘high definition’ video screen and an artificial turf.
Interesting Facts on the Deep Rooted Texas High School Football Culture:
1) Massive scoreboards are usually seen in professional sporting games. Nonetheless, in school level Texas football matches, such scoreboards with ‘high definition Jumbotrons’, are a common occurrence, clearly highlighting the popularity of this sport in the state. Over 25% of all school stadiums in Texas are fortified with artificial turf and over 14% have high definition scoreboards.
2) In the final matches, bands of rival football school teams are known to square off against each other to win the best band prize at the “Battle of the Flowers Festival”. This is an annual event involving over three thousand band players.
3) Texas is home for some of the largest football stadiums in the world. The Alamo Stadium seating 23,000 fans, is a classic example of the gigantic stadiums built for high school events in Texas. There are a total of 1305 stadiums in Texas alone and in total, they can seat over 4130440 fans. There are 9 high school stadiums in the state that can seat almost 17,000 fans. Interestingly, since the year 2010, over 60 new stadiums have been built in Texas.
4) It is also claimed that Texas has given the NFL the best quarterbacks. Some of the popular names include Andy Dalton, Josh McCown, Drew Brees, Ryan Mallett and Andrew Luck. When it comes to discussing the most dominant football team in Texas, then it has to be “Katy” (unbeaten three times and a winner of four state titles). Celina High School was unbeaten from 1998 to 2002, making their unbeaten winning streak to 68 games. As far as recognizing & rewarding individual players is concerned then Joe Routt (playing for Chappell Hill), was the first player to be inducted in Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
5) The Lone Star State is so passionate about football that several TV shows and movies such as “Friday Night Lights” are based on this sport. Ironically, the Halloween festival was once shifted a day ahead in Decatur, simply because it clashed with the final game. In fact, in small towns, the entire population can be seen cheering for their favorite football teams on Friday nights.
6) In the year 2013, the AT&T stadium recorded the highest number of attendees (54,357 – Arlington Vs Allen) during the high school football match. This attendance is greater than the total capacity of seventy eight stadiums put-together in the United States. The oldest high school football stadium, built in the year 1910 (also known as “Home” by the Yellow Jackets) is in the Lang Field of St. Anthony Catholic High School. It is fully functional and can seat 750 fans with ease.
7) School team rivalries in the game of football are prevalent and taken very seriously in Texas. The oldest rivalry began in the year 1900 between Yoakum and Cuero football teams that are in the DeWitt region of Texas. Interestingly, Cuero remained undefeated from the year 1969 to 2011 thereby creating an unmatched winning streak of 42 constitutive games. When it comes to judging the longest rivalry then, the contending teams are Bay City and El Campo of Huston. They have been at loggerheads since the year 1920. With special regards to higher-school rivalries, Denison and Sherman high schools top the charts, with their rivalries dating back to the year 1906 (with the exception of World War I being the deterrent to the annual matches).
8) Texas is a heaven for homecoming mums. Over here, homecoming mothers are decked with shiny plastic flowers, graduation caps, ribbons and other attractive ornaments, to cheer and celebrate the victory of their players. This is a cherished tradition in Texas wherein the average cost of such an elaborately designed costume is a whopping $300.
9) Texas is perhaps the only state in America wherein football players start rather early. You can easily witness players as young as four years of age, practicing this game in a professional football field. Besides, the fans watching the game are so passionate about their players that they brave rains, speedy winds and even blistering heat, to watch a match.
10) Another feather in the cap of Texas football is in the Bleacher’s Report, wherein thirty nine (3-star players) and three (5-star players) were recruited in the top 10 list for the year 2014.
Proposed Changes in Texas Football Culture:
Charlie Strong, the head coach of Texas Football, has proposed several changes in the trending Texan football culture. The biggest change that Charlie has proposed is changing the Texan mindset from the fortunes that this game has to offer to disciplining the players and teaching them to be responsible. He displayed his seriousness pertaining to discipline by suspending 7 top players for violating the rules of the game.
Charlie’s 5 Core Rules that would Change the Texas High School Football Culture Forever:
Rule # 1 – Players need to be honest with themselves as well as with others. They also need to be honest towards the game of football and play each match without using any illegal strategy.
Rule # 2 – The second rule of the game is to treat women respectfully. If any player is found misbehaving with women, strict action shall be taken against him.
Rule # 3 – Players shall not be permitted to take drugs. If found doing so, they shall be liable to face stringent action by the concerned authorities.
Rule # 4 – Football players in the state of Texas shall not be spared if they are caught stealing.
Rule # 5 – The last and final rule is that any player found in possession of a weapon shall be prosecuted.