Rose-colored glasses

The city of Austin is throbbing in anticipation of the Rose Bowl. I don’t follow college football closely at all and can’t claim to be even moderately knowledgeable about matters that generate so much trash-talking and inanity. Still, it is hard to avoid the interesting aspects of this matchup that have little do to with football. There’s a tempting blue state-red state analogy to be made what with the celebrity photo-ops on the Trojan sidelines while most Longhorn fans are, let’s face it, Bush-loving conservatives. (I spotted not one, not two, but three copies of Sean Hannity’s latest book being read in the waiting area for a charter flight out of Austin to Ontario, CA today.) That kind of facile, polarizing thinking does make sports matchups more fun, I suppose, but ultimately it rings just as hollow as all the post-election talk of two Americas. For instance, on NYE Austin held its first ever “First Night” parade and fireworks celebration — easily one of the most eclectic, left-leaning public spectacles I’ve participated in. Yet, nearly everyone — including the freakiest of the paraders — was adorned in burnt orange or celebrating UT in some way. I’d like to see Texas win, but I can just hear Rush Limbaugh or the conservative blogosphere reading more into a Longhorn national championship than is warranted. Some tripe about west coast vs. heartland values. (Maybe they already have?)

And thus you have the first and likely last post about football on Ascent Stage for 2006. Go Cubs!