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Soccer Science: Texas Sized Stranglehold

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VANCOUVER, CANADA - JUNE 10:  Predators usually have manes. We have a mane. We are predators. <em>Science</em>. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, CANADA - JUNE 10: Predators usually have manes. We have a mane. We are predators. Science. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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Competition is resolved based on the weighing of strengths and weaknesses between the two forces at odds. Similar to soccer, competition in nature can result in either force winning, or a daw. With the only Texas Derby of the year kicking off this weekend, it seems all-too-fitting to discuss competition in this manner. But, as your resident DT pseudo-scientist, what subject might I focus on to extrapolate the relationship between Houston and...(ahem)...S. Oklahoma?

Many come to mind. A thesis on two forces coming together could look at momentum and collisions. A more vicious example would take this collision and drop it into the animal kingdom, and how Silverback gorillas fight for supremacy. Then again, a more subtle, conniving relationship could look at the Vibrio cholerae infection, and how the invader bypasses the stomach lining to make you sick.

So, what vicious, blood-curdling collision could exemplify the vitriol surrounding this months Texas Derby?

Grass competition in the Texas Hill Country, ladies and gents. Grass. Competition.

If that doesn't honk your horn, I don't know what will.

First, a brief history lesson. Back in the early 1900's, the Texas highways were facing serious erosion problems. To combat this, the King Ranch company, in accordance with the Texas Department of Agriculture, introcuced a new species to the grassland: King Ranch (KR) Bluestem. What was thought to be a smart idea turned out to be, quite honestly, wildly stupid. As many... many... many lessons have shown us, introducing new species to different environments can be catastrophic for the natives, and this was no different.

Since then, KR has dominated the local grasses. It steals their nutrients, sunlight, and water source. The newcomer is, quite literally, running over the in-state competition.

And, sorry Frisco, but we are KR.

A quick second look at Martek's statistics shows that we are strangling the local competition (11-5-8) in recent years, and I won't hesitate to say that this trend will keep on going.

Now, the Texas Dept. of Agriculture is trying to limit KR growth through controlled fires. They burn large areas of KR and replant the region with native grasses.

Sorry, but while The Oven is hot at BBVA, I doubt we'll be the ones feeling burned come Saturday.

There's Something About Bernie

I recently saw the movie Bernie, starring Jack Black and Matthew "Alright Then" McConnaughey. While you might expect some absurd comedy, and the previews do hold some blame for that, this movie was actually fantastic. I've never met the real Bernie Tiede, but Jack Black deserves an Oscar (I said it!) for his portrayal. Best part: the movie took real townspeople for interviews throughout the movie, and you only find out they're not actors at the end. One of which previewed the movie with descriptions of each part of texas. We were the "Carcinogenic Coast", Dallas was "snobs with their Mercedes". Go see it, its wonderful.

Biggie would roll over in his grave if he wasn't alive on an island with Tupac

Was listening to the radio on a trip to ATX this past week, and heard the famous "Party and Bullsh*t" refrain coming from the speakers. I got excited, as I love when Top 20 stations play some real rap every once in a while. Much to my chagrin, it wasn't B.I.G (nor the Last Poets). Defiling the musical airwaves was Rita Ora with her unique form of "music". Music is dead. All is lost.

Apropos Hip-Hop Video of the Week


Big KRIT - Lions and Lambs

Is an invasive species of grass a good rallying cry for a professional soccer team? No. But it is a good example of what we have done, and will continue to do, since our introduction into this new environment. Strangle the other species in competition for resources. Lions vs. Lambs.

Forza Naranja