Today’s festivals

The 2003 Texas Renaissance Festival begins today in Plantersville.

Rather than go, I plan to spend the evening in my neighborhood at a Texas modern festival, enjoying the colorful pageantry and historical tradition of college football.

Just before “kickoff”, the visiting team (to which I am bound by ancestral loyalty) will make a ceremonial entrance into Rice Stadium, suited up in the blue and gold livery of San Jose State University, the metropolitan university of that romantic and mysterious land of adventure and wealth, Silicon Valley. The visiting team calls itself the “Spartans”, to denote their dedication and fighting spirit; while the home team calls itself the “Owls”, to denote their wisdom, majesty and power.

Presiding over the ensuing four “quarters” of formal and elaborate combat are the “referees”, in their austerely traditional black and white uniforms. In order to move the leather-skin “ball” forward on the “field”, the “coaches” of each team have a variety of “plays” that their teams of “players”—hand-picked from the most athletic students at their respective schools—have been trained to execute (spectators often enjoy predicting what the next play will be, and second-guessing the coaches’ choices). Halfway through the combat, the players rest for 20 minutes, and a jester show is provided on the field. Finally, the game will end with the ancient custom of shaking hands.

Why drive all the way to Plantersville?

(I wonder: Were there people living in the Middle Ages who staged re-creations of Roman chariot races rather than attend jousts?)

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