Mac Engel

Texas Tech fans, please quit embarrassing yourselves and Texas

Texas Tech fans flip car in celebration of Final Four win

Basketball fans flipped over a car in Lubbock, Texas, on the night of April 6, 2019 after the Texas Tech men’s basketball team beat Michigan State, qualifying to play in the NCAA national championship title game.
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Basketball fans flipped over a car in Lubbock, Texas, on the night of April 6, 2019 after the Texas Tech men’s basketball team beat Michigan State, qualifying to play in the NCAA national championship title game.

In the name of John Denver, Pat Green, Sheryl Swoopes, Scott Pelley, Michael Crabtree, Patrick Mahomes, Emily Jones, Darvin Ham, the statue of Buddy Holly, and everyone associated with Lubbock and Texas Tech, please don’t blow this for the rest of Texas.

America is watching. If the Red Raiders win on Monday night in Minneapolis, please don’t go all Texas Tech on us again and embarrass not only yourselves, but Texas, to only further solidify a stereotype about the Red Raiders and Lubbock.

Too many people think Texas Tech is the cousin who shows up late at Thanksgiving and picks a fight over whether Lynyrd Skynyrd could beat up Dale Earnhardt.

What happened in Lubbock on Saturday night after the Red Raiders advanced to the national title game by defeating Michigan State is 50 percent shameful, and 250 percent predictable.

Not long after the Red Raiders won, the party started in Lubbock. What ensued was alcohol-infused chaos and stupidity on Broadway, 19th, University and Marsha Sharp Freeway.

Why did they have to bring poor Marsha into this? She did nothing to have her great name besmirched by drunken fools too bored and stupid to celebrate without destroying property that does not belong to them.

Cars were flipped over. At least four. Couches were burned, which is disappointing because I need one, but it proves that West Virginia does not own a monopoly on this act. Property was looted.

I’ve got $5,000 that says the majority of those partied this way never watched the Red Raiders this season at United Supermarkets Arena.

Paschal grad Emily Barrett of Fort Worth is now a Tech senior; she started her academic career raised by the biggest Texas-homer on earth, and was a Texas student before she transferred to Tech.

“I was baby sitting for a family who went to Minneapolis and a friend called me while this was going on and he said, ‘So they are setting the scooters on fire. Now they are flipping cars. There is a SWAT team and they are firing tear gas,’’ Barrett said Sunday.

She also mentioned the frat guys climbing awnings at a Mexican restaurant and falling into the crowds; science will one day prove there is nothing dumber than a drunk college frat guy.

“My parents don’t want to hear this,” she said, “but I am so bummed I missed this.”

She is right. No parent wants to hear that.

God help us all if the Red Raiders defeat Virginia to win the national title on Monday night. The entire city of Lubbock will be burned to the ground as their idiotic fans “celebrate.”

“It will be crazy and it could be worse,” Barrett said. “There is absolutely no way I will miss this.”

Exactly when did destruction become a necessary component of celebrating?

Texas Tech, whether you know it or not, your reputation in these areas is not great.

One of the many great features about Texas, and specifically its prominent universities, are the distinctive flavors, sights and sounds associated with Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Rice, SMU, TCU and Texas Tech.

Texas Tech is a great place comprised of wonderful people, fans and alums, and yet there always is a cadre of idiots who paint the school, and the town, as a pack of drunken buffoons incapable of enjoying a game without uncomfortable conflict.

Talk to anyone who has ever attended a Tech game as a visitor, and there is always some horror story about fan behavior. Stupid, drunk fans are not endemic to Tech or Lubbock, but the sheer volume of stories about Tech is disconcerting.

On Sunday during the media sessions in Minneapolis, Red Raiders coach Chris Beard was asked about what happened on Saturday night, and he delivered the perfect response.

“First of all, I know we have great fans at Texas Tech, and I know those students very well, and I just hate that the actions of a select few are putting Lubbock in maybe this light,” Beard said. “I’ve lived in Lubbock for 13 years. I know the students. I know the people. We have core values, but sometimes just a few people will do something, and I just hate that it kind of puts that light on it.

“So my message and my voice would be let’s celebrate this, let’s enjoy this, but let’s do it in the right way, in a safe way. But I want to recognize all the people that do that the right way. All the people that spent their hard-earned time and money to come here.

“Our hotel last night was electric, but it was safe and professional and just good. I did see some of those things, it didn’t make me happy, but I’d like to recognize all the people that are doing it the right way. Hopefully this story isn’t just about those select few that made some bad decisions.”

He’s right, but when the police break out the tear gas, that tends to be the headline rather than the people who party and celebrate without torching a car.

“I thought the stereotype (about Tech fans) is pretty accurate, but now that I am here I have met the most incredible people and I have fallen in love with Tech and Lubbock,” Barrett said. “The fans love it, and there are just some who do some things they shouldn’t and they do not represent the fan base.”

Texas Tech has one game left, and it would be wonderful to see the Red Raiders become the first team from Texas since Texas Western in 1966 to win the national title.

All of Texas wants to see the Red Raiders bag this.

We just are scared to death of what will happen if they do.

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