1. You know wind that blows so hard that it bends the door of a Suburban off its hinges on a perfectly sunny day.

You understand what a windy day really is. Listen, Chicago seems nice — but we can all agree that Lubbock or Amarillo should really be considered the Windy City. But also, only in West Texas are the people so resilient that the local tennis team still practices with 65 mph wind, because that’s just a normal day. Don’t even get me started on Haboobs.

2. You’ve survived a Haboob.

Imagine a wall of dust a mile high, countless miles wide, and speeding in your direction. If you’re a real West Texan, you’ve not only survived a Haboob, but you’ve THRIVED in one. Somehow you managed to not only keep the dirt out of your eyes and mouth, but you’ve kept a garden alive, you managed a trip to the bank, and you trekked across campus to turn in your final paper.

3. You affiliate with and defend only one local TexMex restaurant.

Be it Garza’s, Savannah’s, or (insert favorite local Hispanic family named restaurant here). You’ve pledged your allegiance to one family restaurant and refuse to acknowledge the existence of any other. Every West Texas town has one — but you guarantee your favorite’s enchiladas are supreme.

4. You think that an 8-hour road trip is like driving to the grocery store.

Texas is a big state, and West Texas is massive, but chances are you’ve driven more than six hours to shop for school clothes or to go to a concert. You went on a high school physics trip to Six Flags — five hours there and five hours back — in one day. You have to go everywhere to get anywhere. So now, your brain instantly thinks a 12-hour trip is nothing.

5. You laugh when people bring up Friday Night Lights.

Because you actually lived it. Football is King in Texas — but in West Texas it’s practically a religion. Just like the whole congregation knows your Sunday morning seat, the whole community knows who sits where at the high school football game. They may not have won a game in eight years, but the whole town will cheer for them like the small town heroes they are.

6. You’re ready for snow, rain, and scorching heat…all on the same day.

It’s spring break and you’re trying to decide what to do for the day: the pool, a trip to the library, or maybe a day on the golf course. No matter what you decide, you’re prepared for a small blizzard in the morning, a 90-degree temperature by lunch, and a thunderstorm from hell (with hail) by the time you start making dinner. West Texans are not joking when they say the weather is as bi-polar as former Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight.

7. Your family threatened to disown you if you went to college anywhere but Texas Tech.

You sport a burnt orange shirt? Disowned. Mention a trip to College Station. Disowned. Even go to the zoo and say that you think bears are cute, and your dad suddenly thinks you want to go to Baylor. Disowned.

8. Your first addiction was Taco Villa.

You could have worst addictions, but when you go to Taco Villa seven times in one week…you know you were raised in West Texas.

9. You understand that a West Texas sunset is unlike any other sunset.

Almost every night the sun reaches across the plains as far as the eye can see and a mix of reds, pinks, and blues intertwine with the brown fields around your house. Miranda Lambert said it best, “The Texas skies are the biggest ones I’ve seen,” but a West Texas sunset could have a song all its own. For a few minutes every night you know you’re right where you need to be.

10. You appreciate the simplicity in the names of small West Texas towns.

They might not be brilliant names, but you have to appreciate the early settlers’ ability to name towns for what they really were. Think, Levelland, Plainview, Shallowater, and Muleshoe. Plus, they make for a good laugh when you get to tell someone from out of state you grew up in a town called Happy, Texas.

11. You’ve always thought the geographical names for Texas make zero sense.

Looking at a map you were always confused why the Texas Panhandle was considered “West” Texas when really it’s the most northern part. That’s fine though, you’ll let the city slickers in Dallas keep the title of “North,” because West Texas is a league of it’s own. It may not have an Ikea, but it has friendly people, good food, and a beauty that only a true native will understand.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his emotional 2001 Daytona victory (VIDEO)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits down with former crew chief Steve Letarte to watch his emotional victory in the 2001 Pepsi 400, which was the first race at Daytona following the death of his father Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Telemundo’s call of Carli Lloyd’s 50-yard goal is equally amazing

Josh Hamilton may be headed back to the disabled list

Josh Hamilton has a .954 OPS in 10 games with the Rangers. The problem is he’s only played in 10 games.

Hamilton had to be placed on the disabled list on May 31 — just a week after rejoining Texas — because of a Grade 2 left hamstring strain and now he’s probably headed back there with a groin problem.

“This is a guy we’d like to have for an extended period of time,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister told Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Saturday night. “I’m trying my best to figure this whole thing out with him and what is best for Josh.”

Texas lost 13-0 to the visiting Angels on July 4, dropping to 6 1/2 games back of the Astros in the American League West standings.

Happy 4th of July!!

Texas Rangers ship Chi Chi Gonzalez to Triple-A Round Rock

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez (21) leaves the mound after being taken out of the game in the ninth inning during the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the Texas Rangers major league baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

ARLINGTON – A day after being hit hard for the second time in three starts, rookie RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez was sent to Triple-A Round Rock, at least for the remainder of the first half.

Gonzalez did not make it out of the second inning on Friday, allowing five hits and six runs in 1.2 innings. After compiling a 0.90 ERA in his first four starts, Gonzalez allowed 17 hits and 15 runs over 13.1 innings of his next three starts.

The Rangers recalled RHP Anthony Ranaudo from Triple-A Round Rock, but he will not go into the rotation. He will pitch out of the bullpen as a long reliever.

The Rangers rotation for the week leading up to the All-Star break now shapes up in a way that will likely take Yovani Gallardo out of any realistic All-Star Game consideration. Gallardo, who has pitched 29.1 consecutive scoreless innings, will pitch on Tuesday against Arizona on the normal four days of rest. He will then pitch again on Sunday against San Diego. It would be difficult for him to rebound well enough to pitch an inning in the All-Star game two days later.

Matt Harrison, who hasn’t appeared in the majors since May, 2014, will start on Wednesday. After an off day on Thursday, the Rangers are tentatively scheduled to go with Wandy Rodriguez (Friday), Colby Lewis (Saturday) and Gallardo (Sunday) to wrap up the first half.

Sources: Mavericks agree to four-year, $81 million deal with center (and former Texas A&M star) DeAndre Jordan

For the first time in franchise history, the Dallas Mavericks are proud owners of a “big fish.”

A really big fish.

Center DeAndre Jordan, who stood alongside LaMarcus Aldridge as the best realistically available free agents in the NBA this summer, has agreed to join the Mavericks, Maverick sources said Friday afternoon. Terms were not readily available, but it’s been widely reported that the Mavericks will pay Jordan the maximum allowed under the salary cap, which would be worth about $81-million over four years. It is believed Jordan will have an option to terminate the contract after three seasons.

The 6-11 Jordan, 26, instantly becomes a cornerstone to the Mavericks’ current team and their future.

He led the league in rebounding the last two seasons and in field-goal percentage the last three seasons. He’s also a notoriously bad free-throw shooter, but considered one of the best interior defenders in the game.

Last season, he averaged 11.5 points and 15 rebounds.

Jordan’s decision came down to the Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers, for whom he played the first seven years of his career after being selected in the second round (35 overall) in the 2008 draft.

Jordan and other free agents cannot begin officially signing contracts until July 9.

His agreement follows on the heels of the Mavericks getting a commitment from shooting guard Wesley Matthews, one of the league’s best 3-point shooters although he is coming off a serious Achilles injury.


Mike Scioscia says Josh Hamilton should apologize to Angels owner Arte Moreno

Josh Hamilton came off the disabled list and rejoined the Rangers just in time to play his old team this weekend, but the former MVP doesn’t think facing the Angels three months after they ate most of his contract to make him go away is a big deal.

Here’s what Hamilton told Scott Boeck of USA Today about the three-game series in Texas that starts tonight:

I don’t do anything more different than I usually do before the game. Maybe the focus is a little more there. But nothing to get back at a team for any reason, just like when I left (Texas). When I came back, I was like just treat it like any old road game. I’m going to treat this like any other home game. It will be good to see the guys. All or most of them were behind me when we met in Houston and had lunch. Everybody was cool.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has a much different view of the situation, saying earlier this week that he hopes Hamilton “will take an opportunity to thank the teammates that supported him and to reach out to (Angels owner) Arte (Moreno) and let Arte know that maybe some of the things he did weren’t what he signed up to do.”

Then, when pressed further, Scioscia said: “We’ll leave it at that.”

Hamilton’s drug and alcohol problems are well-documented, but Scioscia’s quotes when combined with the Angels doing everything they could to make sure Hamilton never played for them again following his relapse are, at the very least, not a good look for anyone involved.

Meanwhile, according to Hamilton he’s “tried many times” to get in touch with Moreno and the Angels owner refuses to meet with him. So maybe next time Scioscia should go public with his thoughts on how Moreno ought to be handling the situation instead.

Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended first four games

Rolando McClain of the Dallas Cowboys has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

McClain will be eligible to return to the Cowboys’ active roster on Monday, October 5 following the team’s October 4 game against the New Orleans Saints.

McClain is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

Adrian Beltre’s house broken into; AL pennant ring, suite tickets stolen

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Adrian Beltre‘s house was broken into last week. Among the things taken: his 2011 AL championship ring and tickets to a suite at Globe Life Park.

The theft of the tickets mildly amused Beltre, who said “I’d like to see them show up there.” By the same token, I’d like to see someone try to fence an AL championship ring that is quite obviously Adrian Beltre’s. But whoever said crooks were smart? Stick to taking TVs and stuff, you guys. They’re way lighter than they used to be.

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