Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why Does Fort Worth Pride Itself On Having The World's First Indoor Rodeo?

I had been told that, due to finally realizing how embarrassingly dumb it sounded, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had dropped its patented Fort Worth makes other towns "Green With Envy," due to something in Fort Worth, about which no one outside of Fort Worth is actually envious, or even knows about, verbiage.

The Star-Telegram had a few variations of its patented "Green With Envy" verbiage.

For instance, the Star-Telegram might say something like, the Trinity River Vision's Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats are the Envy of the Nation.

It was always a mystery to me how the Star-Telegram determined that towns far and wide were Green with Envy over something to do with Fort Worth or how the Star-Telegram determined that something in Fort Worth was the Envy of the Nation.

And now, this morning, a fresh Star-Telegram verbiage mystery.

The subject is the world's first indoor rodeo. Apparently Fort Worth has been harboring the delusion that Fort Worth brought the world its first indoor rodeo.

In a caption, on this morning's front page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, under a photo of Fort Worth's indoor rodeo is this verbiage....

"Fort Worth prides itself on having the world's first indoor rodeo in 1918, but a city in Kansas begs to differ."

And then in the article about this extremely important subject...

"...lots of people, especially Fort Worth boosters and Western history buffs, see the issue as more than bragging rights over a historical footnote."

How is it determined that a city prides itself about something to do with that city?

Bragging rights? People in Fort Worth brag about allegedly having the world's first indoor rodeo?

Is this "prides itself" and "bragging rights" concept a Texas thing? Or a function of a massive civic inferiority complex?

I can not imagine reading in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that Seattle prides itself on having the world's first Starbucks. Or a town in Minnesota is claiming bragging rights to the world's first indoor mall, while Seattle has long prided itself on having the world's first indoor mall with Northgate.

I doubt such embarrassing verbiage could make it past a Seattle Post-Intelligencer editor. And likely the writer of such embarrassingly dumb verbiage would be fired.

I imagine back when Fort Worth's indoor rodeo opened, with the claim of being the world's first, little attempt was made to verify if this was true.

This was way back in 1918. Fort Worth would have been even more of a backwater than it is now. I imagine back in 1918 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram spewed way bigger whoppers than the 2012 version does.

But let's just look at some of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's distorted exaggerations from this century.

The Star-Telegram repeatedly breathlessly reported that a new sporting goods store in Forth Worth, Cabelas, would be the biggest tourist attraction in Texas, thus worthy of the tax breaks the city was giving the store.

Within about a year the Fort Worth Cabelas was not even the only Cabelas in Texas, what with the opening of a Cabelas in Buda, down by Austin. And now the Fort Worth Cabelas is not even the only Cabelas in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, what with a second D/FW Cabelas now open in the North Dallas suburb of Allen.

Have you read a single word in the Star-Telegram acknowledging how outrageously that newspaper mis-represented Cabelas in Fort Worth?

Another example is the long defunct Fort Worth Santa Fe Rail Market. A very lame sort of food court, trumpeted by the Star-Telegram as being the first Public Market in Texas, and that it was modeled after Public Markets in Europe and Seattle's Pike Place Market.

Not only was the Santa Fe Rail Market not the first Public Market in Texas, it was not even the first Public Market in Fort Worth. The first Public Market in Fort Worth has a state historical marker designating its significance.

After the predictable failure of the Santa Fe Rail Market did the Fort Worth Star-Telegram do any sort of responsible post-mortem mea culpa type reportage? Not that I noticed.

And now, this morning, the Star-Telegram has Fort Worth bursting with pride due to thinking it had the world's first indoor rodeo.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram should list all the things Fort Worth prides itself on.

Like being the only city in the world to have happy hour inner tube floats in a feces infested polluted river.

Like priding itself on being the city with the fewest skyscrapers of any city in America with a population over 500,000.

Like taking pride in the fact that Fort Worth has the lowest mileage of sidewalks along side its mileage of roads of any city in America with a population over 500,000.

Like taking pride in the fact that Fort Worth's downtown is the only downtown in America of a town over 500,000 population, without a department or grocery store. (little Oliver's Fine Foods does not count}

Like the bragging rights a town gets when it has more drill holes poked in it than any other city in the world, in the world's biggest experiment in urban drilling. That is really something Fort Worth can pride itself on that makes towns far and wide Green with Envy....

No comments: