Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring breakaway.

Katie spent most of spring break in the Hill Country with the youth group, and I spent a good chunk of my time working on a surprise for her in her room. Brett and I also had another major project that consumed most of our break time, so I was stressed and more than a little sad that our time off wasn't exactly fun. Coming to my rescue, Brett came up with this great plan: a spring break getaway to Waco on that Friday before we went back to school.

There were two Waco attractions I had wanted to visit for a long, long time. We drive through Waco all the time, but since we're always on our way to Austin or San Antonio, we never have time to stop for more than a Starbucks or potty break. This Friday was the perfect chance for us to go there just for the day. Our two stops: the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Dr Pepper Museum.

Surely there's somewhere in our house that we could install a football laces light fixture, right? This was right outside the front door.

Inside we saw tributes to all kinds of Texas sports legends. Some individuals had big displays, and in some areas, there were tributes to teams or sports as a whole. Here are some of the highlights:

(I have those two glasses!)

The George Foreman case includes one of his grills. (Of course!)

This was Doak Walker's all-star jersey.

Emory Bellard was famous as a football coach at A&M, but he worked at Texas with Darrell Royal before that. (Besides, he had family ties with some of my colleagues at school!)

Cool to compare our hands to those of an NBA player.

Ryan's almost as tall as the average NBA player!

Astroturf from the Astrodome

All these years after the Cowboys' "Triplets," I still love to see Troy Aikman stuff! (And yes, I had that Wheaties box on my wall back in the day!)

It's fun to see the ol' Southwest Conference gang together again! (This reminded me of the prints at Up in Smoke BBQ—formerly the Turkey Shop—just half an hour north of Waco.)

In the SWC wing, there was an area dedicated to each member of that now-extinct conference. Of course, I was captivated by the Texas section.

This was fun! You could push a button and here that school's fight song.

The TJC fight song really took me back! My best friend's dad taught at TJC, so we spent many a Saturday evening at Rose Stadium cheering on the Apaches. "Sons of Mars and Thunder, rip that line asunder, carry on to victory!" (How sad that I don't know my kids' cell phone numbers, but I can recall the TJC fight song!)

Abe Lemons' jacket

Our pal, Tommy Nobis

Loved those BMW days! Here's Travis Mays' jersey (the M in BMW from 1990 Longhorn basketball).

Many people don't realize that Tom Landry played for the Longhorns before he was a coach.

One area of the museum had interactive fitness tests, like this one that sees how high athletes can jump:

We took advantage of the equipment! There were maybe five other people in the whole museum at the time, so we had this stuff all to ourselves.

There's a large section devoted to tennis, but I was most interested in these racquets, mostly because they reminded me of the greatest name in that sport: Yvonne Goolagong.

This game was Brett's favorite artifact. It really took him back to his childhood.

One room was set up like Dave Campbell's office. In that room were back issues of Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine.

We enjoyed our visit, but I must say: The displays seemed a little uneven. Some areas of the museum are obviously older than others, and in some places light bulbs were out or cases were dusty. Some Hall of Fame inductees had huge displays, and others were barely mentioned. The museum's newest-looking section is a tribute to the Southwest Conference. Each school in that old conference has its own area in that wing, but since the conference has been dead since '96, it all just seems kinda sad.

Still, Texas sports fans will have fun checking out the Hall of Fame, having the chance to remember those great teams and players from the past.

Besides, where else would you get to sit on a tennis ball bench?

Next up: Lunch and the Dr Pepper Museum.

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