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The Daily Tar Heel

Lone Star State Says Size Matters

They lie.

Everything's gigantic in Texas.

Maybe it's the state's sheer size itself that lends so heavily to this mindset of excessiveness. It is the largest state in the continental United States, after all.

Whatever the reasons, there's a certain pride in Texas that can be sensed in almost anything there.

Texans definitely support the slogan, "If it's worth doing, then it's worth doing right."

Sitting in a bar on 6th Street on Saturday night, there was little to distinguish the scene from Halloween on Franklin Street.

There were guys with cowboy hats and belt buckles as big as their heads, but they weren't in costume.

There was lots of obnoxious inebriation.

And the police had closed the street to traffic.

But they closed 6th Street on Friday and Saturday nights simply because it was Friday and Saturday in the state capital. The weekend is special occasion enough in Texas. No holiday necessary.

All the bars are open in the middle of the day, just in case.

Bud and Coors Light have special Texas bottle labels with the state outline and flag. The state even has its own prideful beer, Lone Star, tabbed as "The National Beer of Texas."

Texas almost is like its own nation.

For a while, Texas was even independent of both Mexico and the United States, content with being a sovereign territory in the mid-1800s.

The capitol dome is almost as impressive on the skyline as the one in Washington, D.C. More than 46,000 students attend the university in Austin.

Then there's UT football.

North Carolina definitely can't mess with Texas there.

At Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at Jamail Field, 83,106 were on hand to witness coach Mack Brown face his former team for the first time. It was the sixth-largest crowd in stadium history, and eight of the 10 most-packed gatherings have come since Brown's arrival in 1998.

Brown has won nine games each year since he left UNCs 10-1 1997 squad and is one of four coaches -- Florida State's Bobby Bowden, Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Florida's Steve Spurrier being the others -- to win at least nine games in each of the last five seasons.

And you'd better believe Texas is proud.

The 568-page football media guide looks like it should be the "T" volume of an encyclopedia set. UNC's media guide checks in at 284 pages, exactly half the size and half the clout.

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The UT band owns Big Bertha, which, at 54 inches in diameter and 500 pounds, is the largest bass drum in the world.

The team's "Hook 'Em Horns" hand signal, made by extending the index and pinky fingers while holding down the middle and ring fingers with the thumb, was named the nation's best by Sports Illustrated.

Bevo the shiny brown Longhorn sits casually beyond the end zone with its eyes on the game.

Bevo drops cow patties bigger than Ramses.

A 45-by-25 yard flag gets stretched across the field during the pregame hype.

And some people still wonder why Brown ever would've wanted to leave Chapel Hill.

At UNC, basketball is king. At Texas, Mack Brown is.

The university's official, suped-up web site is www.MackBrown-Texas

Texas has won 746 times in its proud past. UNC is at 600 and holding.

This season Brown has a chance to pick up a win in a national championship game, something the Longhorns haven't done since 1970 and something the Tar Heels have never done.

As if the pride of Texas needed to swell any more.

Mike Ogle can be reached at

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Year in Review Issue