I had the good fortune (with even better seats) of attending the Cowboys vs. Longhorns men’s basketball game this past weekend. It was a greatly impressive display of athleticism, skill and school pride. It was the first time I bore witness to the singing of the school’s song, the first time I tried the concession stands pretzels and the first time, ever, I have heard the words ‘meat judge’ strung together in sequence.
During the half-time entertainment, an assembly line of belt buckles, cowboy boots and proud smiles lined the court. Twenty or so students, my age or younger beaming up at the adoring audience. I asked my neighbor if I had heard right, did they really just say ‘meat judges’? Could they have meant ‘cleat smudges’? Apparently not. National damn champion meat judges might I add. Talented and highly successful, but a mystery to me all the same.
In the 35 days since my arrival in quaint, little Stillwater I am yet to have more of a ‘Murica moment than this. Perhaps it’s the willingness to celebrate all things weird and wonderful or simply, the passion for meat runs deep here but I got to hand it to them. A place where everyone’s achievements are celebrated is a place worth being.
You can read up here on what the meat judges actually do. Or like me, you can revel in the mystery of our national champs and ignore the article. It’s a little more exciting that way I think.
Photos taken by author in Gallagher-Iba Arena.