Since I hail from the fair city of El Paso, I thought I'd take the liberty of enlightening my Longhorn brethren about the ways of the rare and curious creature that is Miner Fan.
First up a little background on the school that was chartered as a Mining College and aptly named Texas Western. Apt because it's farther West than most of New Mexico, and it's in Texas. A fun factoid: Did you know that El Paso is closer to Los Angeles, CA than it is to Beaumont. Moving on...
Hang Loose = Pick Axe
So, at some point in our state's history (I refuse to look it up), Texas Western was swallowed up by the University of Texas System with a little salt and lime. The school was renamed the University of Texas at El Paso or UTEP. Perfect for jokes like "How do you kill a Jayhawk? UTEP on it." and UTEP Miner Football.
However, the name change was/is a double edged sword in that now students, faculty, and supporters could invoke the powerful UT name when discussing their school. The bad news is that would-be students, faculty, and supporters knew exactly where the school was located. Good or bad decision? I'll leave that to our marketing majors.
To accentuate the positive aspects of the school name, the UTEP powers that be decided to utilize the state's flagship university colors and fight song. This seemed to work well for UTEP but growing pains were inevitable and UTEP's colors changed to a brighter shade of orange with a splash of Columbia blue. The fight song went from a version of Texas Fight to a sped up version of Marty Robbins' "El Paso". Makes sense, right?
So with that bit of background knowledge in place, let's discuss Miner fan do's and don't's.
DO discuss basketball with Miner fan. It's a source of Miner fan pride vis a vis Longhorn fan. Any Miner fan loves to discuss the '66 national championship squad. Throw out some Bobby Joe Hill or David Latin references. Whatever, it's all good. If you want to dazzle him, tell Miner fan Kent Lockhart was hardnosed or Dave Fietl had the best 15 footer you've seen from a big man. Pimp Tim Hardaway, mourn Jeep Jackson, and name drop Antonio Davis. Basketball is a source of pride for these folks. Juden Smith, Fred Reynolds, Luster Goodwin, Marlon Maxey. Throw them out fast and furious. They're gold when trying to impress Miner fan.
DON'T bring up UTEP football in any serious manner. You can mention that you're sad that Toraino Singleton was a bust. Just remember to lament that fact, but don't go any further unless you're prepared to delve into the merits of Bob Stull. I'm not prepared to do so here, so just remember to always deflect the conversation back to basketball or Chico's Tacos. These topics are your friends. Embrace them.
Rolled taco goodness.
DO offer them beer and barbecue. Miner fan is human. He likes beer, but he practically lives in New Mexico so his idea of barbecue is the McRib. Dazzle him with your smoked meats and deer sausage.
DON'T offer Miner fan tequila or any Mexican food. He will politely laugh at your weak ass Tex-Mex and challenge you to go shot for shot out of your bottle of Don Julio. Keep in mind, Miner fan's mother gave him tequila when he had colic. Your home field advantage won't phase him either because he's used to drinking his tequila while dodging machine-gun fire.
DO talk Texas Longhorn football with Miner Fan. Miner fan is secretly, or sometimes not so secretly, a Longhorn fan. He roots for the University of Texas like he roots for the Dallas Cowboys. It's ingrained. Hell, Miner fan has his own Aggies to make fun of.
DON'T bring up NAFTA, the War on Drugs, or the red chili vs. green chili debate. Nothing good can come from these discussions. Avoid them.
DO chest bump, high five, low five, or dap off Miner fan. He's happy to be in Austin and eager to soak up the pomp and circumstance of college football. He'll talk about this trip for years so he'll be a willing celebrant at your tailgate.
DON'T flash gang signs at Miner fan. He'll be forced into a specific protocol that ranges from dropping and rolling to cracking you over the coconut with barbecue tongs. If things do mistakenly get escalated, say "squash the violence" or "let's hug it out, bitch".
DO talk about hand jobs in the mountain. Handjobs and topics like them can be great ice breakers.
You: "Hey Miner fan, come over here and get ya' a dos equis and a chopped beef sandwich."
Miner fan: "Thanks."
You: "Hey whaddya know about that dude that got a handjob in the mountains last year?"
Miner fan: "Yeah...um..this is great barbecue."
DON'T ask Miner fan to give you a handjob. At least not after one beer and a sandwich or if he has an Adam's apple and large hands.
I hope that helps. Enjoy the game.