It looks like the Longhorn football team wasn't the only thing getting reduced to charred wreckage at the State Fair this week - Big Tex burned down today. Apparently there's no immediate word on how the blaze got started, but a Wicker Man-type situation can't be ruled out. Someone please make sure Manny Diaz wasn't stuffed into a bear suit, covered in bees and burned in this thing to appease the capricious Football Gods (or angry boosters).
All jokes aside, this is kind of a gut punch in a two-week stretch that hasn't lacked for gut punches. I've never been much of a State Fair guy outside of one obvious annual occasion, but losing an iconic landmark like Tex will make every future trip out there just a little less special. I'm sure he'll get rebuilt, but I always thought that my kids and grandkids would one day look up at the same big grin that gazed down on me at my first Texas-OU game in '93.
And in a way they still will - but it won't be the same.