Hey yo! Here I am, ready to impart some more wisdom to you peoples. Did you miss me? That’s OK, don’t answer–I’ll pretend you yelled “YES!” while tears of joy leaked all over your face. Humor me.
So this is a thing that happened: Texas won the Quidditch World Cup in April. I see the question marks hovering over all your heads. But yes, it’s a real thing, and teams from all over have been playing in the World Cup since 2005. There were actually TWO teams from Texas–Longhorns and Aggies–but the ‘Horns weirdos won out. I say that in the gentlest, most respectful way possible, as a fellow weirdo.
I recognize not everyone knows what Quidditch is. In fact, I had to explain it to Nichole (our lovely and talented editrix) as well as my dad. Both are very intelligent folks who share the same deficit: never reading the Harry Potter series. Assuming there are others of you who failed to either read any of the books or see a single film, I will briefly describe both the book and the IRL Quidditch game. Please keep in mind I am not making any of this up.
First, the book version. Harry Potter, our hero, is a young boy living with his cruel aunt and uncle, having lost both his parents when he was a baby. What Harry doesn’t know is that he is MAGICAL, and his parents were also MAGICAL. His aunt and uncle are not magical, they are muggles–the term for non-magical folks. When Harry is 11 he receives an invitation to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where Quidditch is played and magic is taught and other stuff happens. His life changes dramatically, as you can imagine, and the books are terrific so go read them now. Anyway, back to the game. It’s played by two co-ed teams, on broomsticks. There’s your basic put-the-ball-through-the-opponent’s-goal type of scoring. There are players who actively try to keep you from scoring by killing you with a BALL MADE OF IRON called a “bludger.” Again, blame J.K. Rowling, not me. The books actually portray a kind of terrifying world where kids are maimed and killed on a regular basis. Kind of Roald Dahl meets the Superfriends. But I digress. The other way to score is to catch the “snitch,” a tiny, enchanted golden ball that zips around like crazy and is difficult to see, let alone snag. The fastest flyers are the “seekers” who try to get the snitch, which is worth so many points it ends the contest if it is caught.
Now the IRL game. Adult human beings at institutions of higher learning put on uniforms, place broomsticks between their legs, and run around a field lobbing volleyballs and kickballs at each other and the goal. Another adult human being dresses in yellow and hangs a tennis ball in a sock from his or her belt. Voila, the “snitch” IRL. The snitch doesn’t have a broomstick (because let’s be honest, no one is actually flying), but runs pell mell around the field, avoiding the “seekers.” Same scoring rules apply–get the snitch, end the game. I don’t think there were any actual deaths, since the BALL MADE OF IRON is not used at the collegiate level. Maybe in the pros.
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 Quidditch World Cup Champions: The University of Texas Longhorns. I’ll wait until the applause dies down.
So, you say, this is supposed to be about football. And I agree, Gentle Reader. I’m just warming up to all this sports stuff. It’s like stretching before yoga class. Have no fear, it’s totally on my radar. Stay tuned for a season preview. After all, we’re staring the first kickoff in the face at the end of the month! Which is super awesome…if you live in Austin and have tickets to the game, or if you have the elusive Longhorn Network. Yes, here we go again. My eyeballs are so starved for football at this point, and the LHN is actively depriving me of the pleasure of seeing Texas with mis propios ojos. And that, my friends, is practically unforgivable.
Until next time, Hook ’em Horns!