As you will recall, last week we honored those Texans who made 2009 so forgettable. Now let’s finish up before Texas Monthly pirates us for its Bum Steer Awards. First off, our 15 Minutes of Fame Are Over: Prices for the Black Tie and Boots Ball, the traditional Texas inauguration blast in Washington which were so hot during the Bush administrations, lost value for last January’s Obama inauguration. Tickets plunged on the internet from $1,000 to $200. (Illinois’ party tickets went for $2,000, Hawaii’s for $1,500.) Bordering on Wasteful: A $2 million program to set up surveillance cameras along the Rio to spot illegal immigrants was suppose to result in 1,200 arrests. There were three. In addition, at least 4,500 reports of immigration violations were expected to be sent to the U.S. Border Patrol. There were six. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats and his wife were stopped by Dallas Police Officer Robert Powell for running a red light while on the way to a hospital where Moats’s mother-in-law was dying. He was held at bay for 13 minutes, facing a drawn pistol, while his mother-in-law died. Speaking of sports, the Dallas Cowboys’ indoor practice facility collapsed in high winds, injuring 12 people. The Texas Lottery sent out 12 million $5 scratch-off tickets featuring the Dallas Cowboys. In contrast, only 4.5 million tickets featured the state’s other NFL team, the hapless Houston Texans. Texas College in Tyler went (0-10) in football, including losses of 68-0, 52-6 and 92-0. Our Susan Lucci Winner (Always a Bridesmaid Div.): UT football once again wasn’t ranked Number 1 in the nation, perhaps because of its non-conference schedule of Louisiana-Monroe, UTEP, Central Florida and Wyoming for combined scores of 209 to 40. Going Coach is Now Going First Class: Head UT football coach Mack Brown was given a raise to $5 million a year, making him the highest paid college football coach in the nation. A Membership to AARP: In the college baseball playoffs, UT-Austin played Boston College for 25 innings, or 7 hours and 3 minutes, the longest game in NCAA history. Reliever Austin Woods pitched 13 innings, 169 pitches, 120 for strikes. The Horns won. Free Throes: High school basketball Coach Micah Grimes allowed The Covenant School in Dallas to run up the score to 100 to 0 against Dallas Academy. Way to go, Coach Grimes, who was subsequently fired. Most Missed: Horton Foote Least Missed: Tom DeLay on “Dancing With the Stars.” Best Pilot Project: C. B. (Sully) Sullenberger III of Dennison brought down a US Airways flight in the Hudson River off Manhattan, saving all 155 people aboard. Then it Dawned on Them: Owner of the Lodge in Dallas, Dawn Rizos, was notified she was to receive an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for her business acumen from American Solutions for Winning the Future, chaired by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Oh, yes, in order to receive the award she had to join the group for $5,000. Alas, it turns out that the Lodge is a topless club, and the honor was withdrawn. Take Two and Call Me on the Hot Line: Police in Palmview, in South Texas, detained a driver to find the vehicle contained heroin, cocaine, marijuana and several Ecstasy pills, some made to look like Homer Simpson and Barack Obama. Take Two Pills and Go Away: Nine people accounted for 2,678 visits to the emergency rooms in Central Texas during the past six years, costing taxpayers $3 million. The Hole Truth: A main reason the underground Superconductor Supercollider, or SSC, was being placed near Waxahachie was that the location was earthquake proof. In 2009, residents in the area experienced five earthquakes in one week. It’s just as well the SSC was never completed. The Fat Lady Sings: The story of late Mexia native Anna Nicole Smith was made into an opera. We Can’t Stand Pat: State Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston told Fox News and several radio talk shows -- and was quickly spread across the nation via e-mails -- that Texas state officials and the National Guard were on alert “for the first time, to my knowledge, in modern history” because of drug-related violence in Mexico. Patrick apparently wasn’t around for Hurricanes Rita and Ike, or to see the Guard all over the place when it was called out for grass fires, floods and other disasters. The governor’s office issued a denial of Patrick’s claim. Now we go to our famed Take a Truncheon to Luncheon category: Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputies and detectives were each given a $1,000 cashier’s check from an anonymous benefactor. A total of $220,000. The law says they couldn’t keep it. Are you HOV Positive? When Houston Metro Police Officer Miguel Rodriguez spotted a lifeless body in a car wreck on the U.S. 290 HOV lane, he feared the worst, until Rodriguez saw that it was actually a dummy dressed in business attire. Michael Hooper was ticketed for excessive speed and unauthorized use of a high-occupancy (two passenger minimum) vehicle lane. The top two executives of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department were canned after a 16-year-old youth was able to carry a loaded .25-caliber semi-automatic into the county juvenile detention center through a metal detector that hadn’t been functional since the new juvenile detention center opened three years ago. But our grand prize goes to George Vera, age 25, weight nearly 600 pounds. Vera was arrested Aug. 2 and taken to the Houston City jail. A day later he was transferred to the Harris County Jail where, after 14 hours and going through intake procedures, he was taken to the showers before going to his cell. It was only then that Vera told police he had a 9mm handgun on him, along with two clips of ammo. The gun was allegedly hidden between layers of fat. He receives our Smith & Wesson Oil Award. Ashby wins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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