Being on the University of Texas soccer team has certain perks. Not going to elaborate on all of those right now but one of them happens to be that when we officially pass our fitness tests we get enough gear, clothing, and equipment to outfit ourselves in burnt orange, white, black, and gray everywhere we go. The day lives in infamy as “The Burnt Orange Christmas.” It’s a lovely occasion. Given that situation, we always look professional and match when we go places as a team. Particularly when we’re traveling, you’ll see 28 girls at the airport matching from head to toe…from the shirt to the shoes to the backpack. While we sometimes roll our eyes at having to match as if were 2 year olds, what happens when we go places as a group is quite comical….
YOU SHOULD SEE THE STARES WE GET. We walk through the terminal to our gate or through a resturant and people will just gawk at us. Straight stare without any inhibition. Mind you, practically all of our stuff has “Texas Soccer” embroidered on it loud and proud but no matter how much soccer stuff we seem to be sporting, someone always, ALWAYS asks us if we’re the volleyball team. We smile and say, “Nooo, we’re actually the soccer team, but thanks!” Then we causally walk away and laugh and shake our heads. Do we look like the volleyball team? Hello, I don’t think so. We’re not skyscrapers and there are people on our team who are only a little taller than 5 feet. You obviously haven’t seen our volleyball team because those girls look down on us. Oy vey!
The next thing that seems to happen is that the person you sit next to on the plane or meet at the hotel will somehow know something about soccer and have a little conversation with you. Most likely, the conversation will end and they’ll ask: “Do you happen to know so-and-so? She’s on the Texas soccer team.” I normally just shake my head and politely say, “No, I don’t know her. Is she on the club team? This is the NCAA Division 1 school team.” The person then says, “Oh, well she’s on that one, I know.” Then I start to smile and nod and just agree so that I can pop in my headphones and go to sleep on the plane. Please let the conversation be over. But I just think in my head, HELLO person, I spend 24/7 with my teammates, I think I’d know if your little friend was on the team…..but, hey, what do I know? Apparently nothing.
Finally, the last thing that happens when we travel in a big group, people will ask…”so what state are you ladies from?” Ok, ok, ok. Everything we own, everything we wear, everything we do basically has Texas written somewhere on, a longhorn symbol, something that distinguishes us as Texas. The longhorn logo, as well as our school color, burnt orange, is so recognizable amongst colleges and people in general that you should just know that we’re from Texas. Have you been living under a rock for the last 100 years? You. Should. Know. Most recently, we went to Tampa, Florida and someone asked if we were from University of Tampa. Ummmmm, no. Mind you, this was the receptionist at our hotel sooooooooooooo, you should know that we’re not University of Tampa. And why would we be staying in a hotel in Tampa if were from Tampa. People boggle my mind sometimes.
So. Warning for you all: if you ever see the Texas SOCCER team walking around in your part of the country, look at our shirts and backpacks and try to recognize us first before asking mundane questions. We will be very polite to you but when you turn your back, expect to be laughed at. It’s all part of the fun! We love it! Hook ’em Horns!