On Sunday, the winners of the Big Tex Choice Awards for best fried food were announced. Carrot cake won "best taste," which itself might make some people question the State Fair of Texas' current ability to make good decisions. (Note: I haven't tried the "Holy Moly Carrot Cake Roly" myself. I'm sure it's fine. I'm just not a carrot cake guy.) But that's not important right now. What is important is the "surprise celebrity guest" they brought out to help announce the winners.
That guest was State Fair icon Big Tex ... sort of.
"Making his first-ever public debut – none other than Big Tex ... the mascot," says the State Fair's official website. "That's right, the State Fair introduced a Big Tex mascot, complete with cowboy gear and that traditional Texas style everyone loves so much."
OK, let's stop there for a second. First off, let's look at the definition of "mascot."
"Noun: an animal, person, or thing adopted by a group as its representative symbol and supposed to bring good luck."
So according to Merriam-Webster, Big Tex (The big one. The giant one. The one we all know and love.) is already a mascot. He's a representative symbol of the State Fair -- heck, of Texas itself, more or less. You can't "introduce" Big Tex as something he already was.
Now that that's out of the way, let's look at the "Big Tex" part of that sentence. Look at the picture at the top of this post. That Tex is of slightly above average height, I suppose, but he is clearly person-sized. He is not the larger-than-life, god-like figure we've lived in the shadow of for years.
If you were to tell me that this new man, who bears a striking resemblance to Big Tex, goes by the name Lil Tex, I could get behind that. But if you want to truly preserve the powerful myth of Big Tex, why are you making him small?
Which leads to our next problem:
"The all new @statefairoftx mascot #bigtex"? Come on, State Fair. You can't say he's "all new" if you're claiming he's just Big Tex. Big Tex isn't new! We know that dude.
OK, OK, all joking aside, it's just good to see that Rowdy is finally finding some work outside of Cowboys games. That guy has a family to feed.