Shiner Comanches bottling up
AP football poll votes

September 23, 2004
F.A. "Bro" Krift

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Warning: Reading this article could lead to serious literacy risks and could impair your ability to think rationally. If you can read at all, avoid consumption at all costs. Must be born before Sept. 23, 1983, to read.

Scan the Associated Pressí Texas high school football poll and one team has a statewide voting advantage: the Shiner Comanches.

Three things are widely known about Texas. The Alamo doesnít have a basement, the barbecue can only be beef and the tiny town of Shiner brews the best beer east or west of the Mississippi (Sorry Schlitz, Shiner Bock gets the nod).

Mmm, Shiner Bock is good beer. Could make a man walk from Maine to the Lone Star state for a six-pack. Could also make a sportswriter vote the Comanches No. 1 (Not this sportswriter. I donít get a vote).

The Comanches are No. 1 in the 1A poll this week. Finishing 2003 as the state runner-up and undefeated this season, they deserve their due. They have a talented back in all-state running back Chris Baer.

Without seeing the team play, I donít doubt the Comanchesí ability and truly respect the program.

Thatís not the beer talking either.

Shiner head coach Steve Cerny has been with the program for 17 years. First thing he hears when he informs a new acquaintance where he lives is "Oh man, thatís a great beer."

Cerny said heíd like the town to be known for a good football program as well. With the Comanchesí success lately, it has become the home of two great products.

"Itís a little more than beer," Cerny said.

But sometimes is it really about football? No, sometimes itís about the beer.

Sure, McCamey is No. 7 in the polls but it doesnít have a brewery. And Marfa is playing well but all it has is a wine bar. With no allegiances to a local 1A team, why not root for Shiner?

Of the 20 sports writers voting in the poll how many do you think have seen Shiner play?

Hereís a better question: How many has had the townís beer? Um, a lot.

Think about your average community newspaper sports writer. Three delicacies are held high for him -- beef, football and beer.

Friday should start with a smoky brisket plate. Add a night filled with football then wash it all down with a longneck. A writer covers one game each night, but he can have two beers. Oh whatever, make that a 12-pack because he doesnít have to wake up until 2:30 p.m. to go to work anyway.

Texas is football, football, football. That much is clear.

Texas is also Shiner Bock, Shiner Blonde, Shiner Light, Shiner Hefeweizen and Shiner Summer Stock.

Shiner, Texas, has the beer and the football. Thatís two-thirds of the holy trinity located in a southeast Texas town of only 2,000.

Itís unfair. How can Iraan compete in the polls? The Spoetzl Brewing Co. pumps out 5,600 cases a day. Thatís roughly 280 cases per AP voter.

If Shiner had a famous barbecue joint then theyíd always be No. 1 in the preseason AP poll. Even if it didnít serve beef but -- oh man -- pork it wouldnít matter.

Weíre talking about good beer and football here, people. And a lot of it to be consumed.
F.A. "Bro" Krift
Bro's columns appear Thursdays. Bro covers Odessa High and District 3-5A Football for the Odessa American.
E-mail comments may be sent to, where they will be forwarded to the columnist.

Beer plus football is a truly great tailgating experience. A brewery plus a team is truly a great voting experience.

Now Texas sportswriters should love Shiner Bock beer as much as any brew. Itís rich, full-bodied and as cheap as any domestic on tap because of the close vicinity of the Spoetzl Brewing Co.

The Comanches have 15 first place votes. By applying the scientific method, my calculations show thatís 15 Shiner drinkers. Of the five who didnít vote for them, two are wine spritzer drinkers and the other three probably just found out about Zima.

Everyone knows polls donít matter, especially when a tournament decides the champion. No one is seriously voting for Shiner because of the beer. Itís based on Baer and the other talent for Comanches.

But for a good hometown brew and a great football team, give the Shiner Comanches a cheer.

Or is that a cheers?

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