For the most part first round of the Texas Bracket pitted celebrities from Texas against Texan legends and little-known Texans against Lone Star giants. No. 1 seeds Willie Nelson and Audie Murphy crushed the competition, while Barbara Jordan and Tommy Lee Jones cruised to victory. Earl Campbell joined Willie and Audie as the only three to gain more than 90% of the vote.
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But there were some upsets and near-upsets, too. Most notably, Dr. Red Duke — who, on closer inspection, proved to be much more awesome than a No. 15 seed — lost to columnist Molly Ivins by ONE VOTE. Duke was down big early, but rallied late and nearly made up the difference.
Another notable early exit is George W. Bush, who was neck-and-neck with Judge Roy Bean for the most of the day, but faded late. On the other hand, Ranger Joaquin Jackson rallied from a muddled contest with TV reporter Marvin Zindler to crush him late and Special Forces soldier Roy Benavidez was down early to Texas Country Reporter Bob Phillips, but came back strong. Perhaps late voters looked up Benavidez’s incredible story before voting.
In the Music and the Arts category, the favorites all won without drama, with the exception of heavily-nominated Beyonce, who lost large to Janis Joplin. In the Politics and History category, Ann Richards easily won her rematch with Clayton Williams, perhaps unsurprisingly in an Austin-based bracket. In the Actors and Athletes category, Sammy Baugh was the only favorite to lose, never having a chance against Sissy Spacek.
But enough recap … ONTO THE SECOND ROUND!
This is where it gets interesting. Round 2 still has a few heavy favorites, but in some instances, Texas legend is pitted against Texas legend. Voting closes at midnight. Let’s look at the best of each category:
POLITICS AND HISTORY
Lady Bird Johnson vs. Lyndon Johnson
The top matchup of Round 2 features husband vs. wife. Lyndon was the president of the United States and clearly as Texan as could be, but Lady Bird is equally legendary, especially in Central Texas. There’s no clear favorite here. We’ll be watching results of this one closely. Vote here.
ACTORS AND ATHLETES
Nolan Ryan vs. Earl Campbell
Clearly, both of these Texas legends should have made the Sweet 16, but the intricacies (or goofs) of seeding have brought us this clash of titans in Round 2. (Also a shout-out to Matthew McConaughey vs. Farrah Fawcett, the best-looking matchup.) Vote here.
MUSICIANS AND THE ARTS
Stevie Ray Vaughan vs. Lyle Lovett
While Vaughan is the favorite here, the Texan-ness of Lovett could give him an advantage with voters. Vote here.
Joaquin Jackson vs. Molly Ivins
After defeating Dr. Red Duke by a single vote, No. 2 seed Ivins looks vulnerable against the Texas Ranger, who will rally the conservative vote. Vote here.