“[Letter from Texas] The Tragedy of Ted Cruz: Does likability still matter in politics,” Harpers, 11/8/2018
“When I saw Ted Cruz speak, in early August, it was at Underwood’s Cafeteria in Brownwood. He was on a weeklong swing through rural central Texas, hitting small towns and military bases that ensured him friendly, if not always entirely enthusiastic, crowds. In Brownwood, some in the audience of two hundred were still nibbling on peach cobbler as Cruz began with an anecdote about his win in a charity basketball game against ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. They rewarded him with smug chuckles when he pointed out that “Hollywood celebrities” would be hurting over the defeat “for the next fifty years.” His pitch for votes was still an off-the-rack Tea Party platform, complete with warnings about the menace of creeping progressivism, delivered at a slightly mechanical pace but with lots of punch. The woman next to me remarked, “This is the fire in the gut! Like he had the first time!” referring to Cruz’s successful long-shot run in the 2011 Texas Republican Senate primary. And it’s true—the speech was exactly like one Cruz would have delivered in 2011, right down to one specific detail: he never mentioned Donald Trump by name.”
“Embracing the Frog: My Winding Journey to Becoming a TCU Diehard,” Sports Illustrated, 12/21/2017
"By now, you may have put together that I became a TCU fan not long after I got sober. I can’t pin down the exact moment that Frogs football moved from something to chat about on Saturday to something to fight about with strangers online, but I do remember being smitten in the 2012 season."