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Hell or High Water: A Movie Made for Texas Tech Football

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What 2016’s best film has in common with the 2016 football season...

Los Angeles Red Carpet Screening Of 'Hell Or High Water' Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for CBS Films

SPOILER ALERT: The plot of Hell or High Water will be discussed, but I won’t reveal the ending or anything really beyond what you might read in a synopsis or review of the film.

I promise this is going to tie back into Texas Tech football; hang with me for a minute. This past weekend, I went to the movie theater for the first time in awhile. I usually wait to rent through Redbox, but Hell or High Water was too intriguing for my patience.

Without giving too much away, it’s a film about two brothers in West Texas whose mother has recently passed away. Between child support owed, the bank threatening to take their mother’s land, and a general inclination towards being outlaws, they begin robbing banks from all over West Texas to try and come up with a certain amount of money.

During a crucial scene, one of the brothers is playing poker in a casino with a Native American. The brother asks if he’s Comanche, a “Lord of the Plains”. The Native American confirms that he’s Comanche, but says they are “Lords of nothing now”, since everything has been taken away from them.

After making a statement that could be interpreted as racist towards Natives, the brother and the Native American stood up from the table, face-to-face, seemingly about to throw hands. The Comanche corrects the brother and says Comanche doesn’t translate to “Lord of the Plains”, but it translates to “enemy to all”.

“Well then, you know what that makes me?” the brother replies.

“An enemy,” says the Comanche, his tension rising.

“No. It makes me Comanche,” the brother calmly declares before walking away without a fight.

The Comanche feels he’s an enemy to all because his land was taken from him. With the bank set to take his own land, the brother identifies as Comanche as well, justifying him becoming enemies with the law enforcement on his trail for the bank robberies.

It’s an amazing film, one of the best I’ve seen in years, and I recommend you go see it. But what in the world does it have to do with Texas Tech?

Besides the obvious outlaw spirit of the Red Raiders, and calling West Texas home, I think Texas Tech football has an “enemy to all” mentality that could be beneficial as well.

Lubbock is geographically isolated from the next city its size. It is challenged by issues unique to rural areas (i.e. drought, water security, agriculture, etc.) that may not have the same impact in a city like Austin or Fort Worth. West Texans are a proud and unique people who don’t see themselves as particularly aligned with perhaps anyone else.

Also, I believe there’s an attitude at Texas Tech that something has been taken from them. Gone are the days of beating Oklahoma every other year between 2005 and 2011. Gone are the days of beating Baylor 20 years in a row. Gone are the days of winning 10 of the first 13 Big 12 showdowns against the Aggies. And after seven straight losses, gone are the days of beating Oklahoma State.

Texas Tech has a lot to prove this season, and they should play with a chip on their shoulder the size of the High Plains region they are “Lords” of. And without a clear cut rival or a particular must-win game, the Red Raiders can adopt the Comanche mentality of “enemy to all” when roaring through the Big 12 schedule this season.

Hell or high water, Texas Tech needs to be ready to take on anyone and everyone this season, starting tomorrow.