Category Archives: Columns

Tenderfoot California boy finds life’s a little wilder in Texas

By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published May 2011)

In a place frequented by deafening thunderstorms and crawling with venomous snakes and spiders, it does not take long for a guy from Southern California to toughen up.

A sunbathing snake nearly sank its fangs into my leg the other day while I was walking through the barn on the way to my house. Had I not jumped back at the last moment, I would have failed to avoid its defensive strike.

Though I’ve only lived in Texas a short time, this was not my first encounter with a serpent.

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Should NFL deliver cap blow to
rookie assets?

By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published July 2011)

Past accomplishments of fledgling NFL players are comparable to using Google Translate for your French homework—there isn’t always a smooth transition.

The difference is you don’t have to pay millions of dollars to online translators before seeing some results.

For years, NFL rookies have inked outrageously lucrative contracts without first proving themselves at the professional level. People should have to earn their paychecks.

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Some people prefer online
social networking to real life

By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published January 2011)

People used to savor their private lives. Now, they cannot display enough of them.

Not long ago, finding one’s self alone at home surfing the web on a Friday night would be disappointing. Now, many people prefer engrossing themselves in the interconnected-yet-isolating online world of social networking to a tangible social life.

Seemingly everyone and his mother (and in some cases, even his grandmother) have succumbed to the appeal of social networking. Websites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter seem to get as many hits as search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

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Should Major League Baseball make the call for instant replay?

By Benjamin Custer
Texarkana Gazette (Published May 2011)

After consecutively retiring 26 batters on 82 pitches June 2, 2010, Detroit Tigers starter Armando Galarraga found himself one out shy of hurling the 21st perfect game in MLB history.

The next swing of the bat, however, wasn’t met by the final out and a celebratory congregation on the mound. It was met by a fateful botched call by umpire Jim Joyce.

Sports fans across the nation screamed at their televisions as replay after replay showed the throw beating the runner to first. Unfortunately, Joyce had no such luxury until after the game had ended.

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