On October 20, 1541, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado described the semi-arid region in what is now Northwest Texas and Eastern New Mexico in a letter to the king of Spain.
“I reached some plains so vast, that I did not find their limit anywhere I went, although I travelled over them for more than 300 leagues . . . with no more land marks than if we had been swallowed up by the sea . . . . there was not a stone, nor bit of rising ground, nor a tree, nor a shrub, nor anything to go by.”
Loosely translated “Llano Estacado,” means “staked plains,” and though the reason for Coronado bestowing the name upon the 32,000 square miles of land has been disputed, the most common theory is that the exploring conquistadors would drive stakes into the ground as landmarks to avoid getting lost while traversing the newly discovered territory. And because of that the high mesa had a name.
While many options were considered, “Staking the Plains,” seems the perfect moniker for our new site. We too are leaving the safety of the known, the safety of a multi-million dollar digital empire in Vox and SB Nation, for the vast plains without anything to go by. Not a stone, nor a bit of rising ground, nor a tree or direction. We are completely on our own and we hope you will join us.
For the most part Staking the Plains will focus on Texas Tech athletics. And just as we did at Viva The Matadors, our goal is to provide the most comprehensive reporting on Red Raider sports anywhere on the net. But we also want to bring light to the beauty in that high mesa in West Texas and the great people, the salt-of-the-earth people, that call the Llano Estacado home.
Most visitors to Staking the Plains will have ties to Texas Tech University. Whether you were born and raised in a dusty West Texas town spending your Novembers in the cab of a tractor harvesting cotton, or if you only called the Hub City home for four years while attending Tech, Staking the Plains is a place to celebrate the grit and polite determination of West Texans and Red Raiders.
But we also hope to draw in visitors that have no ties to our school or that glorious plot of red dirt and caliche. We hope to pull the curtain back a bit on those things that make being a Red Raider so special.
In interviews we always ask our subjects what it means to be a Red Raider. Former running back Baron Batch perhaps said it best. “To be tough. To be dependable. To be honorable. To work hard. To fail. To get up. To succeed. To win. To be humble. To return. To help someone else do the same.”
That’s what we’re here for. That’s what Staking the Plains is. Without anything to go by, that’s what Staking the Plains is.