Bill Bragg, Fired Voice of Big Tex, Is Begging to Get His Job Back, and It's Really Sad

Categories: State Fair

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When the State Fair of Texas abruptly fired Bill Bragg after 11 years as the voice of Big Tex, they chalked it up to a contract dispute and spoke of making a fresh start after last fall's tragic fire. The real reason, however, was never far from the surface: Fair officials were creeped out by Bragg's overwhelming obsession with the job.

Voicing Big Tex is ostensibly a one-month gig, but Bragg donned his flamboyant Western shirts and cowboy hat year-round and never tired, even in Facebook posts, of bellowing the trademark "HOOOOWDY FOLKS." Add to that his houseful of Big Tex memorabilia, and it's easy to forgive the State Fair for treating him like you would a stalker.

See also
Don't Mess With Big Tex. Give Bill Bragg His Contract Back.
Jim Doesn't Like Big Tex. Big Tex Burned. Jim's from Detroit, Arson City USA. Ruh-roh.

Ditto for Bragg's increasingly desperate pleas to get his job back, which have turned from amusing to sad as the months have passed. Yesterday, he sent a letter to Mayor Mike Rawlings asking him to intervene:

This is Bill Bragg, The Voice of BIG TEX for the past 11 years. In the past 30 days I have been on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and interviewed by the BBC! Since The Fair decided not to renew my contract, the story has gone around the world and it is not showing any signs of going away! I love the State Fair and I love Dallas; can you please help resolve this matter? I have written two letters of apology to the Fair, but got no response of any kind! I am willing to return for the same money and under the same terms. As far as I can tell, Sue Gooding (State Fair PR Director) is the only person in the entire world who does NOT want me to be the Voice? A simple "hand shake" will instantly unite everyone, and the sad story of "BIG TEX burning before everyone's eyes" will finally go away! Please help Mr. Mayor!

Rawlings, through his chief of staff Paula Blackmon, declined to get involved, but Bragg is undaunted.

"I'm not egging it on," he told NBC 5. "I'm not fanning the flames, I'm just saying a prayer that I'll somehow get my job back."

Alas, God also seems unlikely to intervene, leaving Bragg to make a final, desperate plea to the NBC 5 cameras: "The state fair made the right decision 11 years ago when they hired me. Won't you please make the right decision now and hire me back?"

Even after the story aired, with the detail that the State Fair has narrowed a list of more than a hundred applicants to become Bragg's replacement down to four finalists, Bragg's optimism remained undiminished. He said as much on Facebook.

LIGHTING STRIKES THE STATE FAIR'S NEW RIDE!

COULD THIS BE A SIGN FROM ABOVE?

Channel 5 aired a great story on tonight's (6/10) 10 PM News; about my efforts to get my job (as the voice of BIG TEX) back! They followed my story with a story about lighting striking the new State Fair ride! Could there be a connection?

Nope.


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82 comments
truthexposed
truthexposed

His vehicle license plate is personalized - says, "BIG TEX".  Sad indeed. 

pinkiejfk
pinkiejfk

The new big Tex looks like a scary creep so we can't see the real deal but if voice of the REAL BIG TEX was able to speak, we could close our eyes and relive the days when the real Big Tex was always there to greet everyone in BIG TEX's real voice. Who was the genius who thought it was a good idea to let the only part of the real deal go? Boo to you!!! If you are a volunteer, the big tex fans want u to resign because u don't have a clue what the public wants, and if u get paid u should get fired!

Obummer
Obummer

Yo as long as Sandra Fluke be get’in her free birf controls pills what diff’ do it make?

Becky L Hunter
Becky L Hunter

HA HA MIKE I have been to the state fair several times & I don't always find it interesting it seems to be the same ole thing each year & its to expensive to go. I don't know what you mean by me getting out of my LILY WHITE but I have traveled a bit so I'm NOT a home body.

Mike Hathaway
Mike Hathaway

And lightning didn't strike any new rides. It hit close, but no cigar. Here's the video for anyone curious. It's slowed down the on the repeat so you an actually see the strike... http://youtu.be/SXyZ6GkmzhU

casiepierce
casiepierce

Hey people, there's this little button down on the right that reads "REPLY". You know, so if you want to replay to a particular comment, you can do so within context. Makes it easier as I scroll down.

leftocenter
leftocenter

C'mon folks.  He broke a rule, said he was sorry -- no harm no foul.  Do any of you have a job where you can't survive one mistake?

Regarding the creepy over-identified persona, we are Texans.  We have never hidden our eccentrics!  We display them with unabashed pride -- just look at our Governor!  He's (Bill Bragg not Gov Perry) been part of this "Big Tex" experience for a long time.  I am sad for him.  Shame of those who fired him.  It seems he was fired for extreme enthusiasm for his job. 

The rest of us are posting comments on company time...

Beverly Karen Cox Regan
Beverly Karen Cox Regan

He's not the original and he talks too slow anyway. Anyone can do this job. Give it to someone that follows the rules.

RJDallas
RJDallas

Many years ago D Magazine did a study and found that North Park was more dangerous than Fair Park.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Daily Finance rates the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.  Both are just southeast of Fair Park.

The area around Route 352 and Scyene Rd. comes in at #9

The area around 2nd and Hatcher comes in at #12

JackJett
JackJett

I would like to be the Voice of Big Tex.  I think it is time to out this Big Queen and show him as the flamer he turned out to be. 

Will
Will

Being Big Tex is one of those critical, life-affirming foundations of identity like being a Top Commenter on Unfair Park. You take either away from someone and it can only end in tears.

Jim Davis
Jim Davis

A cheated man is a dangerous man...

BigMex
BigMex

Though the fair has dug in its heels, Bill could still have the last laugh. All the dude has to do is show up at the fair every day in his signature clothes, signing autographs and posing for pictures with fairgoers. -Trust me it will drive his control freak of an ex-employer nuts. They'll face the Hobson's Choice of putting up with him for the run of the fair or making him even more famous by having him arrested. 


downtownworker
downtownworker

I feel bad for the guy, but damn, doesn't the State Fair have the right to say they wanna go in a new direction? Clearly they are trying to make the new Big Tex less awkward and creepy. Maybe they want a younger voice.

Becky L Hunter
Becky L Hunter

He WAS fired so he needs to move on to another job maybe RADIO. There are Broadcasting schools here in Dallas.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

"Bragg, 66, said he received confirmation on Tuesday afternoon that his contract wasn’t renewed. The news came in an email.

“It’s the saddest day of my life,” Bragg said. “I’m broken-hearted. … It’s just the most important thing, the thing that I’m most proud of, is gone.”

“I thought everyone loved me, including the State Fair,” Bragg said. “I guess it was everyone else and not the State Fair.”"

Man, I remember the days where your employer actually brought you in or at least fired you over the phone. 

Andy Hogue
Andy Hogue

Whoa ... who's talking entitlements, here? I'm just saying we all have our "thing."

Scott W. Hatfield
Scott W. Hatfield

what E. Scott Arnold said...he screwed up and it is time to move on.

Todd Steinberg
Todd Steinberg

So you're saying he's entitled to his job despite what his employers think?

tyarmstrong
tyarmstrong

Many companies would LOVE to have an employee that is obsessed with their job and willing to work at the same pay. I say let the man do what he loves. Just another Dallas Observer article representing the cockiness and pretentiousness of Dallas. 

Andy Hogue
Andy Hogue

C'mon, don't take away the man's identity! That's his thing.

Kelvin Bradford
Kelvin Bradford

This guy is definitely sad. SMH! There are 1000 other guys in this city who would love to have that job. Besides, it's just a voice over job. He can find another one.

Todd Steinberg
Todd Steinberg

Move on, dude. You're like the ex-boyfriend that won't stop texting.

Kelli Roy Hale
Kelli Roy Hale

anyone who merges their identity to such an extreme as this guy did and is doing runs the risk of acting out in ways that are unacceptable to security and safety IMO>

E. Scott Arnold
E. Scott Arnold

Lets see...he blatantly disregarded the rules of his employer and now cries foul? Sorry, termination was warranted.

Mike Hathaway
Mike Hathaway

ROTFLMAO Becky Hunter. The WORST part of town? Oh honey.. you really need to get out of your lily white North of LBJ unreality.

Becky L Hunter
Becky L Hunter

The state fair is BORING its a waste of time & money & its in THE WORST part of town. I'm glad I live in COLLIN COUNTY. There is NOTHING wrong in loving your job, Bill HAS the right to own trinkets of the state fair & Big Tex after all that WAS his job HE WAS BIG TEX. Grant it that he shouldn't wear his uniform out side of work but thats NO reason to fire him.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@casiepierce it' s not the people, it's the dang Livefyre.  It jumbles the responses from facebook and just starts putting them anywhere.  And from facebook you can't see any of the livefyre responses to your responses in context either.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@casiepierce So... then you'll "replay" the reply replicated repeatedly by repetitious, repellent repackaging reprobates?

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

@RJDallas The residents of the neighborhood Fair Park(not the park) like to go to the mall just like everyone else. They just go for different reasons. 

Bobtex
Bobtex

@BigMex I would bet that the State Fair has trademark protection for Big Tex, and that Bill Bragg would get sued for trademark infringement.  And probably lose.  Workers in Texas have almost no job protection if they are not union members (or otherwise are not protected by a contract for labor) because any Texas employer can fire any Texas employee for almost any reason (or, actually, just no reason) at all.  But Texas is a Right-To-Work state, which means that Texas is a Right-Not-To-Be-Employed state.

director21
director21

@DirtyP1 If being fired as the voice of Big Tex is the saddest day of Bragg's life, if it is "just the most important thing", if it is "the thing that I'm most proud of", then Bragg needs to get a life! The job is not THAT great.

As a kid, I went to the fair every year, sometimes twice a year. Not once did I stand around watching and listening to Big Tex. It was a novelty as you entered or departed the Midway, but I never gave it a second thought other than for its size. This poor man is taking that job far too seriously. Perhaps he could find happiness in a job that actually helped others or contributed something of value to society. His whimpering and pouting just seems so petty.

Daniel
Daniel

@tyarmstrong  Don't like it, go to the "Tyler Observer" website. It's earnest as a son-of-a-bitch, and has tons of adorable kitten pics.

pinkiejfk
pinkiejfk

It's just a voice over? Hmm, finding a voice over for another Big Tex will be rather difficult. This man is an older man who loves his job and why shouldn't he because there's only one big Tex. He had a very special job which made him have pride in himself and that's good to feel good about oneself.

director21
director21

@E. Scott Arnold Exactly what rules did he disregard? The story indicates there was a contract dispute. I am not questioning the accuracy of what you stated, just asking for a precise explanation of exactly what Bragg did.

Daniel
Daniel

@Mike Hathaway 

In fairness, the neighborhood immediately to the east/southeast of Fair Park is, in fact, one of the worst in town. Take a walk down Lagow Street sometime.

director21
director21

@Becky Hunter What is important to know is, how does the Dallas Citizens Council feel about this matter? They are, after all, the ONLY ones in the city whose opinions count for anything.

RJDallas
RJDallas

@Becky Hunter I'm glad you live in Collin County, too!

mcdallas
mcdallas

@Becky Hunter PLEASE USE MORE ALL CAPS.  THAT WAY WE KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS important!

UPutTheCuntInCountry
UPutTheCuntInCountry

@Becky Hunter Stay classy in Collin County, Becky. What time is the key party Saturday night?

Daniel
Daniel

@Becky Hunter 

Ha ha! Stay out of the big, scary city, hon. Everybody knows that anything that matters happens in the exurbs. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@RTGolden1 Why the poor schmuck gets all bent out of shape over such nonsense is what I don't get.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Daniel No it;s a little further northeast and in the "Five Points" area of Vickery Meadow. Take a walk down Fair Oaks sometime.

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