The days are getting shorter, and I don’t like that. I like daylight. The only thing to console me is that it’s football season! I love football. I grew up on it. My dad and my brothers played so it was a part of our household. I learned to understand the game.
So why was football so influential in my family? It all started when my dad was growing up in Texas with his five brothers. They were a rough-and-tumble group who played football in the front yard, but the sides weren’t equal. A local Church of Christ minister would play with them as long as they promised to come to church on Sunday morning. My dad and my uncles say that poor minister really took a beating. He must have really wanted them to come because they were hard on him. They kept their promise and showed up on Sunday morning.
My dad played football in high school and was on the state championship team a couple of years. He was named honorable mention on the All State Team one year and made All State the next. His childhood buddy, Jerry Tubbs, played beside him all through junior high and high school. When they graduated, Jerry urged Dad to go to Oklahoma with him, but Dad decided to attend Texas A&M. Jerry ended up playing well for the Sooners and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys where he played for 10 years and coached for 22 more.
Right after high school graduation, Mom and Dad were married. They headed off to Texas A&M where Bear Bryant was coach. Coach Bryant was known for being tough and he was. And he didn’t like married players. He wanted players who thought of nothing else but football. Wives were a distraction. A few days before leaving for Junction, Dad and Coach Bryant had a falling out. Dad quit the team and stayed with my mom. I’m grateful for that because otherwise, I might not be here.
Football changed our family’s direction. My dad came from very poor circumstances. First, he married well (or married up, as he puts it). Second, through football, he was able to go to college where he met a very influential professor named P.C. Key who changed the direction of his life. His love of football has stayed with him. When he retired, he was a school counselor and an assistant high school football coach.
If it hadn’t been for football, my life would have been drastically different. I’m thankful for the game that helped make me who I am and where I am. And that’s why I’m a fan.