Saturday, September 05, 2009

It's just a game?

Cruising through facebook status updates this morning, I was shocked at the number of people, both male and female, who commented on the beginning of the football season. And not just football in general but college football specifically.

The allegiance is understandable. When you consider that everyone had an older cousin that went to the University down the road and brought them an oversized team sweatshirt home at Christmas. We're taught at a young age who to love (and also who to hate). We continue to pay student loans off into our 30's, as if we are still thanking the University of choice for the opportunity to live on campus for 4 (or 6) years. It's not just a game for most of us. It is tradition.

For me, it's about family. More specifically, it's about my grandmother. From an early age, my grandmother taught us the basics of Oklahoma Sooner football. We love Switzer. We hate Texas. We respect Nebraska. I don't think she knew how to cook but she knew the basics of the Wishbone offense.

I think I can count on one hand the number of home games she missed in nearly 40 years. I sat beside her at the last game she went to the season before she passed away. She sat in the same seat for seasons. Section 9. Row 69. Seat 1. We no longer hold those seats but each time I walk in the stadium I can't help but think how much she would have loved to see Adrian Peterson. Or Sam Bradford. Or how much Tim Tebow would have annoyed her.

Each fall as another season begins, I can't help but think of Gram. It's just a game? No, it's much more than that.

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