In the south, we do things that might sound a little weird to other folks that aren’t southern – especially those who aren’t from Texas. I like to call it southern charm. I was born and raised in this amazing state and we have our own unique charm as well. Some people think we ride horses to work, but that not true – for most of us anyhow.

We love football. From cheering for the local high school team on Friday nights to the NFL games on TV; but, especially  our college teams. We love those teams like you love a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning.

It’s funny how we pick our teams. Most of the time we had a family member that went to the school a half-century or so ago and so naturally, you have to love that team by default. If you tease that you like another team, your grandmother might not remember your next birthday. It’s serious business here. And this is especially true for my dad’s side of the family.

I grew up loving the best university in Texas. That’s right; you know the one: hook’em horns! I’m praying that they will have a better season this year than they have the last few years. It’s been really sad.

There’s just nothing better than a great college football game in the fall. There’s just something right about turning on the television with some chips and drinks to cheer on the team that you love. The thought of it is making me really miss the colder weather in Dallas. This summer has been hotter than a hot tamale!

When it was time for me to go to college, I chose Texas Woman’s University, a school without a football team. My favorite shirt at the school bookstore has an image of a football and under the football it says ‘TWU Football: Undefeated Since 1901.’ While I never bought one of the shirts, I have friends that did. On one occasion, my friend was wearing the shirt out in the Denton square and a stranger came up and was so amazed that we were undefeated for all that time. True story. I’m not even making it up!

Since I went to a school without a football team, I feel like I can pick whatever team I want. That has been my motto since day one at TWU. Again, I love college football. Now, a lot of people don’t know that TWU has a long history with Texas A&M. In fact, TWU and Texas A&M were in the same ‘family.’  And for that reason I do feel like I should give Texas A&M a little bit of love during the season. That and I do have a cousin that went to Texas A&M. So I suppose I’m like 50% Aggie – so – gig’em!

This week I was thinking about how I couldn’t imagine going to or cheering for a university because I hated that school so bad. My mother has always said that hate is just a hard word. There are teams that I just don’t like at all. Not because of anyone who does or doesn’t go to that school, but just because of the team rivalry.

One of those schools that I’ve had such a particular distaste for is Oklahoma University. Boomer Sooner losers, as I like to say. However, today I will proudly say Boomer Sooner – just for this one day.

Yes, I know my Texas Longhorn family are going to look at me with a glare, but I do have a good reason for this.

Last week my family said goodbye to an amazing man. My great uncle Kenneth was a professor at OU for almost fifty years in the department of philosophy. He was a strong man of faith and the most humble person I have ever known. When I would visit with him, he would always teach me something new. He had no clue that he was doing it, or maybe he did. I guess you can take a teacher out of the classroom but the passion to teach will always be there.

So, uncle Kenneth, thank you for teaching me so many new things for all of those years. You taught me to cling to the cross when your faith is being tested. You and Vanita truly taught me how to love my spouse well. You taught me to believe in myself and expanded my vocabulary with a new word every time I saw you that I definitely didn’t know how to spell. A big thing I will miss is how great you were at story telling. No one could tell a story as good as you. For all of these things and so much more, thank you.

Kenneth would tell us all that learning doesn’t stop when you finish school. Be a lifetime learner in all you do. Read, then read some more, then read a little more, than get started reading. Build up your vocabulary and make your life count for something.

For you uncle Kenneth – Boomer Sooner! I hope they have a good football season this year, but, as usual, I sure hope that Texas beats them once again.

Who in your life has challenged you? Who has made you think beyond the scope of your opinions, thoughts and dreams?

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