A Love Letter to Texas Tech Football

I thought I could easily live in Beaumont since I lasted four years in Lubbock, Texas. While I’ve traded high winds for hurricanes and red dirt for cockroaches without too much protest, there’s one hole left in my life: college football.

In Southeast Texas, it’s high school or pro with no room in between. Sure, you’ll find a few Aggies or Longhorns, but it seems my fellow Red Raiders have an unwritten law that keeps them at least an hour West of Louisiana.

Maybe it’s a hint that, after years graduated, I should move on from my College Football days. Still, sometimes I hear the chant of “Crabtree” or smell a freshly thrown tortilla with just a hint of turf. I can still see the metallic glint of bleachers as they are torn out of the student section and passed onto the field.

It’s the only time of year I regret not having cable. I run through my contact lists, trying to find one local friend who might understand the pain of loving an underdog team with a reputation of losing just as fiercely as they win.

“You were at Tech during the glory days – the days of Mike Leach,” an acquaintance recently whispered. “Did you rush the field after the UT upset?”

“No,” I pouted. “But my husband did.”

I can still remember the excitement of watching Crabtree catch that final pass, albeit from a television. I nearly cried. I jumped up and down and screamed. I hugged my sister. I maniacally laughed in the face of a scowling Longhorn fan. We’d been watching the game from a friend’s apartment, afraid even to be at Third Base in Austin where Red Raider Alumni typically gathered. We were so prepared for a loss. Without hesitation, we hopped in our cars and drove downtown, just to be a few red shirts in a crowd of burnt orange; finally able to be fans in public. At least for one night.

And then, the dark days. The days of Tuberville. I lasted only a few games. In my heart, I was a pirate. I wanted to go for it at 4th and 3. I wanted to onside kick. I wanted to be an underdog. We no longer won or lost with emphasis, with zeal. It was no longer fun to be a Red Raider.

But now, with Kingsley at the helm, I feel like this season could be the one. With my college sweetheart now my husband, this could be the year I drive to Austin just to be another red shirt in a crowd of burnt orange.

P.S. If you’re a local Red Raider, or you know of any local bars that screen Texas Tech Football games, share a little love, won’t you?

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