I took my seven year old son, a bright and intense boy, who came to a conscious awareness of his love for the Horns this past off season, to his first Texas-OU game this past week. We left before halftime, mostly for the reasons many of us are considering leaving our seats empty the rest of this season. I took his grandmother too, and told her with 6 minutes left in the game that I had more pride in myself and in Texas football as an institution than to sit there and watch the abysmal failure of our team to even try against our most hated rival. I told both of them that I may get clobbered in real life from time to time, but it's not for a lack of effort. So, we left. It was a moral decision a decision about values, quite frankly.
One beat down is easy to handle, four are not. He's only seen one. God I've seen all four, three in person. I saw those before Mack Brown too, they were not nearly as bad. The horrific part is, there are more coming, we all know it. In addition, the kiddo loves Texas football. He wants to go to the game. But he wants to see Texas win. He awoke to his love for Texas football last Thanksgiving and over the off season literally watching the Texas - Texas A&M game for breakfast 4 mornings a week. He has read books from the library, he knows Ricky Williams, Vince Young, Colt McCoy, Earl Campbell, etc. He has watched the great games and knows Texas football lore. He knows OU is our hated rival and he hated that we lost. He actually cried when we got home and said, "I didn't have any fun [despite dropping a few hundo on candy, funnel cakes, sodas and many rides at the Fair], because Texas didn't score any touchdowns and Oklahoma did." He then proceeded to show me how his hand was OU and how he was going to "punch them in the face" like this. He then repeatedly pounded his hand with his fist. Kid's done for, he's a Horn and a pretty intense one at that.
Now I'm starring down the barrel of the $#@! fest that is the next 3-5 years of Mack Brown's tenure and watching this program rot at its core. Instead of just saying, screw it, I'm out, I actually have to teach my son loyalty and pride to a program in the face of its precipitous and long term decline, and a decline that flies in the face of my values, our values and the values of Texas football, the institution.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
I know what my folks did, the continued to take me to the games, we stayed til the end of every game and the result was 1985-1998. As my wife would text in response to options she doesn't like, "Blarghh"
other dads of young ones?