King is senior editor in UNT's Office of University Communications
and Marketing. In addition to the teams mentioned here, she's
cheered Kittens, Badgers and Bears in her days as a football
follower. She's also a big Stars fan, but that's another story.
STRATEGY AND SUSPENSE. There was epic conflict. There was Frito
I was 12
years old and rooting for the Poochies, my seventh-grade football
team. They battled valiantly to a scoreless tie.
day, Im not sure exactly what a Poochie is, but I know my
love for football started with that game. Those boys looked like
knights out to save the kingdom, all shiny and padded, their helmets
falling over their faces as surely as any medieval visor. Youve
never seen such an earnest effort to win the day.
that early impression, some of my very best memories are football
memories. In high school Id go to games at the local college
(Texas A&I, it was called then), where the Javelinas played.
It was like a family in those stands, literally. At every home game,
Mrs. Hill stood at the bottom of the steps cheering for her son
David, on good plays and bad. You knew shed be there without
fail, and it made you feel good to witness that kind of unerring
support and to feel it yourself. The band played Jalisco
and the fans rattled the bleachers as needed. I got to watch Darrell
Green return punts (hes now a Pro Bowl cornerback in his 19th
season with the Washington Redskins).
days the days of Tom Landry I was a rabid Cowboys
fan. I never missed a game on television, and the first one I attended
at Texas Stadium was truly transcendent. That December game turned
out to be one for the ages. They came from behind twice to win
against the Redskins, no less.
Roger Staubach later devoted an entire chapter of his autobiography
to it. I was the coldest I ever remember being, and our $6 seats
were in the very top row of the end zone. But, oh, the joy of that
day, watching the game I loved with all my heroes on the field.
recent favorite football memories are all about North Texas. Several
years back, some co-workers and I sat in the middle of the student
seats, cheering the team to victory, singing Margaritaville
with the tuba section and helping body-surf Scrappy up the stands.
One year my mom went with me (shes also a football fan) and
we sat in the sunshine with our shades on, soaking in every play.
years Homecoming game, my friends and I slapped our plastic
noisemakers together almost without ceasing. We reveled in the good
plays, bemoaned the bad and along the way enjoyed the bands
tribute to Queen. Theres nothing like a little Bohemian
Rhapsody to top off your day.
way back in the seventh grade that football is a game of moments.
It can turn on one lost fumble, one errant kick, one good tackle,
one yard gained. Talent and brawn help, but Ive seen determination
and courage, and sometimes just plain luck, win out many times.
In the end,
for me as it was in the beginning its the effort
itself thats worth celebrating and remembering. That, and
the feeling that youre part of the family. You just cant
beat it. And the seasons here again.