Weekly Column: There’s Only One

I love living in California.  You know I do.  But there’s one time of year that I do not love living here.  Football season.

As a matter of fact, it makes me cry I miss gameday so much.  Do I cry over missing my family?  My friends?  My home state?  Uh…no really.  (sorry, everybody.)  But sing the first few words to the OU Chant and tears will be running down my cheeks in no time.

Some of you may relate.  Some of you might think that I have lost my mind.  But I have a feeling that those of you who relate grew up wearing crimson and cream.

It seems silly, doesn’t it?  That a girl could be so emotional about football?  But I have often said (and possibly right here on this very blog) that there has been one constant in my life: Section 5, Row 9 in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.  Let me explain.  My great-grandfather bought those tickets.  Our family has been sitting in that section on that row for–literally–decades.  Those seats are like home to me.

  • As I little girl, I sat there when it was the weekend with my dad.  When you’re parents divorce and you are an only child and a girl, weekends alone with your dad can be a challenge.  But game days were special.  I looked forward to them.  They were comfortable and fun.
  • I sat there in college instead of the student section trying to spot the boy I liked across the field.  He was sitting in the student-athlete section near the bottom with his teammates.  A bunch of cute golfers.  Eventually, he came over to sit with me.
  • I sat there pregnant, focusing more on my game dog that the game itself.
  • And most recently, I sat there with my 2 boys during an A&M game watching their whole faces smile with excitement and delight.  They are being raised as Californians, but they will always be Sooners.
When we moved to California, I didn’t officially get homesick until I turned on the television to watch the first home game.  I cried looking at the stadium.  All I could think was, “All the people we love are in the very same place.”  Because of course, they were.  There’s no other place you’d rather be on a Saturday in the fall.
So every year around this time, I feel myself missing home, missing Norman (the city, not my dog.)  I miss the friends who would stop by our house for a cold beer before the game.  I miss meeting up with our family at The Library for a game dog.  I miss walking to the stadium, hearing strangers yell out, “Boomer!” to which of course you would reply, “Sooner!”
L.A. is great for a lot of reasons.  Wanna do some shopping?  This is your place.  Need a day at the beach?  Just minutes away.  Sure, there’s some good college football here, but it just isn’t the same.  I will fly our OU flag and the boys will wear their OU gear to school every Friday, but no one will really appreciate it.  I will wear a T-shirt in early October that says, “Beat Texas” and will remark several times throughout the season how much I hate the color orange and no one else in town will understand.  I will get up at 7AM every Saturday to watch College GameDay and will be furious when Fox Sports West shows a west coast team instead of our team.  My team.
Because after all, there’s only one team that matters.  There’s only 1 Oklahoma.


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