Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

     Another Father’s Day is here and I am here only wishing I could spend it with mine. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dad. I wonder what type of angelic trouble he is getting himself into. He was a real jester. Some may have considered him “ornery”. I thought he was funny as hell. I’m not saying I’m funny – but I definitely know where my sense of humor comes from. 

     My dad is also the reason I am the sports nut I am. You know the story of how I was almost born on a baseball field. He spent practically his entire life on a baseball field. After his playing days were over he coached for many, many years. After his coaching days were over he just coudn’t stay away so he umpired almost every night of the week. When he wasn’t behind the plate calling strikes and balls he was working in the local minor league team office selling tickets. Anything to still be part of the game. I promise, he is up in heaven organizing a game as you read this.

     Baseball wasn’t the only sport he loved. He was fond of all of them. He had competition running through his veins. I also inherited that from him. He is the reason I am a die hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Though we agreed on most teams, the Steelers were not one of them. I learned watching football was a way to spend some time with him since he was coaching the majority of the time. I knew that he would be in front of the tv every Sunday watching football. It was always in a back room because my mom had her fill of sports for the week by the time Sunday came around. I started going back there with him and that’s when I discovered the Steelers. My dad was cheering for the opposition – not because he was a fan, but because he probably had a bet on them. It was right then and there as a 7 year old little girl that I decided the Steelers were my team. Not only because they were winning but because my dad didn’t want them to and I got his attention by rooting for the “bad guys.” I loved that attention from him. After that we watched football together every Sunday. I stayed loyal to the Steelers and he remained loyal to the team he laid money on. Those Sundays were some of the best days of my childhood.

     Some other favorite memories of being with my dad are being at Busch stadium. We went to St. Louis a lot when I was growing up. Our family were all Cardinals fans whether we wanted to be or not. There were so many long, hot days spent at the ballpark but I wouldn’t change it for anything. As I reflect back, seeing my dad in his “element” is a memory I will cherish forever. He had his program, his pencils, and the line ups already pre-written out. He was a stat machine and wrote down every single stat possible for every single player. There wasn’t a sports trivia question he couldn’t answer. At those games he was coaching from the bleachers and wasn’t afraid to yell advise to the coaches or to anyone who would listen. 

     Speaking of giving a coach advice – my dad gave Bob Stoops a LOT of advice. When Coach Stoops would do the Coach’s show on the radio my dad called in EVERY SINGLE TIME. I was horrified. I just knew Bob would find out I was Ken in Tulsa’s daughter and be banned from campus and the stadium forever. Now, I just laugh. Lincoln Riley is getting off easy – trust me. My dad was a loyal Barry Switzer fan, so when Bob came in he saw some potential and he believed it was up to him to make him and our beloved Sooners winners again. Good job, Dad.

     One of my favorite memories with my dad is my first trip to Norman and a Sooners game. I was so excited that it was just him and I going to a football game. I had no idea I was getting ready to walk into the fire that would consume my soul for the rest of my life. Who knew a 9 year old girl would get cold chills walking up a ramp and seeing a football field. I’ll never forget that feeling. I wanted to be part of it. Dad bought me this kick ass white satin jacket with red Sooners across the front and Oklahoma on the back. It was 4 times too big but I didn’t care. I was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  I think it fit for 5 seasons after that. Every time I wore it I was so proud. Not only of the jacket itself, but because my dad bought it for me and his eyes lit up whenever he saw me in it. So many cherished memories.

     My most precious memory of all has to be my wedding day. I’m not sure if my dad’s heart was breaking because his daughter was getting married or because she was marrying a guy that went to Oklahoma State. The only betrayal worse would be if he woud have been from Texas. Dad BEGGED me not to marry this guy. Not as hard as I begged to wear a tux to give me away. It was the first and only time he would wear one. How handsome he looked that day – even after the rough start. When it was time to leave for the church he had locked himself in the bathroom. My mom and I were getting angry – our nerves were already peaking – and here he is trying to make us late. As I angrily approached the door to bang on it in a violent, bridezilla rage, I heard a sound I had never heard before. My dad was crying. The biggest, strongest man I had ever known was crying. All I could do was stand there and listen. It was that moment that I realized he was in pain. He felt like he was losing his little girl. I told him we would meet him at the church. I let him have his moment and I knew he wouldn’t let me down and he would show up on time. And he did. I never did let him know what I heard. Never. Now, all the way down the aisle he told me the car was right out front and ready to go – all I had to do is turn around and run for it. “I can’t believe you’re marrying and OSU guy. Where did I go wrong?” Those were his last words spoken before he gave me away.

     As much as he hated the thought of me living in a house divided, he was always good to my husband. And he was the ONLY person that came to me and just let me cry and be angry when my husband died. No questions asked. He was just there. I think it was partly because he didn’t have the words and didn’t want to say the wrong thing. But mostly I think he was just there to make sure I was ok. I  remember asking him to leave and I don’t know if I ever told him how much I appreciated his presence. 

     And now here we are. Another Father’s Day without him. So much was left unsaid that I will never forgive myself for not saying. Just like so many others, I wish I had just one more moment with him. I do take some comfort in knowing that in my my heart I think he knows. I believe he is looking down on me and can hear me tell him on this special day and every day – I love and miss you, Dad. 

     Oh and Dad, please be the angel on Lincoln Riley’s shoulder. I know you’re leading a choir with crimson halos singing Boomer Sooner. 
***FUN DAD FACT*** My dad still holds the national high school baseball record for most grand slams hit in one inning. Stud.

Follow me on Twitter: @soonerleesa

     

     

My Dear Lincoln Letter

Posted: June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

Dear Lincoln,

         I know we don’t know each other very well, but that’s all about to change. I realize it hasn’t been a full day since Bob and I broke up, but I’m not the type of girl that dwells in the past. I must look ahead to the future, and as of yesterday you sir, ARE my future.

        Let me keep this real. Please try to understand my apprehension. But before Bob there was Howard and John. They really jerked me around and left me wounded and angry. But then Bob came along with his big game talk and captured my heart fairly quickly. And as you know, it was good for 18 and a half years. So, I am nowhere near ready to say you and I are destiny. That remains to be seen. I may have some unresolved trust issues, but I am working on that. 

I’m just a crazed fan/alum doing my best to move on. Don’t let the term “crazed” scare you. It’s not like I am going to be calling or texting you fifty times a day or hanging out outside your house or the locker room.

Yet.

       Also, Lincoln you’re going to have to understand that I may never get over Bob. There will ALWAYS be a place in my heart for him. We had a long, happy relationship and I am still not to the “letting go” point. So, in those intimate game time moments if I scream out his name, please forgive me. I’ve seen you in a visor. You can pull it off, but not quite like him. Maybe I prefer a more mature man. Maybe I’m not comfortable with being labeled a cougar. Whatever it is, my feelings for Bob were and are real and probably will remain for a long time.

      That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to give us a chance. I’m here and I’m open to whatever this becomes. I know you’re an intelligent guy and understand you are about to attempt to fill some really big shoes. Enormous shoes. And you know what they saw about a guy with big feet? That’s right, they beat Texas, Ok. State, and win big XII Championships.

       Not only do I like and/or prefer big feet, I also absolutely adore shiny things. Shiny things that sit on a shelf and shiny things that fit on a finger – not necessarily my finger. And Lincoln, if you really want to win my heart forever – and I’m sure this is your priority – bring me a National Championship shiny object. Bob did. Once. He tried more than once, but it wasn’t written in the stars. But he provided a LOT of bling in our time together. This is your chance to prove to me that not only can you wear Bob’s shoes but you can complain that they are too tight.

        I do appreciate how you are open to letting Bob remain in my life as a friend. There’s no need for jealousy, you just have to learn to grasp that he will always be there to support us. Your understanding in this matter shows me you may be more mature than I thought. You may be young, but so far it seems just maybe you’ve got this adulting thing down.

       SO here I am. Just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her. I’m sure I can learn to love you in return. Until then I will be supportive, positive, and only good words will fall from my lips when I speak your name. After all, we are now a couple and it is up to us to become a power couple.

     Just as I ended my “Dear Bob Letter” yesterday with a song lyric, I shall end yours with one as well. As Travis Tritt said back in the 90’s:

So what I really need to know is, can I trust you with my heart?

I’m ready for the Life of Riley.

Love and Boomer Sooner,

Leesa

Follow me on Twitter: @soonerleesa

A Dear Bob Letter

Posted: June 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

Dear Bob,

       As soon as the news broke my phone started blowing up. So much I thought it was going to break like my heart. I want to be happy for you – but first I must get past my own selfish heartbreak. I always was and always will be a tremendous fan. 18 years we’ve been together and for those 18 years I was a devoted, supportive, loving girl who stood up for you when others threw harsh criticism your way.

         I wore a visor proudly because you did. I was at every home game. I traveled a lot of miles when you weren’t in Norman just to stand by your side. And this is all I get? I had to read this as “breaking news” like every other sports fan in the free world? You could have a least called – or even sent a text. I’m sure you have given this an abundance amount of thought but you have to understand how abrupt this news was to me. It hit me harder than the cops in Fayetteville hit Baker Mayfield on Dickson Street.

          Though the reason is not clear and the speculation is running rampant as I type this, I can’t help but think, is there somebody else? I am hard pressed to believe that as I’m quite positive I would have heard SOMETHING about it by now. People talk, Bob. But if I were to believe everything I read or hear I would have no choice but to believe you want to spend some quality time with your wife and family. What kind of man leaves a loyal fan behind like that? This isn’t about you, this is all about ME.

           But don’t worry about me. At least I don’t have to go through the search and turmoil to find a replacement for you. There’s a younger guy waiting to step in and take your place. And honestly, it won’t take a lot for me to “learn” to love him – he has been impressing me for the past 2 years. It should be a significantly short amount of time before I am over you.

            Ok, ok that is bullshit. I will NEVER get over you. I will ALWAYS love you and I will forever be grateful for the time you have given me. Sure, we had our ups and downs, but you came into my life and turned a negative situation into a very positive one. You have done great things. Record breaking things in fact and for that I will hold you in the highest regards and have nothing but fond memories of our time together. I will think of you when the new guy is holding the championship trophy in his younger, rugged, capable hands.

             I can’t end this without asking the question that fills my heart and mind. Why? Why did you have to do this on Prince’s birthday? Why must you choose such a sacred day to add daggers to my shattered heart? I will await your answer along with a proper farewell. Until then, please understand that as dejected as I am feeling right now, I do wish you all the best. I do hope you find what you are looking for, and most of all I thank you for the memories. And because it is Prince’s (RIP) birthday I will leave you with this:

I only want to see your visor in the crimson rain………….

You will always be Big Game Bob to me.

Love always and Boomer Sooner,

Leesa

 

Follow me on Twitter: @soonerleesa

 

I’m just a girl who loves sports.

I’m a card carrying, certified, bonafide sports fan. It is in my dna. This is a fact, I am not embellishing.

For instance, I was practically born on a baseball field. Seriously, my mom was at the ball park watching my dad play and she went into labor. A friend went to the dug out to tell my dad that I was ready to slide into home plate and his response was, “Let me bat one more time.” True story. When I was old enough to understand this story I was not surprised at all. In fact I was somewhat disappointed that I wasn’t born on that field. That would have been a really cool story to tell. My name could have been Homer so easily.

 I worked for a minor league hockey team a few years ago. The first time I worked game night I went down by the ice to watch warm ups. The view was amazing but it wasn’t the best choice I have ever made. I got nailed in the ribs with a puck that came from a fairly close range. It really did hurt but I made sure I retrieved said puck and kept it as a souvenir – along with some colorful bruising that seemed to last a good three weeks. It was a proud moment. A proud and painful moment.

I have stories – a lot of stories – that come from the many different sporting events I have been to. But none that compare to my dad and his best friend making their way – I’m sure illegally – to the enemies end zone of the Cotton Bowl and “relieving” themselves on the burnt orange X after Oklahoma lost to that other team in the Red River Rivalry back in the 80’s. I tell about the incident proudly as it’s one of my favorite stories. Who else can say their daddy literally pissed on Texas? I am somewhat glad it was in the 80’s so there is no video evidence or Facebook pics. I guess it would depend upon the angle…….

So here we are in June. The Pittsburgh Penguins are up 2 games to 1 against Nashville in the Stanley Cup playoffs. (That’s hockey for all my “football only” fanatics.) For the first time in like 25 years (don’t quote that number) the Detroit Red Wings didn’t make the playoffs which bummed me out. I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t been paying too much attention to this series, but you better believe I will be watching when it comes time to watch the men with white gloves roll the cup out. There’s nothing like seeing a bunch of tough hockey guys kissing a big ass silver cup and then skating around with it like it’s the hardest trophy in sports to win or something. (Please note the sarcasm in my type)

It’s starting to get hot outside which means the boys of summer are well into their season. My St. Louis Cardinals are playing mediocre so far. I know it’s only June, but they just got swept by the Cubs which really irritates the hell out of me. Now I realize there’s a whole lotta baseball to be played, but it’s going to be a long, unbearable summer if they don’t get their shit together. I will try to be patient, but I need the Cards to NOT get swept again.  Now as much as I love baseball, I will confess that this is definitely the time of year in which I start missing football like Shaquille O’Neal would miss free throws. Speaking of basketball…….

(How do you like THAT Segway???)

The NBA is coming to the season’s end as The Golden State Warriors are up 2 games in the Finals. Unlike last year I personally think they’re another 2 games away from the championship. I don’t see them blowing a lead this season – in fact I predict they will sweep the Cavs and make a perfect 16-0 playoff run and shower the trophy with sweet revenge kisses. It’s not impossible that Cleveland sneaks a victory in, but the way the Warriors are playing it seems as if they are unstoppable. (Prepare yourselves for the Golden State bandwagon to tip over) Now, I’m going to be honest, I don’t really care who wins. The only reason I want Golden State to win is because I don’t want to see Cleveland win again. And the only reason I would want the Cavs to win is because I am a bitter Oklahoma girl who is still holding a grudge against Kevin Durant for bolting from the Thunder to dance with Steph Curry and exchange rings with him. (I know there’s more of you out there who feel my dilemma.) Looks like he is going to get exactly what he went there for. With that being said I will leave the NBA portion of this article with 3 words – well 2 words and an acronym: RUSS WESTBROOK MVP!!!!

As much as Kevin Durant broke my heart – he is a Texas guy, I should have known better – I do have football to look forward to. As I was staring at my calendar today I got really excited. There are only 12 Saturdays until the Sooners kick off!!! Pre-season NFL will be starting before we know it and I will once again be telling everyone I will not be joining near as many Fantasy Football leagues as usually do. That is a lie. A big, fat lie. I will keep on and I will continue to complain about it. I am the reigning champion of a couple of those leagues so I have a title or 2 to defend. By the time football rolls around, maybe I will feel comfortable enough to share the story about when I was asked to leave Arrowhead Stadium for “stalking” Jim Harbaugh. Good story, but still not as entertaining as my dad peeing on that damn burnt orange X. Until then, we can all just dream about kick-off!!!

Oh, special shout out to the Lady Sooners for reaching the World Series Finals for the second year in a row. They’re facing number 1 seeded Florida as I type (0-0 top of the 4th)and hopefully my 10th seeded Sooners will defend their title and bring another championship home to the University of Oklahoma!!! Boomer Sooner!

Hope you’re enjoying your summer –

From a girl who loves sports.

Follow me on Twitter: @soonerleesa

Check out my friend Gabe Morency: Sportsrage on Patreon, UStream and The Fantasy Sports Network.

April Madness – in March.

Posted: March 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

i know what you’re thinking. The NCAA tournament is officially underway and Leesa has something to say about it. I do – I am picking Gonzaga to win it all. And that’s all I have to say about that. Not that I’m not excited for all the excitement that the tourney provides – I absolutely am – but what can I possibly write about it that you haven’t already read and/or heard about? I love March Madness as much as the next guy (or girl) but I must be honest. There is another event that has captured my attention. I am a victim of April Madness.

What is April Madness you ask? It is the name I have given to the obsession of watching a live cam perched in the corner of a giraffe pen at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.The star of the show is named April and she is pregnant and there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world watching in hopes of seeeing her calf born.I have become slightly obsessed with April. It doesn’t help that tomorrow will be my third day off from work due to strep throat and a sinus infestion. It’s been me, April, medicine, and a lot of kleenex. So if you haven’t figured it out by now, this article really isn’t about sports. Unless you’re into giraffe gestation games.

Quick background: April is 15 years old and is about to give birth to her 4h calf. The father of the calf is Oliver – who is 5 years old. So, apparently not only is April a giraffe, she is also a cougar. This will be Oliver’s first calf, but I can’t tell if he really cares or not. They keep them in seperate pens because apparently Oliver is the Christian Grey of the jungle world and he likes to play a little rough. I did happen to catch them in April’s pen together at one point when the keepers were cleaning his out. Ollie strutted on over, nuzzled his neck against hers and she practically bitch slapped him, walked away then turned and glared at him as if she were saying, “You did this to me, you horny bastard.” I’m pretty sure she wasn’t referring to the horns on top of his head.

Anyway, the gestation period for a giraffe is 15 months and from what I’ve read there’s really not a lot of signs when the blessed event is going to take place. They normally give birth standing up and you don’t even realize it until  you see hooves appear. Yes, it will look like there are hooves protruding out of April’s ass.Then the rest of the bouncing 6 foot tall, 150 pound baby will follow. Apparently they show no signs of labor so -when in their natural habitat-predators will not attack and kill the baby. I have also learned that after the calf is weaned they will transfer the offspring to another zoo. This is done to keep incest from happening. This whole time I thought giraffes came from Africa, but apparently they like to get jiggy with immediate family members. Who knew giraffes were actually from Alabama?

I have been April watching for a couple of weeks. Just recently I discovered there is a live chat room on the YouTube site I watch her on. This is a chat room full of self-proclaimed giraffe experts. After watching this chat room I felt a lot better about myself. Let me give you an example of some of the things that have been said in this room. “I can see she is contracting.” WHAT? Really? Did you travel up her uterus with a go-cam? No. That is the baby kicking, dumb ass. 

“Her knees look swollen. Poor thing.” Her knees look like giraffe knees. Who knows, they might be swollen, but you can’t tell that from your momma and daddy’s basement. Oh, and then the amount of people that talk to her like she can actually hear them. “Come on, April – we’re all here cheering for you.” or “Hi April. You’re such a beautiful girl and we love you.” Even if she could hear you she probably doesn’t speak dumb assisty. I’m not gonna lie – I did at one point imagine she was having a conversation with Oliver about how stupid humans are. And they had British accents. You know, like David Beckham and Posh Spice having a conversation at dinner.

The best question so far in the room of idiots was “Does the baby climb up her neck and then April has to spit it out?” Yes. Yes, you fucking moron. Except there is a baby escalator that the baby gets on and rides up to her mouth and THEN she regurgitates her baby. This is when I learned there are “modertors” in the chat room that have the power of kicking people out. I have not been allowed access since.

So now it is just me and April with Oliver lurking in the background. At this point it feels like she is on her second year of pregancy.There are jokes that she is only faking it. She is an older woman and maybe she thought Oliver had his eye on a younger woman so she is trying to trap him. All I know is if I don’t see some hooves from ass soon I’m going to be real disappointed. It has become a distraction and I realized I have a real problem when I started hearing Salt n Pepa singing “Push It” in my head everytime I look at April.

Have that damn baby giraffe, April. I’ve got some basketball to watch. Go Zags.

Follow me on Twitter: @soonerleesa

So here we are. Another football season has come and gone. Yes, I realize the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl have yet to be played but MY football season has ended. It didn’t end on a great note but it also was a pretty good year for my teams. My Oklahoma Sooners went on a 10 game winning streak to not only win the Big XII but also grabbed a Sugar Bowl championship against Auburn. (SEC! SEC! SEC! SEC u later.) My Steelers fought their way into the playoffs as a wild card and made it to the AFC Championship game. We all know what happened – or what didn’t happen there. They lost. They lost big.

Not only did I have to endure the painful taunting from the few Patriot fans I know I also had to watch Edwin McCain – one of my all time favorite singers/musicians sing the National Anthem IN A DAMN PATRIOT’S JERSEY. I should have seen the result coming at that moment. Edwin, you broke my heart and I am still suffering from PTSD from the vision more than 24 hours later. I’m not sure if there’s therapy for my ailment but I am willing to research it. Surely there’s a support group for this kind of thing.

Speaking of support groups; Hi, I’m Leesa and I am a Hatriot. Yes, you read that correctly. I have incessant hate for the Patriots. According to my social media pages, I am not alone. I think we should start our own support group and our first meeting should be Super Bowl Sunday. I have seen several posts in which people are saying they’re not even going to watch the game. I’d be lying if I said that thought never crossed my mind. It did. For a split second, but I know me better than that. Plus, I think the Falcons have a legitimate shot of beating the DeFlatriots. Atlanta looks damn good. If this happens I definitely want to watch New England go down. Needless to say, I am watching the game and I am cheering for the Falcons. 

It could be worse. Dallas could be playing the Pats in the big game. For me that would be like watching Satan split in half on a football field. So I guess there is a positive to this whole thing. That may be the one Super Bowl I couldn’t bring myself to watch. I don’t care how many kegs are at a party. There’s not enough booze in any bar that could make me enjoy watching those 2 teams playing for the Lombardi Trophy. Thank the football gods that this is not happening.

Someone at work today said they heard somewhere that if the Patriots win that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick might retire. I haven’t heard this personally but the thought of puts a smile on my face. My life would improve if I never had to see Bill in a hoodie again. Unfortunately though I’m almost sure Brady would go into broadcasting so I would still have to see his  pompous face every Sunday. After all, he did play for Belichick so he’s had plenty of experience in front of a camera.

Yes, another football season has come to an end. Now I can watch more hockey and basketball. March Madness is just around the corner! And don’t forget, my beloved St. Louis Cardinals open the season in 68 days. But who’s counting? Until then, rise up, Falcons and beat the hell out of thse other guys! I’m doing the dirty bird in your honor.

Follow me om Twitter: @soonerleesa

Check out the guys at SportNewsMagazine.com.

Bedlam Moment

Posted: December 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

I was born a sports fan. In fact, I was literally darn near born on a baseball field.  My dad was playing in a game and my mom was in the stands and went into labor. A friend went to the dugout to inform him. The friend returned back to the stands with this message to my mom: “Just let me bat one more time.” He did. He homered, touched all the bases and then ran straight from home plate to the car. The rest is history.

When I was younger my dad was so wrapped up in the baseball world, as our entire family was that I felt I didn’t get to spend enough time with him. So when I was around 7 or 8 I decided I was going to sit down with him and watch football so I could get that quality “father and daughter” time. I felt left out when he went to Sooners games and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. So, tv time it was. I became addicted from the first game. From that day on I also was included in Sooner road trips.

I learned so much about the game from my dad. From scoring, penalties, positions, and plays. I even became a master at trash talking thanks to my dad. It was a skill I was proud of and used my entire life. He was the best at it and stood behind every word he said. When OU would play Texas, it was a no holds barred situation when it came to words. I learned how to hate the color orange at this early age. All shades. (It still hurts a little that the OKC Thunder have orange in their team colors) When I married my late husband my dad told me the car was running and “it’s not too late” all the way down the aisle. He couldn’t believe I was bringing someone that went to Ok. State into the family.

It was a house divided indeed. We had our share of verbal wars, especially during Bedlam. Oh, and when the Raiders and Steelers played – my husband was a Raiders fan and I a die-hard Steelers fan – there was also a battle.  But as much “dissing” that was being done there was never anything malicious or hurtful said. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?

Bedlam has grown into a much more heated rivalry in recent years. I have seen and heard some atrocious things said by fans. On both sides. Trust me, if it makes me take pause then it must be pretty bad. As I have grown older, yes – I will blame maturity – I have discovered that trash talking isn’t really as fun as it used to be. Maybe because being born and raised in Oklahoma, I have way too many friends and yes,  even family members that are fans and/or alumni of OSU. I noticed it has become somewhat like politics and just turned nasty at times. I’ve learned how to have a conversation with opposition like an adult and though we may throw a few ‘jabs” in, it all ends in laughter. After all, it’s just a game, right?

Saturday, I took a friend to the game with me. She is a lifelong Oklahoma State supporter. It’s hard to explain the joy I got from watching her being that close to her team and having the opportunity to high-five her boys as they ran from the tunnel. I suppose the joy came from understanding the passion. She was thrilled and I loved that I could give that to her. We may have been rivals that day, but we are also friends. And we will be throughout the bowl games and all the way up until next time we meet on the field. We had a little fun on the way and even on the way back, but it was just that – fun. My dad may be grumbling a little bit, but I know he knows no matter what my blood will always be Sooner red and maybe it is ok that I “stray” and have friends that sport other team colors.

One thing is for certain. I know he was smiling down on Norman Saturday. (Wish the sun would have been as well.) At the last home game I got to meet one of my all-time favorite Sooners, the great Ryan Broyles. He was on the field giving an interview and I said his name, asked him to come over and he was the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Knowing bedlam would be the last game of the season I decided to take a jersey and maybe I could get lucky enough to get him to sign it. During half time he was doing another interview in the same place right in front of our seats and when we asked him to come over and sign the jersey he obliged with a smile. Even in the cold rain. I took out the jersey and he noticed it was actually his name and number. I looked at him and explained this was the last thing my dad had given me before he passed. Dad knew how much I loved watching him play. He looked at me and I could tell it genuinely meant something to him. He said that was so sweet and took the time to make sure he personalized it and signed it where I wanted him to and took a picture with me. I still don’t think he understands how much this meant to me.

I don’t need to tell you the rest of the story. The Sooners came out after the half to a 17-17 tied score. They dominated the second half and won the Big XII Championship, at home on Owen Field. This was the first time we won it on our home field. We got to see Samaje Perine take a knee instead of walking into the end zone for a last “in your face” slap to the Cowboys. Some of the players did a “victory lap” around the field, including Baker Mayfield. We were actually the last fans he high-fived! Tight end Mark Andrews came over and thanked us for staying despite the weather. It’s things like this that make it worth every penny that I spend as a fan.

We stayed in our seats and celebrated with the team and other fans. We were cold and there wasn’t a place on our bodies that wasn’t soaked. And we didn’t care. I didn’t even post one trash talking thing on social media. I knew I didn’t need to, the play on the field said it all. I guess I really have matured (Sorry, Dad.) and my days of rubbing it in are diminishing.

What I couldn’t wait to post however, was a picture of me and the Ryan Broyles jersey. I think I was so excited about it while it was happening I didn’t get emotional. But when I actually typed the words I realized what I was truly holding. The very last gift from my dad was signed and I then let the tears fall down my already rain soaked face. It was truly a moment.

Sports has so many great stories of sacrifice, victory and defeat. This moment is by far my favorite.

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