It was my son, Chris' birthday on Saturday and we traveled to Norman, Oklahoma to watch the season opener game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Utah State Aggies. We have some friends that live in the area that have tailgate parties at every home game and we were fortunate enough to be able to join them again as we did last season 3 times.
Chris is a rabid OU fan and we had great seats for this game - 3 rows up from the field in the home end zone. Both he and I made some memories there and I don't think either of us will forget that game and what it felt like to be so close to the action. When DeMarco Murray broke open down the left sideline for one of his touchdowns (63 yards on this one) he was running right at us. It was awesome! Chris was going wild! It was well worth the extra funds we spent to get the seats.
There was another blessing though that will make this trip memorable. My wife Trudy and other son Zachary came with us to the Norman, but were not planning on going to the game. My wife isn't that big on football and Zachary isn't quite old enough to care all that much about the game itself. He wanted to go to the game, but as I learned last year, he doesn't really pay that close attention to the game - so they were just going to stay behind and watch the game on TV at the tailgate party.
Chris and I had already gone, so we had no idea of what was about to happen. When Zack's friends started leaving one by one to go to the game, he had a friend who offered him a ticket. Unfortunately though, Trudy didn't know the parents and they only had one ticket so she told Zachary she didn't feel comfortable sending him with them without her going. He was crushed that he had this ticket but couldn't go!
This is where it gets good... as Trudy was consoling him, a lady - a complete stranger - was standing off to the side waiting for something. Trudy was making conversation with her and mentioned what was going on with Zachary and why he was upset. She then told Trudy that if her parents, who were about an hour late, didn't show up, she could have the 2 tickets her parents were going to use! Trudy was shocked! She told the lady she didn't have to do that and that surely her parents would show up - I mean, who in their right mind has tickets to an OU game and then doesn't go, right? Well as it turns out, her parents never showed, she couldn't get a hold of them, and she just walked back up to Trudy some time later and handed her the tickets! What a blessing that lady was to Trudy and Zachary - and to top it off, they were great seats! So while Chris and I were cheering on the Sooners in the first quarter, they were just one section over and 20 rows up doing the same thing! I didn't know about it because I didn't hear my phone ring or get the text Trudy sent me because the circuits were so busy from everyone in the stadium using their phones at once.
Once Trudy finally found us and showed up - and I got over the shock of her story of the lady giving her the tickets - we traded places a few times, ate dinner together at half time, and had a great time! AND, the Sooners won! I said a prayer of thanks for that lady and prayed also that nothing was wrong with her parents AND that she didn't regret giving those tickets away. She made Zachary a happy camper and Trudy actually enjoyed the game!
And now for some game wrap up stuff... Running back DeMarco Murray ran for a career-best 218 yards and two touchdowns and Ryan Broyles had 142 yards receiving with two scores. Landry Jones looked great at times but overall, inconsistent and indecisive. The secondary is atrocious. I saw one post on the Oklahoma Sooners Football Facebook page that quipped, "My grandmother could provide better coverage than the Sooner secondary." The Utah State QB, Diondre Borel, is awesome. Without him, they would not have had a chance. He ran all over the field avoiding sacks and piling up passing yards - 341 to be exact - the vast majority of their total yards came through the air. Utah State's total yards were only one less than Oklahoma's at 421 yards. For a team to hang that many yards on OU is saying something (mainly that the secondary sucks). The Sooners had a more balanced attacked with almost equal amounts of passing (17-for-36, 217 yards, 2 TDs, 2 ints) and rushing (218) yards. A more balanced attack (and a few turnovers and missed passes from Utah State) usually wins the day.
A few years ago I posted a story about Kim Phuc, the little Vietnamese girl pictured in the now famous photo running down the road after being Napalmed in Vietnam. The naked girl in the video is Ms. Phuc.
Here is some video of the same event. The consequences of war are harsh and unforgiving even to innocent children.
BTW: Here is a video of Kim telling her story. Here is another one of forgiveness.
Husband. Father. Art Director. I am husband to lovely Trudy. Father to Chelsea, Christopher and Zachary. Art Director at Buckner International. Owner of my own studio, apcreative: design for advertising.