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Why We Love Texas

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Bruins Nation started an excellent discussion of why they bleed Blue and Gold, which prompted an equally inspiring response from Kyle. I feel compelled to explain my own Longhorn heritage, as well as to invite you to share your own.

In November of 1979, I was lucky enough to be born into this world in the greatest city in the country, Austin, Texas. My parents, whom I also consider the best, were professors at the University of Texas. My father, whom many of you know, is quite the basketball junkie, and in his day was even an excellent player. He played collegiate basketball at Oberlin College, and during his graduate school days at Duke, would regularly play pick up games with Chuck Daly and other excellent ball players. He, like his two sons, was not particularly athletic, but he had as good a jump shot as anyone and had a mental mastery of the game's finer points.

It was no surprise, then, that we attended every Longhorn basketball game at the Erwin Center during my childhood. (We watched all the football games, too, though mostly on television. My love for college football, or, as he would no doubt point out, my tolerance for 100 degree heat, exceeds my father's.) We had the same seats every year, and watched the Horns religiously, through all the ups and downs.

In high school, Andrew Wiggins and I became friends, and spent our afternoons on the golf course discussing the strangeness of Tom Penders-led basketball teams and the maddening inconsistency of John Mackovic-led football teams.

In the fall of 1998, I ventured off to Vanderbilt University for college. I was not, obviously, swayed by the sports "programs." And though I made several truly wonderful friends in my year and a half there, the call to return to Austin, and the University of Texas, was too strong. I transfered in January 2000. The sports programs have, obviously, only gotten better and better over the course of my lifetime, but the roots of my love for UT dates to my formative years.

I love UT because it is the premier educational institution of the state of Texas. It is among the best state universities in the country, its sports programs are something I can be proud of, and its fans are among the classiest in the nation. Is it any wonder that no matter where you go, you constantly find other folks wearing burnt orange? I'm not sure that a day goes by here in Washington in which I don't see someone clad in burnt orange; be it a cap, a t-shirt, or even cufflinks. We are proud of our university and its athletics programs, and for good reason.

There may not have ever been a better time to be a fan of Longhorn athletics, but let us not forget, too, that there has -never- been a bad time to be a Longhorn fan. And I doubt there ever will.

Long live the University of Texas.

--PB--