The terrible trip to College Station: Why I'm a Texas Longhorns fan

No thanks. - Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

As inspired by Wescott's post.

I have a more neutral start to my Longhorn fandom. Growing up in Houston, my dad was a professor at Univ of Houston. In fact, I grew up across the street from campus when I was young. Hence, I thought it no big deal to hear a cop car with full sirens blaring race around the corner at the rental house we were living at. When I moved out the 'burbs, kids would line fences when an ambulance with lights and sirens went by the community pool. Please people, it's just a car wreck (probably).

I was going into engineering. I asked my Dad, hmmm, where do you think I should go? He said, "UT or A&M". Even he had to admit that his college of engineering, where he taught, was weak compared to the flagship schools.

Back in those days (1981), if you could walk and chew gum at the same time, you were accepted into either (top 50% of each graduating class was happily accepted). Also in those days, tuition was $4/hour. So if you took 16 hours, your tuition was $64 + FEES. So yes, each quarter the tuition (without books) ran about $320+.

I wasn't a big college football fan then. I was an Oilers fan because we had this beast called Earl Campbell plowing over people every Sunday on TV.

I applied to both UT and A&M. I had visited UT once for a weekend as part of a UIL competition. But other than staying at the now-demolished motel near campus, I didn't have much of the UT experience.

Of course, I got accepted at both schools. A high school friend at A&M was "crootin' me hard" to join her at A&M because she didn't want me to go to hell (UT) and wanted to save my soul. Okay, I drove up and spent 24 hours visiting her. She took me on campus, was pointing out all the cool (?) things on campus. I saw an Corps guy walking with his girlfriend on a dead Saturday afternoon. They came upon a young Corps guy. Saw the younger guy salute the older guy. Words were exchanged and then suddenly the younger cadet dropped down and started doing pushups.

Uhhh, no. I'm not going anywhere where this is cool and they're proud of it (that's before I learned about frats at UT).

So, blindly and skipping orientation, I enrolled at UT the fall of 1981.

I knew I was at the right place when I picked up a free student magazine (those journalism students need something to pad their resumes) and there was a list of 10 things you could do to get by the ginormous UT bureaucracy to make your school life better.

I was home, mama.

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