When I was getting exposed to football for the first time it was during the Cowboys glory days of the 90's and the floundering home team 'Horns did not really get my attention, even though I'm from Austin. I only knew the taste of victory and it was marvelous. But then they struggled and struggled and I found it disappointing to watch them not get it together.
Then came Ricky.
When Ricky Williams rushed the ball it looked like the Predator was marching downfield dismantling defenders in his way. I loved how he inspired his team, fans and ignited my city. Everywhere I went there was burnt orange and jubilation.
What sealed it for me though was Major Applewhite. I got to watch this skinny and too short QB vanquish his naysayers over and over. He was the personification of what a small kid hears their whole life.
"Brain is better than brawn."
"It's about heart and passion not how big you are."
"Technique is the most important part of football."
And, most importantly, "Don't let what other people think limit what you do."
Watching Major crush the Cornhuskers in that epic comeback is a cornerstone of my outlook on life.
During that time my life was particularly hard and during those victories I felt complete bliss. I bleed orange, I have enough Longhorn shirts to wear a different one every day and then some. I even have a number 11 jersey I saved up for during Major's last year.