Before Diet Dr. Pepper.
Before Jesus came into my wittle bitty heart.
There was football.
Football was the first thing I loved enough to learn anything about. I watched games when I was little and asked so many questions my parents bought me an official rule book for the NFL for my 10th birthday. I studied that manual so I would know exactly what each penalty meant and how much it was worth in each situation. Play formations, positions, etc. I knew more than your average bear.
Then I met TJ. And he loved football. He WAS football, for heaven's sake. I wore a t-shirt for the majority of my junior high career that said "Be nice to animals. Kiss a football player." with the words "I AM" written in Sharpie at the top. I spent every Thursday night at Noble High School stadium watching the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade games. Fridays was reserved for HS ball- we traveled with church friends to each away game- and watching my sister march in the colorguard. When we got into 9th grade TJ started playing JV and HS ball so he played in 3 games a week- Mondays, Thursdays, and Friday. During the summer it was traveling to watch him play in summer league, (which is bore-o, snore-o, by the way.) TJ was good- way good. And is still one of the fastest white boys I know. :)
We were sure TJ would play college ball. He started getting letters EARLY and it was really exciting. He blew out his knew our senior year and THAT WAS THE END OF THAT. It changed our plans fast. I know that you're thinking "our plans?" But remember, we knew we would get married early so we had a loose plan of what our lives would look like. There was no way TJ could have surgery, rehab his knee, and get enough playing time for colleges to invest in him.
Future plans changed, but there was still football in other ways. OU was rockin'. TJ and I had sideline passes to TONS of OU games through an awesome church friend. We literally got to stand on the sidelines, feet touching the endzone for tons of games. We took this picture. I think its one of AD's first touchdown celebrations. My favorite part is the Oregon player walking away in shame.