Fall is upon us, or so I am told, as it is still hot out. I am writing this article as I fly back from my trip to Austin for the fall TCDLA Board meeting. By the time I get home, my wife Meghan will have decorated the entire house like Halloween is next week. Aside from the ghosts and goblins, fall is one of my favorite times of the year because of college football. I played at a small school in Mississippi named Millsaps College, and college football is one of the loves of my life, whether playing or watching. Sometimes I wonder why I love it so much when my Oklahoma Sooners leave me heartbroken every year. However, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the camaraderie of college football is what draws me to it even since I hung up my cleats and pads. The camaraderie doesn’t just include finding like‑minded people who choose correctly and root for the same team as me, but it is‑minded people who choose correctly and root for the same team as me, but also the spirited conversations with folks who choose wrong too. I spent much of the weekend talking trash with friends about whose team is better this year and it dawned on me just how many different teams are represented within our Board and our Organization.
Former TCDLA President Kerri Anderson Donica and future President David Guinn, Jr. both chose to root for Baylor. I forgive them but don’t think for a second I don’t remind them who I cheer for when OU wins and they likewise reminded me they finally got to be Big 12 champs last year. Current President Heather Barbieri is a Kansas State fan, much to my crimson‑blooded chagrin recently.
My friend and future President John Hunter Smith is an Auburn fan and I can’t wait to remind him that Auburn is of little consequence in the college football world when OU joins the SEC in the near future. Future President Clay Steadman, former President Bobby Mimms, former President Gerry Morris and Suzanne Spencer, former President Sam Bassett, former President Betty Blackwell, and Gene Anthes (all close friends) cheer for the school in Austin who may still play football, I’m not quite sure. They are both reminded almost yearly who dominates (dominated?) The Red River Rivalry. And then there are all my friends in and from Lubbock who cheer ever so loudly and obnoxiously for the Red Raiders (former President Tim Evans, Lance Evans, for‑ mer President Mark Snodgrass, Sarah and Rusty Gunter, Justin Underwood, Laurie Key, Lisa Greenberg, Dwight McDonald, and Sara Smitherman, to name a few).
If I had to think back to how many times I’ve yelled at a TV over the years when the Big 12 referees have screwed up a game it is almost always when OU is playing Texas Tech. There are too many of my friends to list in this article who cheer for Tech, and they are lucky I still call them friends. Just remember Baker Mayfield graduated up to OU and his Heisman Trophy. But, that’s not all, schools from west to east are represented within the Organization; my brother from another mother, Cris Estrada from UTEP, Mark Thiessen from TCU, Thomas Wynn from SMU, Jani Maselli Wood from the University of Houston (for her law degree), Sean Hightower from Stephen F. Austin, Mario Olivares for Texas A&M, and former President Grant Scheiner from Trinity University, among many others.
Aside from using this platform to assuredly piss off almost every friend I have in TCDLA, I want to remind everyone to think about something other than the law on occasion. If you attend a TCDLA CLE, or a board meeting, or other event, branch out from the normal, “I have this case . . .” conversation. We are competitive folks by nature and it doesn’t end at the courtroom doors. Enjoy the brotherhood (sisters included) that we have to mix it up and talk some shit to your fellow members. But, don’t ever forget there will only ever be one king of the Big 12 so long as OU is a member and it’s the team that plays in the Palace on the Prairie. And for those of you who chose right in your team, let us hope to hear on many occasions on the radio this year, “You can unhitch the wagons and put the ponies in the barn.” Boomer Sooner.