My name is Russell and I am a football fan. There, I admitted it but considering where I was born and raised I never really had a chance.I grew up in West Texas, the epicenter of a state that already considers the sport just shy of a religion. You’ve seen “Friday Night Lights”, well that’s my part of the state. High School Football rules with the NFL and college ball running 2nd and a distant 3rd. As a child I remember watching the Dallas Cowboys with my Dad, early days with Don Meredith and Roger Staubach leading the team to various heights of success and on through Aikman and the current multiple year run of the the soap opera known as “Jerry’s World”! To be a fan of the dysfunctional Cowboys over the years is a weird, heavy load to bear. My fellow fan Jason Crouch and I have spent hours commiserating over the folly of our team! Not to be confused with the obvious impairment of say, Eagle’s fans but troubling none the less. Each week watching some of the best talent assembled on the field either play masterfully or lose miserably instills a horrible insecurity in a fan,constantly worried about each play wondering when they will explode or implode. I guess this is what they mean by co-dependent behavior.
And to think I mistakenly believed I had managed to break myself of the football habit for a number of years. Until that fateful day when the Westridge Middle School Track Coach and Football Coach called us up and asked if we would consider allowing our son to play football...His mom and I reluctantly agreed and that was it, off the wagon and this time, with my wife as a willing partner enabling both of us, the addiction returned full bore. As we became fans of Westlake Football my wife bought a couple of books on the subject, attended a coaches camp and really got hooked. I knew we were in over our heads when I returned from an Open House to find her sitting on the couch excitedly cheering on the Cowboys on TV. She looked up at me and said, “Hey baby, let’s get tickets to see the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day”! I was was shocked and could not have been more surprised if she had said, “Hey baby, would you please install a stripper pole in our bedroom?” Although we have been Cowboys fans our son, ever the contrarian (my wife says he gets it from me) has been a fan of former Westlake High School Football quarterback, Drew Brees. As quarterback at our school he won every game the year we won state and he continued to follow Brees while at San Diego and now with the New Orleans Saints. For a better idea about the his remarkable personality and career check out this recent Drew Brees Profile in the New York Times.
I believe that all football fans struggle with whom to support at the SuperBowl. After all only two teams make it, if we are lucky it’s not a couple we abhor (Did I mention the Eagles or those arrogant Patriots)? In the past I have at various times cheered for Paul Slaybaugh’s, Arizona Cardinals and *GASP* even June Lewis's, Pittsburgh Steelers. Yeah, I know, fellow Cowboys fans will be giving me a ration of S%*&;;$ for that confession). This year it’s different, this year, Drew Brees will be leading the New Orleans Saints to their first ever Superbowl. Drew Brees is a 1997 graduate of Westlake High School and as they say, Once Chap (short for Chaparral) always a Chap! But really it’s more than that, Drew Brees is a remarkable person in his own right both on and off the field. A truly decent person, he gives back to his community through the Brees Dream Foundation and the nation as well. Check out this NFL Play 60 ad as he joins other NFL personalities to support kids fitness:
Pretty cool and this year, Westlake High School is selling T-Shirts to support the Brees Dream Foundation that does so much good in an unselfish manner. If you want one they are going fast at $10 each through Saturday. So this weekend along with a huge contingent of Westlake football fans, my family (especially our son who has been loyal for years) and who knows who else, I will be joining (at least in spirit) my friend Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Resident and Realtor and enjoying a great time rooting for a team that I actually support... at least until next year ;-)