Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What a Difference 15 Years Makes!!


2008 marks 15 years since I graduated from The Holy Land, AKA Texas A&M. At that point, it was just assumed that A&M would go to a bowl game every year. And Rice never would.

The only reason why Rice University wasn't the butt of more jokes was simply because they weren't worth the time or effort. We couldn't even begin to fathom how much smarter a Rice football player is in comparison to the average Southwest Conference student. It didn't matter. What mattered was that Rice was considered an "easy win."

My how times change. A&M's lackluster performance this season paled considerably in comparison to the star qualities being displayed at Rice. The records that were broken. The way everything aligned perfectly to produce a season that Rice grads will boast about for years to come. The quarterback, Chase Clements, who at the end of the game shared his faith in Jesus Christ and gave the glory to God for his accomplishments.

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This was THE season for Rice, and I'm so happy to have been a part of it.

Last night the Owls capped off a great season -- 10 wins. And while we're all still more than a little pissed at Todd Graham for leaving the way he did, part of this was his legacy. If it weren't for him, Andrew Sendejo would be playing for some other school and wouldn't have been there to pick off one of the coolest interceptions in a very long time. (Never mind that he's a Junior who's about to start a second major, plays football and carries a 3.58 GPA at Rice!) And without Graham we wouldn't have had that fancy scoreboard to watch all season or any of the other stuff that he convinced the alumni to pay for in order to be a serious team that could score serious recruits. But Graham is the past, and Bailiff is the present -- and oh, what a wonderful "late" Christmas present that game was!

Thanks to the Ecklunds, we had a great block of seats with the other "brothers" and their wives. I used to be so intimidated by these strong, beautiful women. But I've gotten to know them and treasure them as dear friends.

And for me, one of the coolest parts of the evening was having them all ask about the 3-Day. This group has always been so supportive of my doing the 3-Day. They've contributed a lot to finding a cure. Biggs' "Save Second Base" Campaign has really helped share with them what we're doing. But beyond that, they're proud of me for what I'm doing. They aren't just contributing to this "little thing" John Biggs' wife does. They know they have a vested interest in it. And while I don't have stories of legendary athleticism in my personal history, I do have this. And it means so much to me to have that support from them.

To top it off, Bonnie sang the National Anthem beautifully. Halfway through, I realized they were showing it on the screens -- so that's the reason this isn't the best clip ever. But if you can get through the first half to my realization, you're in for a treat. Bonnie's CDs can be downloaded off iTunes if you're looking to hear more of her beautiful voice. It's Bonnie Bishop (Jones, of course!)

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