Thursday, January 31st @ 10:00 pm: I can't sleep. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. I don't fashion myself at all as a person that is an interviewer, but I'm about to do one. I'm about to have a very long day, but that's a good thing.
I also can't sleep because because someone was murdered outside the courthouse that I call home. A courthouse that I have been inside thousands of times. A parking lot where I have parked my truck thousands of times. On Thursday, January 31, 2013, an assistant district attorney was shot five times as he got out of his car in the parking lot where I've parked 1,000 times since I became an attorney. They still don't know who committed this crime. I know that my wife, a school teacher, and my child, in daycare, spent most of their days in lockdown. I can't wrap my head around the idea of my two-year old child being in lockdown.
I know everything will be okay.
Friday, February 1 @ 3:45 am: This is pretty normal for me. To be up this early. I can't sleep, so I write. It is good to have a hobby. I need to get the morning links post up and going and published. I need to make sure the linebackers post is scheduled to go. I need to be out the door by 6:00 am. I hit publish for the morning links at 4:45 am and take care of the three S's. I kiss my wife goodbye and am out the door at 5:45 am.
It's a six hour drive for me. I drive the speed limit pretty much all of the time. If I'm not driving the speed limit, it's a mistake. I know, this makes me really lame, but I don't think I've really ever been in a hurry to do a lot of things. I've always liked the drive to Lubbock. It makes me think of some really good times in my life. I've always said that Texas Tech, in a way, saved my life and it is one of the best three things that's ever happened to me, my wife and son being the other two.
Friday, February 1 @ 11:45 am: I've been emailing with Kirk. Kirk is in the "broadcast services" department and he's very talented. He's emailed me in the past, given me a tip if he's posting some new video that he thinks that we as fans would like. Kirk does almost all of the Raider Power episodes. Never pushy or demanding. I always posted the videos because they were good, not because I felt obligated. I had emailed him and asked him if he'd like to get together for lunch. Kirk and I had met before, after last year's spring game at the baseball game. He gave Fitsum a game-used baseball that still sits on Fitsum's shelf in his room.
I called Kirk and he arranged for us to eat at the Red Raider Club, the restaurant on the East side of the stadium. I really didn't even know that this place existed. I always sit on the West side of the stadium and just see a bunch of windows and think that I'll never sit up there. My general feeling was that I am very ignorant about the nice things that are at Texas Tech.
Friday, February 1 @ 12:00 pm: I meet Kirk outside the football facilities and he says that he had to make reservations and they aren't until 12:30 pm. He asks if I'd like a tour of the football facilities. Of course. He takes me around and I get to see really just about everything. The locker room, the training facilities, the weight room. We go out to the practice field and take a look around.
We go back into the football coaches offices. I think I see Kenny Bell and I definitely see Sonny Cumbie working over a computer. Just about every office is empty. It is lunch time and there are potential commits on campus, so that wasn't surprising. This was one of the last big weekends before National Signing Day. There is a really cool timeline, from the beginning of Texas Tech football to the end that is near the main conference rooms and it prominently displays a picture of all coaches. I promise. It is close to the film room where a lot of the offensive sessions were filmed for the prior Raider Power episodes. It's very nice.
Friday, February 1 @ 12:30 pm: Kirk and I headed up to the Red Raider Club for lunch. If you are ever in Lubbock, it is nice and you should go. Just make reservations. I think they are open for lunch and maybe breakfast or brunch on some mornings. It is cool to be able to look outside the windows and onto the field. I don't normally get to experience nice things at sporting events, but this was pretty cool. I had fried fish with tartar sauce, new potatoes and okra. I didn't want to waste any of my lunch on a salad, but I promise I ate a lot of okra.
Friday, February 1 @ 1:15 pm: We're done with lunch and Kirk gives me the tour around the athletic department offices. Again, this is a building I have never thought that I would enter. Upon entering, we immediately see Marsha Sharp. She is as upbeat and delightful as you could imagine. She is shorter than me, I'm only 5'9", and I always imagined her being large than life and she is.
We walk down to the locker room underneath Jones AT&T. There is still a play on the whiteboard. The players go into this lockeroom prior to the game and at halftime. We go outside into the tunnel where the players walk out and there is the saddle that so many players have touched. That was a neat shared experience. Kirk took me around to the rest of the athletic department offices. When we come back up, we see Brandon Rawe and I'm introduced. He is a very nice guy.
Friday, February 1 @ 2:00 - 3:00: I interview Kirby Hocutt. As I leave, Kirby asks if I am staying for the night and I tell him that I'm on my way back home. My kiddo doesn't sleep well at night if he doesn't know if I'm home. I'm sure that part of this is me in that I don't sleep well if I'm not home. I haven't seen him all day and that's important to me. As we walk out the door, standing there talking to Kirby's secretary is Coach Wes Kittley and Coach Gerald Myers. On Kirby's desk is fresh fruit rather than candy and there are jokes about eating healthy. Little do they know that I eat an apple and/or an orange every day because I like fruit and it is good for you. Kirby introduces me to Kittley and Myers and they are nice. I see Blayne Beal and introduce myself to him. He was also nice, but he seemed surprised.
Friday, February 1 @ 6:30: I stop in Albany for dinner at Dairy Queen. Albany is one of my favorite towns on the route that I take on Highway 180. Albany has a beautiful courthouse and a nice and clean downtown area. There is a grill there that is part of a gas station that I have stopped at a number of times, but I wanted to get my food as quickly as possible so I stopped at the DQ. The girl who takes my order offers me a free Blizzard, but that's the last thing I need.
I don't normally chew Red Man in my daily life, but I do chew and eat a large amount of sunflower seeds when I do drive because I get bored. I went through five pulls of Red Man, two on the way there and three on the way back, and a package and a half of ranch flavored sunflower seeds.
Friday, February 1 @ 9:30: I walk through the doors of my home to barking dogs. I go in and kiss the kid and wife good night.