I often joke that it takes a person committed to a life of mediocrity to become a fan of the Red Raiders. We’re distinguished in our own right, of course, but historically we’re slightly above average, to above average. Yet, when supporting a team that rarely makes the pinnacle, you get a sense of pride knowing you’ve been there since the start. There are no bandwagon Tech fans, and that’s something that endears us to the University.
Growing up in Lubbock, I never missed football games in the fall, watched most every hoops game, and was an avid fan of Larry Hayes and the baseball team. This sort of obsession lead to me doing some wild things to ensure I didn’t miss a game.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma State 2003
BJ Symons is arguably the most under-rated Texas Tech quarterback in history. He broke the NCAA record for most passing yards in a season, and should he have not torn his ACL celebrating, he might have eclipsed 6,000 yards for the year….but I digress.
The week leading up to this game was big-time. The Cowboys were ranked, Tech had obliterated the Aggies recently, and my mother insisted I go to this fall church camp. Despite my argument, which was compelling, I was forced to go. This didn’t stop a 13-year-old me from buying a portable Casio TV to ensure I picked up the ABC feed while at camp.
While my friends were swimming, I was hunched over in a corner not missing a second of the game. BJ Symons torched the Cowboys that day, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. Despite the loss, I started to realize that I might have a Tech problem…
East Carolina @ Texas Tech 2016
What a Super Regional this was. The Pirates took Game 1 on Friday night and things were tense heading into the Saturday game. I was in Abilene for a wedding that particular weekend and I knew I needed to be at the venue by 6pm.
Well, at a local watering hole, I looked towards my watch to see 5:40pm and a group of us unsure of how we were going to leave this game.
We watched as Robert Duggar wrapped up the 9th inning, sprinted to the car, threw on the WatchESPN app, and potentially drove 100mph back to our lodging to then half-ass our getting ready. But, as we all know, this game went 13 innings….
We strolled down the isle with our phones covered to sit in the pews….back row of course….and proceeded to watch our boy Duggar throw the game of his life. (God clearly understood our need to be plugged in) Not until the early parts of the reception did we all see Gute hit a 2 RBI single to take the lead over the Pirates. People threw me ugly looks, but I wasn’t going to miss a second of the Red Raiders making a run towards Omaha.
Texas @ Texas Tech 2016
A vacation was needed this particular weekend, and I’d always wanted to visit Montreal. Well, with cheap flights and some excellent logging options we went ahead and booked the trip. I had no idea that you could not watch FS1 in Canada….to say I was panicked would be an understatement.
Thankfully, I’m resourceful, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.
I glanced at a map to see that Burlington, Vermont was a mere 90 minute commute. Did I proceed to rent a car, cross international borders, and enjoy Douglas Coleman rip the ball from D’Onta Foreman to score that touchdown? YUP.
At this point in my life, I am who I am - which is a diehard Red Raider. Despite the mediocrity of the Kliff Kingsbury regime, I’ll continue to treks to Lubbock for games, I’m positive that Chris Beard is our man, and Tadlock deserves a bronze statue in front of Dan Law Field.
For those of you that feel the same way, a tip of the hat to you. Equally, I’d love to hear about the lengths that a few of you have gone to catch a game….what say you Red Raiders?