If there is one resounding constant from my childhood, it would be OU football.
I started playing football when I was 8 or so. I played against kids two years older than me. I was a runt. Each practice I would cry. Each time I would hate it. But I kept going back.
My dad would share stories of his childhood. He pretended to be Billy Sims or one of the Selmon Brothers. He spouted off a list of OU legends. Every word wrapped in Rudy nostalgia.
He painted a picture of vintage warriors taping their bloody knuckles, clashing and playing a game for the pride of it.
I wanted to be like Rudy. I wanted to be like my dad.
My football career was limited, but filled with heart none the less. I banged my head against athletes much larger and faster than me. I played throughout high school. Ultimately, a 5 foot 7 inch linebacker weighing 170 pounds was not bound for a great football destiny.
That all changed a couple of weeks ago.
There have been a few moments in my life I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The day my dad and brother saw me on the field I had that same feeling I held my entire childhood.
My journey in and out of college, joining the military, big life changes, back into school and now —photographing the team that has been apart of my family since the 1950s — it was a moment I anticipated my entire life.
No, I wasn’t making tackles or having my name chanted by 85,000 people. I wasn’t known or recognized. I was nothing more than a student with a camera.