By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
A few weeks ago I wrote about wanting to renew an old tradition with my dad of attending football games together.
Last Friday, we were able to continue that tradition by attending the Texas A&M University-Commerce vs. Delta State University game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Growing up in the 90s, besides going to church, sports was one of the biggest ways my dad and I bonded.
I remember we’d follow the big three Texas teams, the Dallas Mavericks, the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys.
We were loyal fans, too. We stuck with the Cowboys through thick and thin (but of course enjoyed the glory days of Aikman, Smith and Irvin, Finley, Nash and Nowitzki, and the Rangers big three in Gonzalez, Rodriguez and Will “The Thrill” Clark in the mid 90s.
There was something about football, though, that made us follow it more closely.
Maybe it was the food my mom would cook for Super Bowl Sunday, back when we could celebrate it more because our team was a contender, but we seemed to enjoy it the most.
After I graduated high school and moved on to college, I was too busy to follow any sports so my dad and I didn’t keep in touch as much as we should have, and that was my fault.
I was too concerned with my future that I had forgotten about my past.
I wanted that to change.
So when the opportunity to bring my dad along in the press box at AT&T Stadium was presented, I jumped on it.
My dad showed up early on Friday and we hopped in my car, got some quick things done at the office, and off we were to Jerry’s World.
This was my first time to the new stadium, and I must say, it is quite a sight to see.
We got there two hours early so I could set everything up so we had plenty of time to walk around the enormous stadium to see all it had to offer.
The most impressive thing about that stadium is of course the two 60-yard high definition Television screens suspended above the field.
Talk about a big screen.
After taking our tour, and getting a good workout in the progress, we went back up to the press box to await the game.
I briefed my dad on the history of the Lions and how this is a brand new team head coach Colby Carthel has built. My dad enjoys old-school coaches like Carthel because his dad used to coach for Harlingen High School down in the Texas Valley and was named coach of the decade in the 50s.
He was known for taking a bunch of individual players and molding them as a team. Something he learned when he was in the Army in World War II.
We talked about the Lions first win and how this team would be their first challenge in a tough series of games.
It was time for kickoff.
We were a little rambunctious at first (apologies to Mark Haslett and the Dallas Morning News Stringer) as we cheered our team when they scored on a great pass by Tyrik Rollison to Vernon Johnson. We were still getting used to the no cheering policy in the press box.
Talk about an exciting game.
The no cheering policy was tested multiple times during the back-and-forth, high-scoring thriller.
After the game he sat in as the press talked with the winning coach and players and we headed off still talking about the big plays we saw during the evening.
I talked with my mom before we headed off and she told me he wouldn’t stop talking about going to the game with me.
Since both my little brother and I are now going to A&M-Commerce, my dad now makes any reference to the Lions as “We” or “Our team.”
I love my dad.