For most of us that connect in our own ways to what is happening here in the Fall of 2015, this week is clearly separating itself all the others this season. Specific moments have their own gravity and magnitude and are big enough to stand alone as article worthy.
Those big moments for me have been a steady stream since Monday evening. When humans are feeling either anticipation or momentum, we tend to value those times more as opposed to say drudgery. Combine the two, anticipation with momentum, in a single moment is rare. Then, if you are overwhelmed with good fortune to the point that you get to stretch that rare moment into an entire week, hopefully there are others around you to benefit from it. That scenario as good as it sounds doesn’t happen to people. They just simply don’t happen anywhere to anyone. Those are stories of legends and they don’t exist in real life.
Except for that one year, for that one town. Altus in 2015 is pushing calculators to their limits counting blessings. One change to the above paragraph applies though. It certainly punches it up a bit, too.
All of the above setup isn’t happening to a human, it’s happening right now and it’s ongoing for the ENTIRE Bulldog collective. I’m not sure what that number would be. This collective encompasses a geographical range we shouldn’t even consider to map out.
Yukon’s population on December 5, 2015 will take on a bump up in size into the thousands. It will be a scene none of us will soon forget and for what? A football game?
I came into today’s paper with a promise of breakdowns by positions and match-ups.
Then I went to practice yesterday inside The Rock and watched my younger cousin, Coach Jonathon Lamb, as he went about his business getting those defensive backs in some places they have a hunch Collinsville might try us with some action near those spots. How do you convey a pride, a true family pride to readers. I had a moment. The weather was deluxe and I’m counting minutes to kickoff and gleaming like a father who watched his son hit his first home run over the fence. I was beaming when Jackson Von through his first no hitter off of the same mound I through my first one on.
There just aren’t big enough fonts to express my pride in Altus everything… football, staff, community leaders, BluesCrews, cheerleaders, dance, That Altus Band. These are magical moments for me and for what? A football game?
I walked that Bulldog stage in 1992 with 298 classmates. Like other alums before and since, we told each other we will always be close. That is one of life’s spirit stealing realities that is brutal in so many ways. Five of those classmates, close classmates I have not seen or spoken to since that graduation ceremony contacted me in the last 24 hours. They figured I could direct them to the early tickets link and a reminder of where Yukon was for some of them.
Moments like those have value for me in my personal life that can’t be conveyed to others through words. I loved these friends and have no knowledge of their whereabouts on this earth for 23 years. I do now and why? A football game?
You 2015 Bulldogs are doing something that just simply does not happen. You are doing it with style and swagger and flare, too. I love it. We all grow up with the line tossed at us in sports that “Winning isn’t everything. Just play to have fun.” Just eight words that print easily on tee shirts and make non-competitive people feel better about losing competitions.
Those are eight words that confused me for years. Winning is fun. There is no Bulldog anywhere willing do disagree with that. Therefore, if winning is more fun than losing, it’s a short turn from there to get to “PLAY TO WIN!”
Compete with more than you think you have. There are tens of thousands of souls casting whatever they have left in your direction. It’s a collective the size of which won’t be counted until Saturday?
Like I said, that’s what I came to the office to tell you today. Then I opened the following message from 1979 Bulldog and she stole any thunder I thought I had. Well done Sara.
* “Thank you for giving us Bulldogs, current and alumni, a way to reach out and say “THANK YOU” to our 2015 edition of the Bulldog Football team. After listening to the game Monday evening on KWHW, live-streaming 1,000 miles away, I came away confident that this year’s team and their coaches are indeed something very special. Seeing pictures online from both friends and the Altus Times from throughout the season, I had a feeling this was the case, after all, how many high school teams have the word “FAMILY” emblazoned on the backs of their jerseys? To the Brotherhood of Altus Bulldogs: Thank you for setting a new and much higher standard for Altus, and for America. You have become a close-knit family, and along the way, you kept your Creator first and foremost, before each other, and before any victories or losses. You have single-handedly brought back together Altus Alumni from all around the world to once again share in the joy of being a Bulldog – always a Bulldog. No matter what happens on Saturday, we will always love and respect you. After the last seconds of the game have counted down to zero, you, too, will always be a Bulldog.” -Sara S-K, Class of ‘79
The best moment yesterday at practice was when I realized I was the only one nervous ready excited. It’s just another week for these kids getting to do what they love. They get to play football together for one more week.
And for what? A football game?
YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!
GO BULLDOGS!! GO ON AND GET IT. YOU DESERVE IT!!
Here are some more words from our readers to the Bulldogs:
* “Go Bulldogs! TAKE state! As a retired AHS teacher, I am still a Bulldog at heart, and my son is a Bulldog class 1979. Altus is so proud and happy for the team, the coaches, the parents, the fans, and everyone who is following the season. Send those Northeastern Oklahomans home crying!” – Carole Hysinger
* “How bout them Bulldogs! State bound.” – Kevin Jackson
* “Title game? Are you kidding me? Last time was ‘04 with Matt Terry at quarterback. Now he is coaching these boys. What a story. This Birdow kid coming back home to stake claim on some gold with his classmates. Amazing time to be a Bulldog.” – L. Martin ‘04
* “Great job, Bulldogs…TAKE STATE!” – Connie Sisk
* “So proud of you! Great team! Great coaches! Great spirit. Bring home your trophy. From an old Bulldog!!” – Nancy Thomas, Class of ‘64
* “Go Bulldogs!” Winette Tucker Lawson, Class of ‘63
Reach Brad Gilbert@482-1221 ext. 2076