The Red River Rivalry -- An Identity Crisis

Image via Sooner Sports


Most families have an allegiance to some university, sports team, or state. Mine doesn’t. I have lived in six states. There is just really no way to pledge allegiance to any professional or collegiate team when you’re constantly around a different one, but not for long enough to really get invested. When I lived in Texas, we were huge Dallas Stars fans. When I lived in Michigan I cheered on the Red Wings. When I lived in Texas, again, we cheered for the Dallas Mavericks. When we lived in Oklahoma we cheered for the OKC Thunder. It’s just a whole mess.


My identity crisis in sports got a whole lot worse a couple years ago when I transferred to the University of Oklahoma. See, the only state that we had been somewhat loyal to during my childhood was Texas. The only university that we stayed true to was the University of Texas. So when I announced my move, my family was excited for me, but in a “I still hope we beat Oklahoma every year though” kind of way.


Here’s my issue, I can never watch the OU-Texas game. It hurts too much, from both sides. Every time OU scores I cheer, but then a little piece of my heart is sad for the Longhorn in me. (Am I allowed to say that?) When my Sooner friends throw their horns down, it hurts my feelings. I have to doctor that wound regularly.

Image via Hook'Em


On the other side of that coin, if OU loses I have to hear about it for like, the rest of the year. Everybody is going to be mad about it Monday. You know what? I’m probably going to be upset with them. I am paying too much money to this football university for us to not win, right? Crimson looks better on me than burnt orange anyway.


So next time you’re peer pressuring someone into throwing their horns down, or wondering why they aren’t watching the game like everyone else, look deeper. Maybe it’s because they really just don’t know which way to lean. It’s confusing. It’s hard. They cheer every time anything happens in the game with defense or offense, no matter if it’s one team or the other. It’s not because they don’t understand the game. It’s because they don’t know who they’re cheering for. Give them some love.


Now take a deep breath. I know that was an emotional read. It’s just football.