As a kid, I idolized Norman High football players as they strutted around Norman in their NHS letter jackets.
When I finally got mine in 1974, I wore it pretty much every minute of every day!
Sure, the wool collar rubbed my neck raw. And the body was a size too big. And the left sleeve kept falling down over my hook, even after I sewed it, which drove me nuts.
But I loved that jacket because I had put so much into earning it.
Hundreds of practices, including three horrible summers of two-a-days, plus countless full-contact scrimmages and games at Owen’s Stadium.
I played with reckless abandon, hurling my 5-4, 128 pound body all over the field to make up for my lack of size. It took a toll. I couldn’t count the number of sprains and separations, or all the times I had my bell rung (read “concussion”).
But it was all worth it because I felt like a “rompin’ stompin’ stud” when I was in a pack of other Tiger athletes wearing their letter jackets, like at basketball games. We sat in a section of the gym reserved for the "Grandstand Boozers", and we made it our business to be loud and obnoxious.
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