Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Retrospect, We Should Have Known

On September 2, we made our first trek of the season to Floyd Casey Stadium. It was hot, y'all. Blistering to be exact. And there was revenge on the minds of many faithful Baylor fans. To the point that several served frog legs at their tailgates before kickoff.

Our team prevailed, though, and last season's wrong was made right as the Bears beat TCU and captured the national spotlight for the first time in 2011.

Though this season - like most others - had some rough spots, they were nothing compared to that of season's past. We enjoyed unparalleled support from students...

...and fans alike. Week after week, regardless of the ever changing Texas weather, they came in droves.

On some occasions, fans of the our opponents made the trip to Waco as well.

We cheered. We experienced ecstasy and agony. Repeatedly. 

Our pride in those on the field donning green and gold - and in what was in their hearts - grew each and every time we watched them play. They did not get overly confident when they were ahead nor did they fall into a pit of despair when they were on the wrong end of the score.

We sang That Good Ol' Baylor Line with gusto after they beat Missouri on Homecoming. We watched in disbelief when they came back in the fourth quarter against Kansas to force overtime. And then they won. We were shocked - happily so - as our Bears beat OU for the first time ever in the last 12 seconds of the game.

We traveled to Jerry World as they got rid of another monkey on their backs in beating Texas Tech. Handily. And with our (amazing) backup quarterback. And then it was time to arrive at Floyd Casey one last time.

This time they took on the University of Texas - as favorites for the first time - and we saw the heart of champions once again. Overcoming much trash talk throughout the week, our Bears shut down the mighty Longhorns in the second half and walked away with a victory. 

Amazingly, this team had indeed earned college football's highest honor - the Heisman Trohy - for their talented and incredibly humble leader, Robert Griffin III (affectionately known as RG3). All of Baylor Nation rejoiced - loudly - last Thursday as RG3 was named the Davey O'Brien Award winner. That was nothing compared to the glory of him being awarded the Heisman Trophy, though.

For some the amount of pride we feel about this season is silly. We did not win the Big 12. We were not selected for a BCS bowl. Our record is 9-3. 

But, friends, for that to seem inconsequential to one means only that they have not been along for this long, arduous journey that began many years ago.

As a Baylor alum, the amount of pride I have always had in my school and the belief my family has had in this team has been justified. And then some.

As the parent of a future Bear (you don't actually believe she has a choice, right?), I know there is no limit to what this University can achieve by the time my girl dons her Baylor Line jersey.

As a member of the Baylor staff, I literally have tears in my eyes as I type this post.

And as a mom, I can only imagine what the parents of these young men - and all the young men and women who call Baylor home - feel at this moment. For, you see, this is Baylor Nation and no part of this whole is more valuable than another.

We are Baylor, we are...

And, in retrospect, we should have known an incredibly special season was ahead when we beat TCU on September 2. The score below - and none of the others we saw throughout the season - is not a mistake.

Each was part of the whole. Mistakes hold valuable learning potential. This team - and Baylor University as a whole - has experienced a healing from some past blemishes over the past week and a half that I wasn't sure I would ever see.

And, yes, I will forever remember squealing with delight and returning my man's high-five as the nation finally saw Baylor and RG3 for what they truly are: diamonds that have been through a lot of rough spots to get to this one.

And, as RG3 and many of his teammates would say, to God - and God alone - be the glory!