Weekly Conversation: Bringing the Good Luck and the Good Vibes!

Seth: Since I’m going to the game this weekend with the boys, I wanted to get a jump on the weekly conversation. Good news is that I literally bet everything on Texas Tech last week and now I’m like a billionaire. It’s all good. It was a fun win, at least for half the game. I also swear that Jordyn Brooks is going to go down as one of the best players that ever played for Texas Tech. He’s legitimately amazing and he’s one of those players, despite all of the things happening on defense, that I love to watch. Hands-down, he’s my favorite player.

Travis: So are you taking a helicopter to the game?

That’s awesome that you’re getting to go to the game with the boys. I hope they get to see a repeat of the first half last week, especially the new and improved, more aggressive Coach Wells. Going for it on 4th down instead of settling for field goals or punts can be risky but it can also serve as a message to the team that “we’re going for broke,” and can lead to a more aggressive style of play from the team. I’m sure that’s a lot of psychological mumbo jumbo but it makes sense in my head and it sure seemed to pay off on Saturday. It was an impressive first half to say the least.

And speaking of psychological mumbo jumbo (or scribble scrabble as my boys would call it) I wanted to discuss something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and get your feedback/opinion on it and maybe even your (or any of the readers) philosophy.

As you know, I’ve really been struggling since Claire tore her ACL. Claire, my wife and I talk about it a lot and we always come to the same, succinct conclusion—it just sucks. She’s worked so incredibly hard to get to where she is/was and put hundreds of hours of training in hopes of getting a shot to play basketball in college. And for her mom and I, there’s such a void not being able to watch her for such a long period of time. There is no greater joy than watching your kid perform/compete. And when one of your kids is better than 95% of her peers (kind of a guess but assuming that 3%-5% of kids go on to play in college I figure she’s in a pretty high percentile) there is an almost indescribable sense of pride and awe. It’s kind of silly but whenever we enter a restaurant or a crowded room I often wonder (and sometimes will ask her) how it feels to know that you’re better at one particular skill than probably anyone else in the room. Over the years there has been this building sense of awe because I know where she came from, I know how many people doubted her, and I know how she single-mindedly set out to prove everyone wrong and achieve her goals. She didn’t even make JV as a freshman and then was district MVP in one of the largest districts in the state three years later. It was all so thrilling.

Now we’re stuck in this weird place where we can’t wait until the Fourth of July when she’ll be released to play. I find myself wishing we could just skip the next few months and get to the point late in the summer where we can be in the gym, working. I can already hear the sounds of the ball bouncing, the swish of the nets, the sneakers screeching. I just want that day to be here.

But then I think about all the time in between. Thanksgiving is coming up, then Christmas. Tech basketball has started. Cade is in fifth grade and will be going to middle-school next year. Cash turns eight in January and the best parts of my day are usually hanging out with those two boys, talking basketball or just laughing about something goofy. I don’t want to look back and regret any of this time because those are some of the tougher nights now that Claire doesn’t always stay with us—I’ll think back to a particular time or day when I could’ve been more present and enjoyed some little moment with her more.

So that’s what I’m struggling with. Have you ever been through something like that? Is there a right way to approach a time like this?

Seth: I only fly private jet at this point.

So yes, I absolutely think about this. I watched something on YouTube (of course) the other day about what are your kids going to remember when they’re older and remembering back when they were 10 and 8. When they remember those small moments where you’re just goofing or sitting at the dinner table figuring out how everyone’s day was? Or will they be more likely to remember the “guy trips” to Lubbock, the bigger moments. I can honestly say that I don’t remember those small moments in my life when I was that small. Bits and pieces, but I do remember the annual ski trips that we always took (my dad refused to ever take a summer vacation because that’s turfgrass-growing season and so I had no idea what a summer vacation was, but we always went to Purgatory in Colorado almost every year) and cooking in the condo, and getting ski boots, and skiing down the mountain.

I tend to think it’s probably a balance between the two, your boys obviously need you there on a day-to-day basis and the fact that you’re there is this weird sort of connection and trust that only you and your wife have with them. So that’s absolutely critical, but those bigger moments are also really important and I think it’s really important to make sure that those things happen as well. My wife is a huge proponent of this, she’s very much into big gestures. We’ve always done a musical or a play during the Christmas holiday and this year, we’re doing a train ride in East Texas, The Polar Express. So that’s our big thing for Christmas and she’s going to do a 10-year old trip with each of the boys, when they turn 10, a special moment with her. They do a ton of stuff with me like at games, so she needs those one-on-one moments too.

And as to Claire’s injury and recovering from it, I’d tell you that based on the daughter that I think you’ve raised, she’s probably relishing in the rehab to an extent with each day being a new opportunity to be better than she was the day before. I can’t relate to the off-the-charts kid because my kids are so young. I think Yoyo is headed that way, but that’s a long ways away from being elite at anything (although I’d bet my new fortune on Yoyo’s ability to beat just about any 8 year old in a basketball, soccer, and football tournament and Fits’ ability to make Lego insane Lego creations). As an adult, I absolutely relish the opportunity to be better every day, really just at running, it’s the one thing that I can quantify and isn’t work and doesn’t stress me out. It is one of the fun things I do for me even though I’m relatively old and not very fast.

Travis: I agree with you on the big moments idea and we try to take the same approach with the kids. When I was a kid we didn’t get a chance to take very many big vacations (my idea of a great vacation was spending a weekend in Arlington going to a Rangers game and Six Flags) but those are definitely the things I remember most. So I know the boys will always remember the times we went to a Spurs game or the times we spent together at the cabin in Ruidoso.

And you’re right about Claire, she’s attacking her rehab but there is a sadness in her now that wasn’t there before. She’s trying to stay positive, but it’s tough right now, especially since the season just started.

So on a scale of 1-10, how weird is Gary Patterson?

Seth: Probably an 8.5.

He’s an absolutely incredibly football coach. There is no doubt about that, but he definitely has his quirks and everyone seems okay with that. It’s not normal to have a co-ed on the sideline just hand you a towel when you’re sweating so much. There’s a creep factor that goes along with that and maybe it’s totally fine for him to do that because he’s Gary, but that’s just weird. And the way he’s maybe thrown Cumbie under the bus publicly, it’s been odd. Maybe this is a situation where the cracks are starting to show a little bit because TCU has had good moments, but they’ve not been great in recent years, a lot of that is on the offense and not really having an established quarterback, but maybe there’s a reason there has not been an established quarterback.

I’m presuming that it may be difficult for you to rate the weirdness of a coach whose team probably doesn’t belong in the Big 12, but I’d love to hear it.

Also, when was the last time you changed your haircut? I have kept short hair for the better part of my adult life and recently I got tired of getting it cut every 3 or 4 weeks. Just sort of a pain. I wish I had a job where I could just take the clippers and run a #2 over it and be done with it, but I realize that it wouldn’t look very professional. So at the age of 45, I’ve sort of let my hair grow, haven’t had a haircut in like 2 months, it looks like a generic white guy haircut, nothing special, but because it was so short before, it’s still not very long.

Travis: Yes, I have to really focus to pay attention to TCU long enough to gauge important things like how weird their football coach is. I’d have to put him at an at least 11 on the weird scale because he does so many weird things during the course of a game and then after the game he can hardly talk. I really think that might be a problem for TCU- they’re losing games because they can’t hear their head coach telling them they should try to win. All they hear is some sort of weird screeching coming from the mouth of their sweaty coach.

And man, I’ve been having the same haircut for at least 25 years. I’ve got that growing forehead thing going so I don’t have much choice but to keep it relatively short with the corporate part on the side and a little bit of a Rocky Balboa/Clark Kent pull down on the front of the bangs (this is in my mind more than reality because the Rocky Balboa/Clark Kent curl isn’t much of a curl at all). So mine is usually the same. Sometimes I let it grow out on the top but when I wake up from my nap I’ve got a real Kramer thing going on and my wife always gets all mad at me for it.

The best invention of the past few years is the Great Clips app where you can check in online and they have your stuff on file so you don’t have to sit down and tell them what you need. Just walk in, sit down, and they have their little print out so they know what to do. I’ve never really wanted to be best friends with my hair cutter, so the less talking the better. Cade is lucky because he has my father-in-law’s hair, which is one of those thick, helmet styles of hair that needs to be cut about every 10 days. We keep it short now but when he gets older he’s gonna be able to experiment with some wild styles. He could probably pull off a mullet and a sweet pompadour.

So we’re gonna get another win this weekend right? You and your boys bringing the luck and the good vibes?

Seth: I mean, it worked against Montana State, why wouldn’t it work against TCU? Onward and upward!


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