There has been one person in my family who rivaled my passion of one sports team. That person was my uncle Donnie.
On Dec. 28, 2008 he was called home to his lord and savior. Two days later, we watched LSU take one Georgia Tech in the Chick Fil A Bowl. While watching that game, we all knew that he was cheering loud and proud from the best seat in the house. But this isn't about that.
My uncle Donnie was a great man, who played baseball for LSU and bravely served in the Korean war. But for all my life there was one thing he and I could talk about endlessly, that was football, especially LSU Tiger football. While I bleed burnt orange and live and die by Texas Longhorn Football, he bled purple and gold.
He is the reason that LSU is my second favorite team. I follow the Tigers like I follow the Longhorns. He was always the first one to call and celebrate a victory and grieve over a defeat. And if the Longhorns unfortunately lost that Saturday, we would always agree, that a tiger victory would make it better.
We only had one time in my life where we watched Texas and LSU went head to head. That was the 2003 cotton Bowl, Texas won that game and Donnie was very gracious and congratulatory. Then we dreamed of the day we could see our two teams meet for the national championship.
Each and every season we would always bring up this dream, and say this year is the year it happens. This year, I still hold that hope. I will watch every LSU football game this year, and I will do so with an empty seat next to me reserved for Uncle Donnie.
While it won't be same watching football this year, I will know, that he has the best seat for every game played. We will still have our pre and postgame talks, But this year, it will all be silent and just between him and myself. Rest in peace uncle Donnie...and GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!