Like most high school boys in Texas, I played high school football and took part in an even bigger Texas tradition by going to a high school with a mascot that contained the colors of the University of Texas.
Transferring in from a 3A state championship program in Missouri to the W.T. White Longhorns losing, not to mention a joke of a football program at 5A in Dallas, I guess you could say it took a toll on me. The constant burnt orange and white and "hook em horn's" chants made me desire anything in a college choice and college fan-ship, besides the Longhorns of Austin.
While in high school, I avoided cheering for a college team, especially since I had yet to make a college decision. Upon my acceptance to Baylor, my college sports team had been chosen.
As a die-hard Baylor fan while transferring out to another school, it has become time to decide if Baylor alone can service my sports needs. Of course I love the green and gold and will always support them, but something is missing.
I need a team with an identity and a focus with a winning tradition in a sport that matters.
During a recent visit to Austin, I was taken back to my time as a Longhorn in high school. I remember how cool it first felt to wear the colors of the University of Texas as a football player and it occurred to me, Baylor and Texas relations are never strained.
We both agree on hatred of Texas A&M, and there has always been a mutual respect for the flagship school of Texas and the original University in the Lone Star State (Baylor). Maybe this being a double fan could work and not be a problem. Texas is good, and Baylor is getting good. Waco is a dump in most respects, while Austin is an amazing and fun city.
Both schools have an amazing campus and atmosphere, and finally the "birth right" of me to be a Longhorn fan occurs. Let me preface this memory with saying I generally despise crazy, die-hard Texas fans who have no tie or degree tied to the school.
Most rationalize living in Texas is enough and those people annoy me, especially when they get decked out and act like morons. There should be a level of fan-hood for UT grads and students to be above the common folk, and sometimes the common folk forget that.
For myself, I'm in the common folk breed, except I was lucky enough for a chance to experience something many UT students never get to or choose not to enjoy. The Cotton Bowl Red River Shootout.
In high school, as part of a school program, we volunteered at the game, which to me meant seeing college football. I remember the half orange, half maroon crowd, the sounds, the smell of alcohol and the sound of the UT cannon.
My placement was in the heart of UT students, who upon seeing my amazement at such a sight more than explained how I had to hate the Sooners, I just had too.
As one guy cleaned up spilled beer upon a fellow fan, the UT student closest to me taught me chants and everything, and explained that being a Longhorn in high school was a lucky thing.
He explained few Texans, if ever, were real longhorns and I was, if only in high school, a Longhorn. Being a Longhorn in high school is better than never, and that gives me some fan superiority over my no ties to the school common Horn's fan.
So come fall, as long as Baylor and UT aren't playing that weekend, I'll hold my Horns high; I'll say the proverbial "hook em." And then turn around when Baylor plays and hold up my Bear Claw proudly. If a house can be divided, so can a heart.
Ken Armer is a Senior Writer at Bleacher Report and a Community Leader for both the NHL and Dallas Stars. He is also a former student of Baylor University currently looking for a new school to finish his Bachelors. (Likely the University of North Texas) He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.