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NAX: Football runs deep in the mind of a fan from way back - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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NAX: Football runs deep in the mind of a fan from way back

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Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2010 12:00 am

Toward the end of this college football season, I realized I had some conflicting feelings.

Two of the teams that have always been my favorites could have been on a collision course. But it turned into an either/or situation.

The University of Texas and Texas Christian University both had the kind of season that fans dream about. And when TCU had a chance to play in the national championship game if Nebraska beat Texas in the conference title game, I finally decided I could live with whatever happened.

I guess UT is my No. 1 choice, but TCU is right there close.

Then I began to wonder why those were my favorite teams. Slowly, memories of my childhood returned.

Kern Tipps. Yeah. He became a legend doing Southwest Conference football games on radio. Texas and TCU both were in the SWC in those days.

I loved to listen to football on the radio. Tipps really made those games come to life.

The UT bias was easy to trace. It started when Tommy Ford was playing for my San Angelo High Bobcats. I loved to listen to the games on Friday night and then devour the game story in the next day’s newspaper. Bob Milburn did the radio and wrote the stories for the paper. He’s probably one of the reasons I decided to study journalism.

Ford went on to Texas and was a star running back. I’ve been a Longhorn guy ever since.

But TCU? That was a little tougher.

Finally, a name emerged, Lasater. Actually, I recalled, there were two of them. They both played for the Horned Frogs.

A day or two later, it came to me. I was 8 or 9 and my grandmother was in the hospital. Her “roomie” (private rooms weren’t in great supply back then) was the mother of these guys who played football for TCU. I had a connection. I think I met both of them when they came to visit their mother.

Yeah, one of them was named Marvin. So I started Googling. Finally located Marvin, who was from San Angelo and is in the TCU Hall of Fame for his service as a running back from 1957 to 1959. But I couldn’t remember the other Lasater’s first name. I spent hours listening to their games back then, but it was lost in time.

More Googling revealed a walk-on player for TCU in the past couple of years who had a legacy at the school. His great-uncle, Marvin Lasater, played and coached for the Horned Frogs — and so did his grandfather, Al Lasater. Oh sure, Marvin and Al. They gave me a lot of pleasure on Saturday afternoons.

Anyway, the roots of my rooting had been cleared up. And both of my teams were undefeated. Texas got the top billing by facing Alabama for the title, but TCU was playing Boise State in another battle of unbeatens. About as good as it gets.

Of course, we all know how that turned out. Both teams lost, and one great season for the kid in me went south.

But things like that happen. And I got a great trip down memory lane as a consolation prize.

Odessa, TX

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