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AND IN OTHER NEWS: Texas plays at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

I, along with many others, was reminded today that the pending anxst with which we face the upcoming tilt with Texas is only superficial.

The dislike for the Longhorns, or the Sooners, or Baylor, is not real. It is not tangible. The great joy we feel in victory, or the grief we experience in defeat, is temporary at best as we return to our everday lives.

No amount of sports "distraction" can take us away from life.

I was struck by events of today, and the irony of their connection.

This morning, a 13 yr old junior high student chose to end his life.

Tonight, my 95 yr old aunt essentially chose the same.

Two drastically different moments, for drastically different reasons, but the same end result.

"I have grown tired of living this life, and I'm ok with it."

I have seen or heard it so many times, on both ends. Young people overwhelmed by bullying, illness, depression. Elderly folks tired of pain, disease, or loneliness.

I know that these things affect all ages, but today's particular grouping of two people on opposite ends of the journey once again brought perspective to what I normally talk about on almost a daily basis.

We all have the potential to reach that stage, a point where we just really don't want to do this anymore. Unfortunately far too many get there far too soon in life. If we could only all be 110 when that time arrives.

Thankfully, until then, we have our beloved sports teams, at all levels, to distract us from such things.

Just keep in mind that no amount of losing on the field will ever match the grief of losing this...

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(my father, 81, 4 months before his passing, 1999)

Nor will the greatest victories surpass the joy of this...

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(my son's birth, Feb 2006)

I have enjoyed the banter these past few weeks with the good folks from Longhorn Land. The chatter has been predominantly above board, with the rare exception. Might never happen, but maybe someday I'll get the chance to share a few beers and life stories with some of them, or the Cowboy fans and writers I share my homerism with.

Until that moment, let me end with this...when we "walk off the field" Saturday night, either vanquished or victorious, know that we are all returning to the normal stuff of families, work, or friends, and in the end we are all part of a much larger fan club.

GOD BLESS AND GO POKES!!!

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