01-28-2012

Ryan Broyles and Billy Sims

I was very much in need of a good day. Hoping today would be that day, I even got up a little earlier than normal. Well, to be honest, Blake got up a little earlier than normal so I just followed his lead.

Nathan was at a campout in Muskogee with his Boy Scout troop so Heather picked him up and brought him home early.

"Why would you do that?", you ask.

Because today, he got to meet his football superstar. The man he's looked up to for the past couple of years. And being a wide receiver himself, who else would you rather meet?

We got to BoomerTown at about 10:30am and the line was already enormous. Two lines, the first of which was for those who had not pre-bought the tickets and the other for those of us who did. I figured we were in good shape but even our line slithered in between and behind several of the shops at The Farm.

So, about 45 minutes into our wait, we're still outside but finally near the building. We're just chatting amongst ourselves when the back door of one of the shops opens and out comes Billy Sims! If you don't know who Billy Sims is, well, you must not be a football fan of any level. He promotes his new little hot dog joint next door (more on that later) and gives us a couple "Boomer!"s and retreats back inside. Funny guy, though.

About 5 minutes later he emerges with a kid that looks to be around 250 pounds. Billy introduces him as the next O-Line member and says he knows that because he's that big and he's only 15! He then congratulated OSU for their great win this year. As he turned to go back into the store, he mumbled, "Gotta let them win every now and then, don't we?" Ha!

Our line progressed, finally entering the store. The two lines of ticketed and non-ticked people crosses for some reason. This won't make much sense if you aren't familiar with the setup but the ticketed line should've been in the main door and the non-ticket line should've been in the side door. Then, we don't have to squirm past each other.

It was at this point when things briefly got a little hairy. My youngest saw all the chocolate, lollipops, jelly beans, and M&M's throughout the store. Oh crap, here comes the meltdown. After some bribery and empty promises, he calmed down so that we could get to the main event.

We stepped up a couple of stairs and to the left, there he was. If I'm honest, it didn't hit me like "OMG IT'S RYAN BROYLES!!!!!!!!", which is good because that would've been really embarrassing. Instead my eyes were averted to my oldest as he looked on as if he were dreaming. The guy he watched nearly every Saturday was 10 feet away from him behind a small table with his beautiful fiancé. I could see Nathan was a little nervous so I just talked with him to keep him relaxed although I was a bit nervous myself. We stepped up and he signed the ticket stub from the Tulsa game me and Heather went to a few months ago. Nathan brought along a tweet Ryan sent to me in reply to asking what his favorite Bible verse was (Isaiah 41:10) and asked him if he remembered it. He said he certainly did. We also got a picture taken with us and him which he also signed. We managed to squeeze all 5 of us in and the picture turned out great!

I shook his hand and told him it was great to meet him and we moved on.

What I wanted to say was to tell him it's great that such a nice and respectable guy is out there for my boys to look up to. He's openly and non-apologetically Christian, even tweets little motivational things to his 30k+ followers. I'm happy that he is a role model for Nathan and I hope he knows what that means to me as a father.

We stepped out of the way and went next door to Billy's new restaurant. It's a coney shop with several varieties including Tulsa's standard dog with mustard, chili, cheese and onions but has many other offerings including the one I got which was basically that with bacon and cheddar mac on top! Now, I was expecting it to be phoned in a bit but it was the best hot dog I've ever eaten, hands down. Seriously.

Then I heard someone say "Hey Billy!". I turned around and just a couple feet behind was the big man himself. He was chatting with some folks and even signed a couple things. Nathan isn't very familiar with who he was but knows that that name represents three words: Heisman trophy winner. Nathan asked if he could go shake his hand and I told him to go for it. So we got up and I took our picture with me. He finished talking to an older couple and it was just me, Nathan, and Billy Sims. That was surreal.

He shook Nathan's hand and asked his name. Then I shook his hand. He asked if we would like an autograph (I didn't ask) and I asked him to sign the same photo with us and Ryan. I said just sign it anywhere. He said "I'll just sign it up here in the corner so I don't ruin the picture."

I was desperately trying to come up with something to ask. I mean, seriously, I have one of the greatest football players of all time at my disposal and I can't just not say anything. Luckily, I didn't ask if he was wearing Fruit of the Looms or something (you know, like the Jordan commercials). I asked what I really wanted to know: "What's it feel like to be a Heisman trophy winner?"

"Well Chris, us Heisman guys are just like everyone else. Truth be told, I couldn't have done it without guys like him [points to a large man at a table]. That's Victor Hicks. He played with me back then. He was only about 230 back then, though." Hilarious! I said "Well, you've got a great place here. I didn't know what to expect but it tasted fantastic!" He said "Well, thank you. We're gonna see how it does and go from there." He gave me a quiet "Boomer" and told us thanks for coming out.

I went back to the table a little awestruck. Not only did I get his autograph but did I just have a conversation with one of footballs greatest? Not to mention just meeting with one of OU's greatest (still plenty to come!)? I am amazed that I just had all of that happen.

In life, there are some experience so great we could talk about them for a lifetime. I've experienced a lot already in my 27 years but to have a series of events fall into place at once is a special thing. To me, that is. To those that influenced it, it's just another day. But for Nathan and me, it evolved into one of those times we'll talk about for the rest of our lives.

Comments

  • Mom said "Sounds like an experience of a lifetime! You & Nathan will remember it as one of those memorable times together and how special it was to share it with each other! Good job!!.....by the way, the picture Heather posted of the hotdog with mac & cheese looked really good! :)"
  • Heather said "Although very tired that day, I do admit I had a great time, it was kind of neat meeting someone like that, but he still had a feeling like he was just an old friend which was interesting. I really miss those hot dogs, that was wonderful. "
  • Ryan Broyles said "Thank you so much for coming out! I really wish I could of spent more time with ur family and everyone else! I had a blast and from your write up it sounds like you all did too! "
    • Chris replied "Well, didn't expect that! Thanks for stopping by!"

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about chris

My name is Chris. I live in Broken Arrow, OK. I am a husband. I'm a proud father of two boys. I'm a Mormon. Boomer Sooner.

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This is a log of my daily life, although I rarely have the opportunity to update it daily, or even weekly. Most of the time I include pictures of the events I talk about in the entries.

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