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In America, a football may mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people—it may be that annoying sport that is always on television, it may represent bonding time with one’s father on Saturday afternoons, it may be the sport you dedicated every afternoon to in high school, or you may be like me and believe it represents a lifestyle. Here in Texas, football is more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. A football in Texas means loyalty, it means school spirit, it means dedication, it means competition, and sometimes it means winning above all else. Football was the essence of my, and all other Texan’s way of life. Football ran the school—and we let it.This football makes me think about and remember my time as a high school cheerleader, cheering at the games every Friday night. There is a special feeling when you walk into a high school football game in Texas—a sense of belonging, a sense of pride, a sense of tradition. This football makes you the friend of the other 15,000 fans; this football makes you wear ridiculous outfits—or at least the school colors, this football makes some students paint their faces, and it makes everyone stand and cheer on the team for the entire duration of the game. This football makes you belong to a family of fans and players—even if you’re not a part of the team in uniform, in Texas, you’re a part of the team in spirit and in heart.In Texas, there is a tradition—an obsession even—surrounding high school football. Part of this tradition is the hype of the homecoming game. A game for which almost everyone in town can beexpected to attend. A game when people dress up for the game—not the dance that sometimes follows. A night when girls receive mums, boys receives garters, and one girl receives the highesthonor possible in a Texas High School—Homecoming Queen. This football reminds me of the nights when I was a little girl at the games with my dad, always dreaming of earning the crown, and then of years later when I walked to center field as a nominee.
This tradition, this sport, these memories, this ball enforce other important beliefs as well: beliefsin competition, beliefs in school spirit, and beliefs in the team itself. These values and beliefs are