Story Poster
Baylor Football

A Letter To Baylor Fans: Take Back The Momentum

September 22, 2023

Late in October of 2007, my first football season on campus as a student at Baylor, I left Penland Hall with a handful of buddies with no optimism to prop a broom stick against. The Bears were playing a ranked Texas team with a young Colt McCoy, a future NFL star at running back with Jamaal Charles, and its typical loaded roster. Baylor started Michael Machen at quarterback.

It was a competitive game early with the Bears trailing 10-7 at the half, but the Longhorns, as expected, pulled away and secured the 31-10 victory. At that stage of my fandom, there was little grieving. When what is expected happens, rarely is it followed with a display of raw emotion.

That day wasn’t about attending the game because I expected a win, to be clear. That was always going to be Baylor’s 10th consecutive loss to the Longhorns and the Bears were in the midst of a well documented postseason drought. The stories of Grant Teaff were like ghosts to me, and the highlights of my college football experience until that freshman year at Baylor was listening to John Morris call the 2004 Texas A&M game. 

Assuredly, I didn’t go to that game because it was easy. When leaving the Baylor campus to go to Floyd Casey, the easiest route to the stadium was a 15-minute ride to the other side of Waco on a city bus. The ride there wasn’t dull because I was a college student. Contrast to the ride back which was always a drag, but never devastating. The lack of devastation was because we were numb to the results on the field.

The effort to get there was worth it because of the memories I wanted to make. Win or lose, I had that opportunity. I had dreamt of a chance to run The Baylor Line from the time I was capable to comprehend what that blob of chaos dressed in gold was all about. I wouldn’t have wasted the opportunity.

Typically, as I remember from my days prior to running with my fellow freshmen, The Line would file off the field and emerge into the stadium seating only to take up a roped off fraction of a single section at Floyd Casey. The Golden Wave Band was situated to its right with the hopes of creating anything that resembled energy.  Home field advantage was, well, non-existent.

Often times The Line was squeezed in from the tops and its left side by a sea of crimson, maroon or burnt orange. Fortunately there was railing at the bottom or opposing fans might have squeezed in there, too. Other times, in correlation to the opponent, The Line would stand alone in all of its glory. A speck of mustard on a concrete pillar if you were flying in a plane 30,000 feet above.

Believe it or not, despite what I grew up watching, I wanted to be part of that big, but small, tradition, while also having visions of what it could become. Little did I know that what I believed and hoped The Line could become would indeed become that in a short time and never look back. What I remembered growing up and then in the 2007 season would fade away quicker than I anticipated 

I understand that we, as Baylor fans, all have different stories. I am the son of a football letterman who had a passion for Baylor football despite not seeing, or remembering, much success at all. I would brag to friends about the size of the Homecoming Parade and having real Bears on campus. At times, I even resorted to bragging about there being a Chick-Fil-A on campus. That was what I could do when all else wasn’t going too well.

Many of you reading this had no prior to connection to Baylor before attending the University. Some of you invest in the program mentally because you sent a child to school there and emptied the bank account to do so. Some of you have no direct connection to the university other than you enjoyed a great football game several year backs and adopted the Bears as your own. 

For whatever reason you may love Baylor, there is no denying the thirst for success is real. I do not want to see what I remember from my past return to McLane, an era that now seems like so long ago. Which is why Saturday, win or lose, can be a massive turning point for each and every one of us as Baylor fans. This is an opportunity for each of us to take back the momentum we once had as a fan base, steady the ship and move forward. Our support and the energy we provide is something that can never be regulated.

Don’t take this article is as an opportunity for me to criticize anyone’s support. As a father of three young kids, I understand the value family and that other responsibilities take precedent in moments. But when you arrive at McLane Stadium tomorrow, do not cheer because you feel obligated, be loud because you know your responsibility. What makes college football so special is the way we connect with the players on the field. 

We are not supporting players who disconnect from us when they leave the field. The players who walk on that turf inside McLane Stadium also shadow the doors of classrooms in Sid Rich and the hallways of Tidwell. The same classrooms and hallways many of you walked 50 years ago. 

Sixteen years ago I sat with The Line not knowing what was on the horizon. Nearly 15,000 student tickets have been distributed for a game tomorrow. I would never trade my personal memories for anything, but I also never want to see it to return to what I experienced. The moments and opportunities to create memories that you have in front of you Saturday can be fleeting if you let them be, and there is no better time than now to show exactly why the University and program we support will never waver. 

Win or lose, it will always be #BGOD.

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.