How Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Changed My Life
I didn't even know what "Dave Campbell's Texas Football" was until I was listed in it.
Dave Campbell passed away last Friday and though it's taken a moment for me to gather my thoughts, I couldn't let it go by without passing along some thanks.
Dave Campbell's Texas Football is a compendium of just about every football team in the state. In the 1979-1980 issue I was listed as "All-State Potential".
Something like that is a tough thing for a kid who never felt like he'd amount to much to own up to. In reality, I barely knew how to even play the game. I had little ball sense, I was just more of a star in the weight room and I was mean as hell.
Coming from a large school in California (John Glenn High in Norwalk California) to Brownfield, Texas immediately gave me a leg up. Heck, the fact that a local pro wrestler taught me bodybuilding gave me the real leg up. Since I was a move in I was forced to play with the J.V. as a junior and I used that opportunity, as well as practices against the varsity, to knock some people down. That's really all I did. I really didn't block, I just hit people hard enough to knock them over.
Well. being in Dave Campbell's Texas Football led to letters of introduction from San Diego State, O.U., and (ha ha) the Coast Guard. I really didn't know what to do with that information and a shoulder zinger kept me out part of my senior season.
The truth be told, I wonder about the alternative universe where I would have continued to play football but not as much as the one where I just stayed in the weight room and skipped over football. Still, being in Dave Campbell's Texas Football was a heck of an honor and I wanted to thank him on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of high school players he name-dropped.