I’m your typical guy I think. Married with children, trying to make ends meet.
I love college football.
I love doing graphic and web design.
So I combined those passions and created my online alter ego… King (last name) + pen (drawing tool) = Kingpen.
Then add on I’m an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma (Class of 1995!), who loves him some Sooner Football, then my identity changes to OUKingpen.
OK, too much back story.
As every Sooner-lovin’ Okie would do, he follows anything about his team: TV, newspaper, blog, forums, Youtube, twitter, facebook, etc. Just recently, ESPNU followed the Sooner Football team for an All-Access show. Sounded awesome! The episodes ran for a week, and I unfortunately missed them but was able to DVR at least one.
One week later (today), I get around to watching this episode on a quick lunch break at home. It begins with how the team will handle the loss of Austin Box and what they are going to do to remember him this season.
Now, being a fan of sports (especially college football as stated above), I hate to hear about an athlete’s injury. And hearing the news about Austin’s death back in May, of course made me (and Sooner Nation) sad for his family, friends and teammates.
On that day in May, I came home after work and quickly created a simple graphic. Just something to remember him. I posted it first here on my blog, then shared it on my Twitter and Facebook for others to use. Oklahomans know how to come together, and this is no different despite it being social media.
As I continued watching this ESPN special, it was then I saw HOW the 2011 Oklahoma Sooner Football Team was going to honor Austin…
A helmet decal.
Not your standard black, round sticker with a white 12. Or even initials.
Of all the images to use… of all the options to honor #12… this logo would represent the memory of Sooner Linebacker, Austin Box and to never forget. For this season. At least 12 games.
I don’t know how it happened. There was no contest. No connections inside the university, athletic department, staff or players. No email request. It was just… there.
My reaction was, “………… WHAT?!…………”
I just sat there with sandwich in hand, shredded turkey out of mouth, thinking and staring (because I had to pause it).
To some, it’s just a picture. But to me, a graphic designer… an alumnus… a lover of Sooner Football… This! This was my highlight reel. MY Superman Play!
Being on an official, authentic uniform of the team I love and support. Is one thing.
But being the identifying mark, a symbol, of Austin Box’s life here on earth. You can’t describe that feeling.
And I’ll be honest, and you can call me crazy… I got (and still am) emotional about it. I really did well up.
Now, what do I do about it? Do I cash in and ask my beloved university to pay for the use of my logo? What kind of person, no… what kind of ALUM would I be to do that? What would you do?
I’m a Sooner!
And I am SO humbled.