By: Kam Willard
The nostalgic connection I have with sports jerseys is inexplicable. Our love affair was conceived the moment my father blessed me with a Steve McNair Tennessee Titans jersey in the 2nd grade on Christmas Day. What would continue from there would be the growing collection of several jerseys I deem classic ones to the Sports culture, for example: Magic Johnson’s Showtime Lakers in Gold, the LT powder blue San Diego Chargers, Larry Bird in the Classic Celtic Green, and of course one of my all time favorites, the Black and Chrome Oakland Raider Charles Woodson. Those were just a couple of pieces I collected as a kid that solidified my attachment to the culture. As I got older, I realized how this began to mean much more than just “memorabilia” or “collector’s items”. These were pieces that held high importance and sentimental meaning born from special players and moments, vintage fashion statements as well as illustrated your fan-hood and geographic origins. Lately, I’ve been leaning more towards highlighting my origins and community. I take pride in where I come from. ESPECIALLY, from a sports aspect. Dallas has this nostalgic, historic aura about itself when tied to sports, it’s almost electric to a certain degree. If you’ve ever attended a Cowboys game, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
If there’s one thing I do appreciate about our City’s sports history, its the fact that we’ve done a decent job with our logos, apparel and all around aesthetics as organizations. It doesn’t get any better than DALLAS in a valiant blue with Stars galore to top it off. Lately I’ve found myself actively collecting and draping myself in my favorite Dallas sports memorabilia from all teams of all levels. I don’t consider myself a committed fan, but theres nothing better than showing the ties to my city than rocking the finest of sportswear representing the Metroplex. That is when my mind switched gears and began to think about the surplus of talent thats scattered the DFW area of all time. Stars ranging from Deron Williams, Chris Bosh, and Lamarcus Aldridge to Michael Crabtree, Matt Stafford, Von Miller, and Clayton Kershaw. As Dallas natives these players have molded their crafts in its earliest stages all throughout this great city and it will forever be known as home to them. The list of phenomenal athletes doesn’t end there, this city is home to several outstanding players that echo through the long halls of histories of the NFL, NBA and MLB. I’m taking my time to showcase the many wonderful athletes that have grazed the gridiron, hardwood and the diamond and who call this city home, and I welcome you all to follow along with this journey of highlighting our “Hometown Heroes”.
THE GREATEST TO EVER DO IT…
His name began to find my ears around High School Football playoff time in 2012. The Allen Eagles would face off against the Mesquite Skeeters - who just so happened to be on a crazy run that season too - in an early playoff matchup maybe the second or third round. I remember attending the game on a cold night with a few friends unaware of what would be in store for me that day. The connection I made instantly before even attending was with the last name, “Murray”.
During my high school football tenure one of my best friends was under the tutelage of “Kevin Murray” a decorated quarterback from Texas A&M who led the Aggies to great victories in the 80’s and was an exceptional quarterback for North Dallas High School in the 70’s. Kevin Murray and our receiver’s coach Rod Harris played together for a couple of seasons as Aggies, and with Kevin being a dallas native the linking of us all was inevitable.
The revelation came as Kevin Murray’s son, Kyler Murray was the new starting quarterback for Allen High School, and he’s KILLING it right now. Indeed he did kill it. From then on, Kyler Murray, would rake in countless victories, three state championships, multiple Player of the Year awards, and the most significant stat to me is the undefeated starting QB record of 42-0. “NEVER LOST!” *Lavar Ball Voice*. I mean the kid never lost a game on the biggest high school football stage in the world. What I appreciated the most was his poise and calm demeanor as the leader of his prominent football team. He always seemed in tact and never rattled, and he would accompany that skill with an uncanny knack for making electrifying BIG plays on the field.
In his senior season, Kyler Murray’s statistics included 4,713 passing yards for 54 touchdowns, and 1,495 rushing yards for 25 touchdowns. He would cap that senior season off with a Gatorade Player of the Year Award, his third State Championship as well as a National Championship for a spectacular undefeated season. His career for the Allen Eagles would end in resulting over 14,000 yards from scrimmage and collecting over 180 total touchdowns. His significant performances over those set of years would be remarkable to say the least. His meaning to the community of Allen, the City of Dallas, and all spectators and witnesses to his career across the great state of Texas agree that as special as he was, that is still an understatement to what he was able to accomplish in his tenure.
Today in 2018, Murray is still on the path of domination. He has led the Oklahoma Sooners to the College Football Playoff, tallying a record of 12 wins and 1 loss, a Big 12 Conference Championship over rival Texas Longhorns. His personal accolades include Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year, the Davey O’Brien Award and last but certainly not least, THE Heisman Trophy Award, given to the single player in all of college football who has performed the most outstanding throughout the year. Murray is one of out three players from the Dallas area to win the Heisman behind, Davey O’Brien (1938) and Tim Brown (1987).
Kyler will face off against Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa - runner up in Heisman Trophy Voting - in the Orange Bowl tonight at 8 PM EST. The winner will solidify their place in the National Championship.
In support of Kyler’s fascinating season and pursuit of a national championship, I purchased an Oklahoma Sooner’s Jordan Jersey to add to my collection, and with a little tweaking I’m now able to show my alliance towards the Greatest Texas High School Quarterback of All Time today.
Check out some of the captures in this great jersey in Eagle Stadium aka “The House That Kyler Built” by StayBryght. See more on Instagram and Twitter at the handle below. Also, continue to follow the Good Culture Brand for more blog updates at the link provided below:
IG: goodculture_dtx ; Site: goodculture.life
IG: @xxkamwillard ; Twitter: @el_Qapitan
I hope you all enjoyed this blog about our “Hometown Heroes” and be on the look out for more as I continue to document my love for all things Sports, especially in the DFW and Texas area and the finest of sportswear to accompany the hobby! THANK YOU!