On a cool Saturday in a winter in the early 1980’s, my young son, Cameron, and I ventured from Red Rock, Oklahoma to Stillwater and the campus of Oklahoma State University. We went to attend the Bedlam Series basketball game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. It was Cameron’s first major sports event and he was donned in a red OU sweatshirt and red OU sweatpants. We made our way to our seats in the rafters of Gallagher Hall primarily to watch All-American Wayman Tisdale of Oklahoma.
In all my years of being a sports fan, only a handful of athletes have reached hero status in my books. Tisdale is one of those athletes. He played the game at a high level and conducted himself as a role model. I was pleased to have my son look up to him during his early, formative years.
Tisdale was a basketball player, a jazz musician, a Christian and a family man. A few months ago, he left this world to be with Jesus in heaven. He left behind a legacy of living life with joy. During his life, he became friends with country musician Toby Keith. Keith is an ardent Oklahoma Sooner fan. After Tisdale died, Keith recorded one of the most moving tribute songs ever recorded about Tisdale. On Saturday night, Keith performed the song at the OU-Texas basketball game with Tisdale’s brother, William and other members of Tisdales jazz band. Here is the video for your enjoyment and encouragement. I hope you enjoy.