Cotton-Eyed Bowl

“Dude, Cotton Bowl.”


“Cotton Bowl…” Manny leans back and takes a sip of his coffee.

The rest of us look at each other like, “Is he serious?” I glance over thoughtfully at the plush wall of cowboy hats…

We’ve been wanting to find a solid set of stairs since as far as I can remember. It seemed like one of the biggest burdens we faced when pledging was finding stairs or a stadium. We were kicked out of SMU, as they aren’t open to the public like Harvard. The Perot stairs weren’t enough. The convention center wasn’t practical. Destined for eternal flatness, we had all but given up. But Manny is a dreamer. And he makes friends with doers.

And in the not so distant past, we were on our way to this very day. Through the ministry of magic, we were set out to use the Cotton Bowl as our playground. Thank you, City of Dallas, thank you, Fair Park.

Just like these past few months have been, the Lord has blessed us once again.

“Have you ever heard of Hoist?” Manny questioned.

“No…Wait, they followed me on Insta, and liked a couple of my pictures.”

“Yeah me too!”

With a chuckle, Manny begins to impress us yet again. “Yo. We’re working with Hoist and Social Revolt. This is gonna be huge.”

“Dude. What. Forreal?”


. . .

Early morning I wake up, no, jump out of bed. Today’s the day. It’s. About. To. Go. Down.

I arrive at the Cotton Bowl, just a few people are there. I make my way down the ramp and look up above me and around. It really is a site to see. Gradually people start showing up, and I’m making sure people are signing waivers. I casually stroll over to some friends and meet soon-to-be friends. I gather some people to help Hoist. At the entrance I’m directing people down to the table to make sure everyone is accounted for, and before I know it, it’s show time.

Back down the ramp I go and tell Manny it’s time. We gather. There are hundreds of people around me. It’s crazy. (Normally I would try to come up with a better word, or go to, but there is no better word this time). People saunter up the stairs into Section 36. Latecomers are walking in and appear lost. I go back to help facilitate and make sure we get waivers signed. I missed the bounce, but the day wasn’t for me, it was for everyone else.

As the waves of people start, I’m organizing all of the papers. As I’m partially through I get the great idea to count them. I keep hearing the blowhorn as a new group begins their journey. I see them running above me. Madness. As I’m counting more people are coming still! It never stops…

With about ten minutes left, I finish. And I’m pretty sure not everyone signed one, as at one point a group of 30 or so people joined us from a different gate right before we began. Several people made a #tattooverbal. Most for 300. A few for 250. With a waiver count of 262, my ink itch will finally get scratched.

As the horn blows again to call the workout to a close and people gather around for a birthday boom, and the #tywonselfie, I can’t help but think, “This is a blessing.” To be surrounded by hundreds of people in the Cotton Bowl, I couldn’t even imagine a year ago when we were averaging, maybe 30. The movment is real. The tribe is strong. Dreams do come true.



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