I love football, particularly live games. I came by it honest. My dad loves football. He played in High School for the Harlandale Indians with the likes of Kyle and Tobin Rote. Some time right after we learned to sing "Jesus Loves Me" we learned "Maroon and Gold (the Harlandale school song sung to "Sweet Adeline").
When I was in elementary school we lived in Austin. That was during the glory years of U T football when Darrell Royal was coach. One of the neat things the University did in those days was to have what was called the "Knot-Hole Club."
The "Knot-Hole Club" got it's name from those days when kids who could not afford the price of admission would look through knotholes in the fence until someone caught them and ran them off. Seats were ground level, end zone and the view was not great. But you were there in Memorial Stadium watching the Longhorns so close you did not need a parabolic microphone to hear what was being said on the field (and back then you did not have to worry about your children hearing what was said on the field or sidelines).
Admission for kids was 50 cents, and seats were available unless the game was a sellout. But seats for adults in the Knot-Hole section were general admission price.
Which brings me to the point of this story.
On Saturdays of home games my brother, my dad and I would drive across town to Memorial Stadium and go to the box office to get our tickets. I remember the discussion at the box office several times. Dad would ask for two children's and one adult ticket to the Knot-Hole Section. The person in the ticket both would look at him kind of funny and say, "There are plenty of good seats in the stadium."
Dad would say, "I want to sit in the Knot-Hole section."
The person would say, "You have to pay general admission," and Dad would say, "I know," then buy his ticket and come and sit between his boys.
A lot of dads would go as far as the Knot-Hole gate with their kids and say, "Now you meet me right here when the game is over," then go to another entrance and find their seats in the stands. But Bob Cox sat between his boys.
That never really meant much to me until I started buying the tickets. Then it registered; I had a father who was more interested in the interaction in the stands with his sons than he was the action between the two teams on the field. And as much as he loved football, he loved being with us more.
There are many qualities about my father that I admire and want to emulate. There are many qualities about him that are godly. But none, I believe, is any more God-like than his love for and interest in his children.
As much as Dr. Cox loves me and cares about me and wants to be intimately involved in my life, my heavenly Father loves me more. I thank God I have both of them in my life. Above all else as we approach a day where we honor our fathers, I honor mine for leading me to God. Not just by word, but by example. And I pray that some day my children will look back and say the same for me.