The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

October 25, 2013

‘God bless the Plainsmen, past, present and future!’

ENID, Okla. — I'm Troy Dunn, a proud member of the 1983 state championship team. I was fullback, gratefully opening holes for that superhuman, Lydell Carr, and doing my best to keep charging defenders off of my quarterback, Rob Hawkins.

It breaks my heart to not be able to attend tonight's game and reconnect with all of my legendary teammates and celebrate that extraordinary season that I refuse to believe happened 30 years ago. Those wonderful days in Enid are what dreams are made of — my dreams, anyway.

Life has been very generous to me in the decades that have followed, and I have been blessed with opportunities that have surpassed my own imagination. But nothing has caused any of those fantastic Enid High School glory days to fade in my heart, not even a little.

In fact, every visitor to my Florida office is greeted by a large museum-quality frame thatholds within it my championship jersey and team photo. Anyone who sits across my desk immediately notices my championship ring displayed proudly on an oak box. And anytime any of my six sons (I have eight children) are preparing for their own football game, I pump them up by sharing with them memories of those Plainsmen days when a little team from Enid did the impossible.

While I sit tonight in the press box of our local high school football field (it’s homecoming) where I have announced home games for too many years to count, my mind will frequently turn to Selby Stadium, especially around half-time, as I imagine my former teammates, brothers in battle, once again standing on that field where we all shed so much blood, sweat and tears so many years ago.

As the crowd looks on, it may just look like a bunch of middle-aged men standing awkwardly in a small group, but don't kid yourself. As those men walk onto that field tonight, they will once again be 17 years old, fit and able to recall every play and formation from 1983. It will be a much more moving experience inside each of them than the clapping people in the stands will ever realize. It hurts to not be there.

But I blame that entire football experience for my absence tonight. In fact, Coach Ron Lancaster, it’s your fault that I have to miss this historical night. You brainwashed me.

If you hadn't instilled such intense focus and work ethic in me, if you hadn't pushed us so hard we were able to discover our true potential, if you hadn't drummed into our minds during August two-a-days that despite what anyone may say or write about us, we were born to be champions, I would be there tonight.

But because of the silly beliefs you embedded into our minds so many years ago, I went into adulthood a changed person. I found myself repeating your words, hearing your voice, using the tools you gave us for winning and applying them to everything I did.

Armed with the mindset of a champion, I was able to build a successful career in television, write best-selling books and deliver keynote speeches to tens of thousands of people in 15 different countries. I am on a flight home from taping “Dr. Phil” (which airs Tuesday) and am meeting this weekend with the producers of my TV series, which will be announced by the network next week.

So thanks to EHS football, my weekend is ruined! But I send my love and my humble gratitude to all of my brothers from that magical 1983 season and pray that our paths do cross again someday.

And to the Plainsmen of 2013, if you find yourself playing for the state championship this season, you can bet I will be at that game, no matter what!

God bless the Plainsmen, past, present and future!

Troy Dunn

(Host of “The Locator”)

Fort Myers, Fla.

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