Becoming Mascot, Iron Horse Literary Review 18.4, Sports Issue 2016
"When Double T died, Texas Tech won by a single touchdown, and it was a harbinger of a winning season. The team triumphed, and I imagined I’d see Double T back under the saddle, the bit in his mouth, ready to celebrate. Then, one game at night, with a dewy sheen on his calves and stomach and his jet black coat matching the sky, he was. It was a second string named High Red, who himself would die three summers later.
"Scarred by lightning on his pasture, the horse would run into a fence and impale his heart on a picket. I learned about High Red’s death from my father who wasn’t going to write about it in the newspaper he worked for. In the impressionable way of adolescents, I developed a sense that you don’t talk about those who left the field. That the game is the thing, the relentless pressing forward of brackets and stats and fourth quarter charges. The game itself gallops on."