By Nick Gholson
Wichita Falls Times Record News
May 6, 2012

I fell in love with football when I was 9 years old.

After watching the Coyotes whip up on some overmatched opponent at the Canyon on Friday night, the boys in my neighborhood would gather on the lawn of Kemp Public Library on Saturday morning to imitate our heroes.

But it didn’t take little Nicky long to learn I was whole lot better at watching football than I was at playing it.

Reagan-Zundy on Thursday afternoon; the Coyotes on Friday and Midwestern on Saturday — that was how I spent my time from September through November.

Then in the summer of 1956, I learned about another football game in town.

The newspaper said an all-star game called the Oil Bowl would be played in August.

I had to go.

But there was a problem. A ticket to the Oil Bowl cost three bucks.

I usually paid a quarter to get in games. Three bucks to a kid back then was like 300 bucks today.

Daddy told me if I wanted to go to the game, I would have to do some extra jobs around the neighborhood and save up until I had the three bucks.

I did just that, and when I showed him I had saved the money, he told me to keep it in my piggy bank and bought me a ticket.

The Oil Bowl, to a 9-year-old, football-loving boy back then, was like the Super Bowl.

The one name that I will never forget in that 1956 game was Wahoo McDaniel from Midland. He went to play football at OU but became famous as a professional wrestler.

Now turn the clock forward 56 years.

Here we are just five weeks away from the 75th annual Oil Bowl.

To me, it should be a time of real celebration for Wichita Falls.

When I Googled to find what was the longest running high school all-star football game, the Ohio North-South Game staked claim to that title. But it is only 67.