OU Football Game Packs Life Changing Experience
In football lingo, you'd call it a reverse, cause that sums up Robert Showler's attitude towards the sport he once loved.
"It was almost a decade before I actually came back and went to a game," he said.
It was, about a decade ago, that his son Kyle was getting ready to go off to war.
"The night before he's in his bedroom packing up his, all of his belonging to go to , and I'm watching a football game," he said.
A few months later, Kyle was killed in Iraq after a roadside bomb detonated near his Humvee.
"Lord Jesus, these folks are burdened with a grief that will not cease," said a speaker at his funeral.
That eulogy was spot on, because that grief came with a dose of guilt that wouldn't go away.
"It was hard knowing that I'd kind of blew the last time that I had to spend with him watching a football game," he said.
When he finally did start going to games again, it was probably a little strange. But he couldn't have imagined how strange things would get when he simply tried to find something to drink.
"We were getting ready to enter the stadium, and we were looking for bottled water," he said.
He found a tailgate with a nice lady who was raising money for the student veterans, and when he told her about his son...
"She just said will you hold on a minute? I've got somebody I want you to meet, my husband," she said.
"My wife's yelling at me, get over here, I have someone for you to meet," said Gabe Sevigny. He had never met Robert, but he knew who he was instantly.
"They have the same eyes, so I could definitely tell at first, I knew exactly who it was," said Gabe.
The last time he had seen those eyes was serving with Kyle in Iraq.
"He was always happy too, always lifting people up. His picture is hanging on my wall still in my living room, and my kids will know who he was," he said.
What are the odds that they'd meet in a sea of 82,000 people? What are the odds that he'd have a dog tag tattoo on his arm with Kyle's name on it to honor him? What are the odds that Gabe and Robert would both be suffering from the same thing?
"That's where my guilt comes in, is the morning of, I, I was supposed to be in the middle convoy," said Gabe.
Kyle was normally in the lead vehicle, but on that day, Gabe and Kyle had switched, and Kyle was where Gabe would have normally been sitting when that bomb went off.
"That could have been me and I don't live with that guilt anymore that it should have been. I, I'm thankful for the opportunity that I have," he said.
From Robert's end, his guilt has gotten better too. An feat of healing that you can't help but think Kyle had something to do with.
"Last couple of days I kind of felt like, you know hearing Gabe's story and kind of some of the guilt that he had and some of the guilt that I had, that maybe Kyle, was, just, had brought us together, I don't know, you know," said Robert.
In football lingo, you'd call that, a Hail Mary.