Just in time for the Red River Rivalry, two (straight) UT players display a friendship to make gay men all tingly
Overshadowed this week by all of the hoopla surrounding Oprah Winfrey destroying all the fried fare in Texas and the new AT&T Performing Arts Center, is the Red River Rivalry, aka Texas/OU football weekend. With Oklahoma already sporting two losses this season, the annual pilgrimage of the Longhorns and Sooners to the biggest eye sore in the Metroplex has lost some of its luster.
A reduced amount of media attention, evidenced by a less-than-desirable 11 a.m. start time, means that some storylines are under-reported, but gay sports fans are buzzing about Colt McCoy and his bunk mate, Jordan Shipley.
Surely, you have heard of Colt McCoy, he of the porn-worthy birth-name. Maybe you’ve even seen through his ultra-revealing football pants enough to know what type of jockstrap he prefers. But a lesser-known and even hotter commodity is his best friend, roomie and favorite target, Jordan Shipley. Their friendship is a great story, built on the foundation of their common faith, football and love of Texas. (An unconfirmed story has it that McCoy’s father placed a box of Texas soil under his wife’s bed as she was giving birth to Colt across the border in New Mexico so he would be born on Texas soil.)
The relationship between these two hotties’ families goes back further than anyone might figure. Jordan’s grandmother started the women’s track program at Abilene Christian University around the same time Colt’s grandfather started the women’s basketball program there. Then Colt’s father, Brad, and Jordan’s father, Bob, were roommates and teammates at ACU in the early ’80s. Their sons met and played catch as kids. The pair figured they would follow in their father’s footsteps and play together at ACU.
Yet, as both players were becoming Texas high school football legends in their respective towns (just 20 miles apart), it was becoming clear that these two were destined for a larger stage. Shipley owns the Texas career high school record for receptions, yards and touchdowns. When Jordan, who’s a year older than Colt, committed to the University of Texas, McCoy made his decision to follow almost a year ahead of schedule. The men whose grandparents and parents had become friends in Abilene would take their show to Austin.
Much was expected of the dynamic duo, but injuries forced Shipley to red-shirt in 2004, missing the entire 2005 season, so it wasn’t until last season that the roommates began hooking up for big-time results on the field. In 2008, the kids who played catch before ACU homes games and dreamed of playing together in college, took the stage together.
In 2008 McCoy finished second in the Heisman voting and Shipley was voted first-team All Big 12. They led Texas to within one play of vying for the national championship with the most dramatic moment coming on Shipley’s 96-yard touchdown kickoff return that put an end to Oklahoma’s early momentum and set the stage for Texas’ upset over then-No. 1 Okies.
Injuries to the Longhorns’ top two runningbacks against Colorado this weekend add a sense of urgency to this already heated rivalry. The two Texas high school legends who grew up dreaming of playing together on the field will be expected to carry much of the load in the 104th meeting between Texas and Oklahoma Saturday morning at the Cotton Bowl. And we’ll be watching, not just for the sport of it, but for the dreaminess of the best bromance in college athletics.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 16, 2009.