The 2017 Season A Bittersweet One For Midland Lee Superfan
MIDLAND, TX-- For many sports fans in Texas, their lives revolve around football. For Midland resident Bob Fielding and his wife Dorothy, theirs has revolved around the Midland Lee Rebels for close to three decades. It was not always that way for Fielding and his wife, as he explained in an interview with News West 9 in Midland.
"My wife and I were bowlers, so that took up our time," Fielding said to News West 9. "But once we got hooked on the Rebels, they had priority over bowling."
Fielding, along with his wife and daughter, Stacy, relocated from Oklahoma to Midland in 1975. It wasn't until 13 years later, after their daughter had graduated, that Bob and Dorothy got the itch for Rebels football. Stacy and her friends were planning a trip to San Angelo to watch Midland Lee take on Central for the district championship. "I asked them if I could borrow the minivan so all of our friends could go together," Stacy Fielding said. "And [my parents] said 'if our minivan is going, we're going'." Before that day, Bob and Dorothy had never been to a Rebel game. "They went and never stopped after that," Stacy said.
Bob and Dorothy's love for Rebels' football grew so big that, in 1991, they bought a motor home to travel to and from Midland Lee away games. "We went to all the away games," Bob said. "If we had to spend the night, well, we had our home with us." The Fieldings racked up 10,000 miles on their RV traveling from game to game.
There's a bittersweet taste to the 2017 season, however, as the Rebels and Bob gear up for the upcoming games.
Dorothy's health started to decline in the summer of 2015. This past February she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's before passing away in April. "We never missed a game," Bob said. "The last couple of years, I wouldn't go out of town because of my wife's health. For home games, I'd go watch the first half. I didn't want to leave her alone too long so I'd come home and listen to the games on the radio."
Bob, who has been out at most of the Rebels preseason practices, has high hopes for his boys in 2017 as they get ready to face El Paso Coronado on September 1 to open the season.