Happy Birthday to 'The Tyler Rose,'  Earl Campbell.  Earl hails from Tyler, Texas and made East Texas
proud from the time he played football for John Tyler High. I will never forget making the journey in 1973,  loaded up  in our station wagon with shoe polish on the windows announcing 'State or Bust', headed  to  Houstons Astrodome  to watch The 'Tyler Rose' play for the state championship -- EarlCampbell.com -- great video and photo gallery after the jump.

John Tyler opened the 1973 season with high expectations behind the leadership of Earl and his twin brothers Tim and Steve. A season opening 20-0 win against Greenville and never looked back. They finished the regular season undefeated, with a gratifying win over Tyler rival Robert E. Lee High School. With the Lee defeat in their rear-view mirror, Earl and the JT Lions went on to defeat Plano 24-7, an unbeaten squad from Conroe, an Arlington Heights team that featured Earl's future Houston Oilers teammate, Mike Renfro, and an Arlington Sam Houston team 21-7. Earl and the Lions found themselves on their way to the state championship, where they would match up against a team from Earl's future hometown, Austin Reagan, in a stadium that would be Earl's future NFL stomping ground, the Houston Astrodome.

Earl Campbell then moved on to play football at the University Of Texas in Austin where he was awarded the coveted Heisman award.  With all the opportunity that awaited Earl professionally,  Earl was able to have a home built for his beloved mother, Ann Campbell, who stood by his side through thick and thin.

As a young girl,  my Aunt Gertrude took me to tour  the Campbells' new home, and  I will always remember the excitement and sheer 'Awe'  I felt when I saw the Heisman trophy  that Earl had so lovingly given to his mother.

Earl went on to the NFL and played for the Houston Oilers wearing number 34! He continued playing there til he was traded to the New Orleans Saints and retired from the NFL. In 1991 'The Tyler Rose' was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

Earl Campbell has become a successful business man and lives in Austin, Texas now.  Earl Campbell will never know the positive  impression he has made on my life, not only through his talents, but through the way he lives his life!

Happy Birthday to you 'Tyler Rose' and many, many more! Love, your biggest fan!