A Fatherly Conversation at the Bush Center

Former Cowboys QB Troy Aikman talks about his daughters, community, and football

While Troy Aikman is known as a three-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, WFAA sports anchor Joe Trahan hoped to explore other facets of the retired Dallas Cowboy’s life.

“My mission tonight is to have Troy share with you more of the big 360-degree view,” Trahan said during a recent Engage at the Bush Center session presented by NexPoint. “We want to tap into Troy Aikman the father, Troy Aikman the community member, and Troy Aikman the businessman.”

Starting with fatherhood, Aikman spoke on June 6 at The George W. Bush Presidential Center about coaching his daughters, Jordan and Ally, in basketball and watching them play sports.

“I never yelled at my kids about doing anything,” Aikman said. “I told them there’s three you’re going to do. You’re going to give great effort, you’re going to be a good teammate, and you’re going to do what your coach says to.”

When Trahan showed a slideshow of photos showing Jordan and Ally growing up, Aikman became emotional.

“It’s hard for me to talk about my girls, knowing their background and some of the things they’ve been through,” Aikman said. “I did that video as an honor to them because they make being a father easy.”

Trahan switched gears and wanted to know what it was like moving from California to Henryetta, Oklahoma as a 12-year-old boy. 

“When we moved to Henryetta, my whole life changed,” Aikman said. “I wasn’t real happy about it, to be honest. I didn’t think I could get noticed by college coaches there.”

Learning life lessons from bull riding camps to welding jobs in the summer, Aikman realized how lucky he was to live in a small town.

I told them there’s three you’re going to do. You’re going to give great effort, you’re going to be a good teammate, and you’re going to do what your coach says to.

Troy Aikman

“I feel what I am and who I am came about being raised in a small town,” Aikman said. “How you’re treated is much different in a small town.”

To give back to his hometown, Aikman held the “Highway to Henryetta” concert on June 11 in Henryetta, with Blake Shelton as the cover artist.

“I’d had class reunions at my restaurant in Arlington,” Aikman said. “There were a number of people who couldn’t make the three-hour drive. Having it in Arlington was counterintuitive, so I decided to have an event in Henryetta.”

Aikman feels his business practices should reflect his upbringing, so he made his beer — EIGHT Elite Light Lager.

“I’m pretty mindful of what I put in my body and my workouts,” Aikman said. “The beer I made needed to be consistent with who I am, so it’s a 100% all-malt beer.”

As Trahan concluded the interview, he wanted to hear an analysis of the Cowboys.

“The Cowboys have been good enough to do it all, but they haven’t played their best when it mattered,” said Aikman, a broadcaster who moved recently from Fox to ESPN. “I think they will this year, but until they do, you just don’t know.”

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