STILLWATER â€” Melanie Weeden never wanted to date a football player.
Not a chance.
â€œI didn't really like football players,â€ she said.
But she loves Brandon Weeden, though the Oklahoma State quarterback's wife is quick to point out that she fell for him when he was still a baseball player.
â€œHe tricked me,â€ she said, laughing. â€œHe threw me for a loop.â€
She's so glad he did.
In a season that is has been relished by every Cowboy fan, no one has enjoyed it more than Melanie Weeden. Her husband has done things that no other Cowboy quarterback has. Win 10 regular-season games. Throw for more than 4,000 yards. Earn first-team all-conference honors.
This has been quite a ride for the Weedens.
But it's not just because of the wins or the records or the accolades that could culminate with an Alamo Bowl victory. It's because of what they've come through together. Every tough time that Brandon encountered â€” retiring from baseball because of injury, deciding to return to school, then sitting the bench for three years â€” Melanie endured, too.
She rode shotgun through some difficult times.
It makes this season all the sweeter.
â€œI knew when he got the chance,â€ Melanie said, â€œhe would blow people away.â€
She does know him as well as anyone. They have been together for nearly a decade, first meeting when Brandon was a rookie in the minors and Melanie was a freshman at Central Oklahoma.
â€œWe dated, then two months later broke up, then got back together,â€ he said, chuckling. â€œYou know how the whole thing goes.â€
But really, how it went for them was unique. He was gone six months a year playing baseball. She would visit once a month or so, but still, the time away and the distance apart was difficult.
They didn't start dating exclusively until four years after they met.
Not long after, he started having trouble with his throwing shoulder. He was moving up the minor-league ranks. He was inching closer to realizing his dream. He was faced with a gut-wrenching decision â€” should he have surgery, rehab for a year and attempt a comeback, or should he do something else?
He chose the latter, returning to Edmond and to Melanie.
â€œIn my mind,â€ she said, â€œI thought he'd probably just go to UCO and hurry up and graduate.â€
One day, he came home with some news.
â€œI'm going to OSU and walk on and play football,â€ he said.
â€œYou're doing what?â€ she said.
Melanie was getting ready to graduate college as Brandon was getting ready to start it.
â€œThis guy's never going to grow up,â€ she thought.
Worst, he was going to play football. As a former high school swimmer and the daughter of a longtime basketball coach, Melanie never thought much of the game. She didn't like it. She didn't follow it.
â€œThe first time we talked about football,â€ Brandon said, â€œshe was like, â€˜So what's the difference between a wide receiver and a running back?'â€
He raised an eyebrow.
â€œI was like, â€˜Oh, god, this is a long, long four years.â€
For the first two years, Brandon lived in Stillwater and Melanie stayed in Edmond. But after he proposed on Valentine's Day 2009, they married and found a place together in Stillwater.
Their wedding vows carried a pledge to stick together through good times and bad.
Good thing. Last season had its struggles.
Melanie, who now works for Ocean Dental in Stillwater, was still communing back and forth to Oklahoma City every day while Brandon was still backing up Zac Robinson. The two quarterbacks are buddies, so Weeden was all right waiting his turn. What didn't sit so well with him was the fact that he was third string, not second string.
â€œI would come home kind of (ticked) off â€” â€˜Gosh, I feel like I should be the backup' â€” but all she told me was to keep sticking it out,â€ Weeden said. â€œShe was trying to be as positive as she could.â€
Everything, Melanie told Brandon, would work out.
She believed that with her whole heart.
â€œHe set his mind to being the starting quarterback at OSU,â€ she said. â€œI think there were people who doubted him, but I've believed in him since he set his mind to it.
â€œLook at what he's done â€” far more than what anyone expected.â€
She has enjoyed every minute of it.
Game days are her favorite. Getting together with family and friends. Being inside the stadium. Experiencing the atmosphere. Seeing her husband tackled is no fun â€” â€œIt hurts to watch sometimesâ€ she said â€” but the rest is a blast.
She's felt a little lost these past few weekends without any games.
â€œI have no idea what I'm going to do with myself in January,â€ she said.
Yes, the gal who never wanted to have anything to do with football players not only married one but also become a football fan.
â€œMy mentality has totally changed,â€ she admitted. â€œLife has definitely revolved around football.â€
And life is good.
RESTAURANT NEARLY FUMBLED BRANDON WEEDEN'S PROPOSAL
Brandon Weeden had a solid game plan.
Still, the Oklahoma State quarterback had to call an audible when he proposed to longtime girlfriend, Melanie Meuser.
It was Valentine's Day 2009, and he had everything figured out. They'd go to Opus Prime Steakhouse in Oklahoma City. She'd be unsuspecting. He'd have the ring. They'd order dessert, and there on top of the cake would be the magic words.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?
Everything went as expected until the dessert came out and the cake had nothing on it.
Weeden nearly jumped out of his chair.
â€œI have to go the bathroom,â€ he told Meuser.
â€œRight now?â€ she said.
She thought he was acting weird â€” he wasn't much of a dessert eater, so ordering cake was odd â€” but she started eating as he scurried away.
Weeden, who'd called the restaurant four times that day to make sure everything was set, was in a panic. He found the hostess and the waiter, and they devised a plan.
He returned to the table, and a few minutes later, the waiter reappeared with the dessert tray, carrying it high on his shoulder and announcing that they had a special Valentine's Day treat.
When he lowered the tray, there was the cake. Weeden came around the table, got down on one knee and popped the question.
She said yes.