It may not make sense to the casual observer, but the Fehoko family of beautiful Hawaii has fallen in love with Texas Tech and the arid South Plains.
So I asked Linda, the matriarch of the Fehoko clan and mother of Sam (former Red Raider), V.J. (current Red Raider) and Breiden (future Red Raider), about what draws them to West Texas, what they think of Kliff Kingsbury, and more.
Robert: Why is Lubbock, a dry and dusty West Texas town, so special to a family from Hawaii?
Linda: “Because it reminds us so much of ” little Hawaii” without the ocean; community, sense of family, the melting pot, the kindest and friendliest people. Oh my goodness, and the food! The STEAKS AND BEEF! That just takes the cake because in our family we can only afford steaks and beef on very special occasions. In Lubbock, it’s special everyday with steaks and beef burgers! Maybe there is no ocean, but that’s fine. Swimming pools are everywhere here and the weather is nice and hot.”
Robert: Your family’s relationship with Tech obviously transcends coaches, but what do you think about Kliff Kingsbury? Is he the real deal?
Linda: “The KING? Oh man, hands down, from meeting so many head coaches in the last 10 years, coach Kliff is the best there is in college football. The guy is smart, firm and fair, and he can get down with the boys. But let me tell you, this guy walks the talk and he emulates success! And by the way, I get a lot of free lunches at work from young Hawaiian teachers that take me to lunch just to ask about the handsome, eligible coach, hahaha. Might as well, right? Free lunches go a long way with this family.”
Robert: Your son V.J. looks set to start at linebacker this fall and your other son Breiden has instant star written all over him. Is it pure talent, work ethic or something else that makes your sons so successful on the football field?
Linda: “I think it’s incredible work ethic, and maybe genetics. Here are kids who sold newspapers in sixth, seventh and eighth grade to help pay for the rent. They did this at 5:oo a.m. before school and at 6:oo p.m. after homework was done. But they never complained, they just did to help the family. They are always driven and so a big part of being great football players is the fact that everything they do, every breath, is in the name of family. So it’s hard work, genetics and family.”
Robert: You’re very active on Twitter with Red Raider nation. Who’s the most interesting person you follow?
Linda: “Hahaha, I’m still new on twitter. Sometimes I favorite and retweet just about everything. When it’s RED RAIDER RELATED I FEEL LIKE IM GOING TO JUMP INTO THE SCREEN AND BECOME A LIVE FOOTBALL PLAYER AND TAKE SOMEONE’S HEAD OFF! Hahaha.”
Robert: What does FOE stand for?
Linda: “It stands for FAMILY OVER EVERYTHING. we are a family; no matter how tough, rough, sweet and successful we may get, remember it’s family first. And when you’re an individual in the middle of nowhere, rember that five others travel with you. Our spirits are there always.”
Robert: Will V.J. be teaching the haka to the team this season?
Linda: “I believe that’s the plan! I feel for the opponents after that.”
Robert: Will you and your family be at any home games this fall? If so, do you have good seats?
Linda: “Yes, we are trying to make three home games, including a V.J.’s senior night. And I hope I have good seats; I got my big son [coach] Mike [Smith] and Sam and V.J.’s tickets, so I have a choice. And I’ll be the loudest voice at THE JONES! CHEEEHU!”
Robert: Do you have anything else you’d like to say to Red Raider nation?
Linda: “When do the mommas strap it up? RRRRRAAAAAHHHHHHHHRRRRRRR!”