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Football: Mother and wife combines the arts with a football household

It’s too easy for dinner conversation at the Bustle household to reach critical mass.

"They’ll lapse into this bizarre jargon, vocabulary that I don’t use a lot," says Lynn Bustle of her husband and son. "It’s like they get into this strange trance when they start talking football. Sometimes I think I may have to hit them over the head and say, hey, I’m trying to talk here."

"She’ll do it, too," says husband Rickey Bustle, who opens his sixth season as UL’s head football coach on Saturday.

He is kidding … probably.

It’s hard to fathom so radical an action coming from Lynn Bustle – a skilled professional, a tenured professor and connoisseur of the fine arts whose passion, other than her family, comes in her painting.

She just happens to share a home with guys whose lives revolve around the most Neanderthal of games.

Husband Rickey has coached football for 30 years, including a key role in a national championship game, and has brought a dormant Cajun program to respectability in five seasons. Son Brad is now a starting offensive guard at UL, and has designs to make coaching football on some level his life’s work.

Lynn, meanwhile, holds a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech and teaches art education at UL.

"People think how can one of us be in art and one of us in coaching," Lynn said. "What possible common ground can you find?"

Quite a lot, actually. After all, coaches are teachers, first and foremost.

"We’re both working with people we care about," Lynn said. "We always find that common ground. We deal with the same sort of issues, it’s just different in the way they’re presented. You’d be surprised how many similar things we both come up against."

Their emotional outlets, though, are very different. The Bustle men spend most of their waking hours every fall week preparing for a three-hour football game. Lynn spends time with her students, spends more time writing and doing research in her field, and tries hard to get in at least some time in front of a canvas.

"Painting is what I love," she said. "I do a lot of abstract, but I try to do a little bit of everything. And then I try to survive football."

That survival comes easy when game weekend culminates with a win. When it doesn’t, it’s a little more difficult.

"I’m happy to get back to work after we get through a tough weekend," Lynn said. "That helps me understand there’s a whole other world out there. When football tries to take over, that’s a great reminder there’s other things going on."

Apparently, the Bustles have found the answer to bringing widely-varying jobs and widely-varying passions under one roof – do what you love and love what you do.

"Rickey loves what he does," Lynn said. "It’s really a fortunate thing when you can get up in the morning and love what you do."

Daily Advertiser file photo/Brad Kemp

Lynn Bustle’s escape from the world of football at UL is her passion for the fine arts. She’s a tenured professor in art education at the school.