Friday, November 25, 2011

Taking Their Ball Home

Today, much to my surprise, I'm going to write about football. College football to be precise. Now, normally I avoid watching football games like the plague. I truly have no interest in football. I went to my fair share of football games when I was in junior high and high school, but in my defense, that was because I lived in small town Texas and there was literally nothing else to do on Friday nights in the fall. Plus, I was in the band and it was kind of a requirement that the band be there to march out on the field at halftime and play music. No getting out of it.

In college, though I moved away from the whole football thing. I did attend a couple of football games w/ boyfriends: a few at A&M where I absolutely refused to stand for the games (if you're going to put seats in a stadium, then as far as I'm concerned you should use them), and then a few UT games w/ the guy I eventually married. He still loves watching football. But me? I have no interest.

What I do have an interest in is tradition. Despite the fact that I'm a graduate of the University of Texas and my long-ago refusal to stand at those A&M games I attended my freshman year of college, I have great respect for the traditions at A&M. And the biggest of those traditions died last night with the final UT-A&M football game on Thanksgiving Day. Killed by the ultimate lovers of tradition: Texas A&M.

Years of observing Texas A&M fans has shown me that Aggies are never really comfortable in their skins. For some reason, they have trouble believing that theirs is truly a great university. Maybe it's the way they proclaim their greatness too loudly and too often. There is a defensiveness in the way they do it that makes one look at them and wonder about whether they say it so often to convince themselves. But this time their inferiority complex and tendency to whine (and yes, they do have a general tendency to whine) went too far. Upset over UT's Longhorn Network (and the potential income from said network to UT), the Aggies decided they didn't want to play anymore. So they jumped ship and switched conferences starting next year.

I have no doubt that this move will go down as the biggest Aggie joke in history. How the Aggies, in pursuit of money and a self-perceived lack of respect, killed one of the most cherished bits of its history, a 118 year old friendship/rivalry with UT. I am fairly sure that my Uncle Sam, who attended A&M back in the 1930s, is rolling over in his grave. And the biggest worry the Aggies have right now is not the fact that they didn't saw varsity's horns off last night. It's that they've cut off their nose to spite their face.

Note: One more thing A&M. Y'all might want to look into a new fight song given that the one you've had all this time is focused almost solely on your now non-existent rivalry w/ UT. Seems to me that you've sung "Goodby to Texas University" for the last time.

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