Thursday, November 24, 2011

One Last Time

It's hard to talk about Texas A&M football without talking about our long-standing rivalry with the University of Texas. The two schools have been playing each other for almost as long as they've existed.
We've always had a burning desire to beat the Longhorns. Hell, our War Hymn (aka fight song) has two verses, and we sing the one verse about Texas twice. Many current and former students don't even know the words to the other verse - this former student included.

It doesn't matter who we're playing. We always sing those words.

Goodbye to texas university.
So long to the orange and white.

13 years ago I attended my very first Texas A&M football game. I was a senior in high school and was visiting the school as a potential student. I still remember the goose bumps I got as I watched Kyle Field move as the students - both current and former - swayed together singing the War Hymn and sawing Varsity's horns (aka t.u.) off.

It's an incredible sight to see a football stadium of nearly 90,000 people move. Thrilling is only one way I can think of to describe it. It gives me chills every time.

Our histories are intertwined. I've heard countless stories about pranks, jokes, etc pulled on each school by the other. Once, an Aggie prank even resulted in how the Longhorn mascot got his name Bevo (some Aggies had branded him with the score of the football game the Aggies won: 13-0. Texas turned the numbers into Bevo.) (Memorable games and historical moments that shaped the Texas A&M/University of Texas rivalry)

But it goes beyond the football field and the pranks. Despite the rivalry and the intense desire to beat each other, there is a certain amount of respect for each other. Support when the other school needs it. I don't think many rivalries have that.

And today is the last day for the foreseeable future that A&M and Texas will play the Thanksgiving football game as next year we'll be in the SEC and Texas' non-conference schedule is set for the next 7 years.

Many many many words have been written about the end of this long-standing rivalry. A rivalry that has not only defined the two schools but also the state of Texas. Sports Illustrated. The New York Times. But my favorite - and I hate to say this considering how much they tend to favor the University of Texas - might just be Texas Monthly. They've captured the rivalry from both perspectives in a way I think few have articulated.

It's hard to imagine one school without the other. I know A&M will find her own way in the SEC. But Thanksgiving will never be the same.


1 comment:

Jenn said...

Go a&m! Hope they win today! And, happy thanksgiving :)