You guys know how I like it when a Confessor volunteers a piece I can use here. Long-time responsible Confessor East Texas P1 asked some time back if he could do a piece on a Hardline segment that struck a nerve with him. Sure, I said, would love to see it. He cranked it out over a weekend and sent it to me and I offer my sincere apologies to him that it took me this long to get to it -- he and I both would have preferred that it have run closer to the segment he's commenting on. Sorry, Tex.
And you have got to love a Confessor who supplies his own redhead, in this case his favorite East Texas beverage consultant and technician (who, he assures me, has given permission for her photo to appear here).
I have edited very lightly for clarity but left it pretty much intact. Please send your submissions to email@example.com. After six years, my topic wheel needs some air.
* * *
On Thursday, September 30th 6:40 segment Corby took the stage about “bits going on at Texas A&M." Evidently a regent at A&M posted a message on Facebook that the A&M/UT game should be reinstated. However, his reason was not to restore the rivalry but because UT had become a “cupcake” program and would offer a rest between the SEC schedule and A&M's current non-conference schedule. You can find the audio here about 3:47 into the program.
I agree that all schools have the 1% - 3% of knuckleheads, whether they are students, alumni or regents, that positively “hate” the other school. The TAMU regent who posted about the “cupcake” school was definitely wrong, maybe trying to be funny or tongue-in-cheek, and it did not work. Corby exposited that most TAMU fans would shake their heads and be like: "Dude, shut up." Mike, however, offered the observation that no, most Aggies were more like "hell yeah!" (my words, not his).
This is where it turned weird, to me. Corby (and to a lesser extent, Mike) went on a long rant about how much each school “HATED” the other and did not respect one another.
My question to Corby: Where doe you infer this so-called hatred? There were phrases thrown out that there was “a superiority complex,” “no respect between the two and never has been,” and, “the hatred is so strange to me.” And then the references to schools like Notre Dame v. Southern Cal, Ohio St. v. Michigan and even Oklahoma v. Texas, who do things right. Give each other the “knowing nod.”
I am not a multi-generational Aggie though I have been a fan since 1979. My daughter graduated from there, class of ’10. My family is a mixed family, with some nieces and nephews graduating from both schools. My brother graduated from UT. I don’t know of any “hatred” between the schools. I asked my daughter and her answer (and her husband’s, Class of ’09) was that it was a friendly rivalry, intense at times but nothing more or less. There are well-entrenched opinions on both sides of the ball but that is true at all schools, not just these two, whether they be SEC, Big 12, FBS, FCS or whatever. (Again, we'll put aside the small number of knuckleheads at any school.)
My first point of the bond between the schools would be to reference “The Burning Desire,” the documentary about the bonfire collapse. Unfortunately, copyright protections keep most of this off the internet so I can’t post a link. However, in this documentary, produced by A&M, the uplift and support by Texas students in the days after the collapse and preceding the game was very well recorded. Blood drives, cancelled hex rally, Mack and Sally Brown’s support, etc. Believe me, there was no “hate” during that week and the same feeling has continued. Look at the respect the UT band gave A&M during halftime. Brought everybody to tears is what it did.
Last 2:32 minutes of the Longhorn band performance. Watch that and tell me if your allergies didn’t act up just a little.
There was another article about the meeting of mascots. Interesting read. http://www.texasmonthly.com/the-culture/the-meeting-of-two-mascots/ I
I think the interesting quote from this article is from Daylon Koster, Reveille VIII’s handler: “It was a dot dot dot moment. To be continued,” Koster said. “I wouldn't say friends, I wouldn't say enemies. There was utmost respect between schools and mascots”. Please note in the story this was in 2013.
Then there is this from 2011, 12 years after the collapse. A UT fan left a piece of paper at the Aggie memorial to the bonfire collapse. It references the statements made at the time by UT vice-president of student affairs at that time, Eric Opiela (also referenced in The Burning Desire). Are we seeing a trend here, Corby?
Finally, and while this is not directly applicable to the A&M/Texas situation, I think it goes to the culture of TAMU from someone who is not indoctrinated / drinking the Kool-Aid that sometime infects A&M fans and others. A Florida fan comes to TAMU for the first ever TAMU SEC game:
So if Corby was doing a bit, then I get it. But I don’t think he was. I was speaking with my brother after the Texas-Oklahoma State game about all the freshman / sophomores on the Longhorn team. Corby and Mike opined that Texas will be back sooner than later. As a TAMU fan I agree. I told my brother that I did not see any quit on this team from any of the players, and the malcontents that did not like playing under Charlie Strong are gone. As superlative Corby spoke “I don’t know when they will be back but they will be back.” I agree, and I give it two years. Give Charlie Strong two years and that A&M regent will be eating that “cupcake”. (This piece was started before the TCU game but I still stand behind my opinion.)
Yes, I want an A&M-Texas game. As a mixed family (as noted above), Thanksgiving dinners were so much fun when half the house was for one team, half for the other. I may be wrong, but this is how I feel it is between the majority of fans of the two schools. I want that atmosphere back. So Corby, come eat Thanksgiving with us. We don’t hate.