For Longhorn fans, it was a fitting farewell to Stephen McGee at DKR on Thanksgiving. Tormentor and Enemy of the Nation, McGee presided over a competitive and victorious period of two wins and a lost Heisman for the Aggies against their biggest rival. Yet, at the end, slowed by shoulder injuries and a relatively talentless group of teammates whose emotions couldn't overcome a Longhorn squad with revenge in their hearts and a BCS championship on their minds, McGee stood silent and alone on a despondent Aggie sideline. There would be no miracles on this evening.
Yes, it was a fitting end for McGee, who entered the game with his typical enthusiasm, no doubt expecting his teammates to rally around him once more, to summon his typical magic, one of the top storylines from the last three years of the rivalry. The emotion was there for McGee, but his legendary toughness was not.
No, the toughest quarterback on the field was Colt McCoy, who didn't need to run his mouth to the press to let the Burnt Orange Nation and collective nation at large know that he wanted to game badly. You could see it in his own toughness, taking the best shot the Aggies could give him in the first half, but still stepping into passes and delivering them on target to streaking Longhorn receivers. In fact, the hit he took by Von Miller on the touchdown pass to Brandon Collins was late and should have drawn a flag. Aggie cheap shot artists trying to hurt McCoy? No. That couldn't happen. You could see the toughness in his running with the lack of regard for his body, leaving his feet to finish a zone read keeper for a touchdown. "Cart McCoy" was "Colt MyBoy" the most deserving candidate for Heisman, the most indispensible element of a grinding, efficient offensive machine, finally the best quarterback on the field during the Lone Star Showdown.
It wasn't McGee, uncharacteristically reticent to take and receive hits, whose body, which he had thrown around with little regard earlier in his career, just wouldn't take any more. His emotion against Texas, normally born of something that defies words or characterizations, looked like it was born of fear. Fear and the scary realization that the only thing that had ever defined his college career besides abject mediocrity was about to be taken from him. His whole identity as a football player, his only glorious collegiate moments, were ending, going gently into that good, slightly humid night at the shrine to football that he seems to hate with all his being.
Texas fans could smell the fear on McGee, who provided the great comic relief of the evening (besides the Corps of Cadets, of course) by lofting several passes under intense pressure into the flat for the immensely corpulent Jovorskie Lane to flail at. For the tough kid from Burnet always willing to take a hit and then run his mouth about it, they were incredible acts of cowardice and fear, the type of "yellowbelly" mentality of which Martellus Bennett accused the Longhorns of possessing. Wrong, Martellus, you now loos like even more of a blustery fool than you normally do.
McGee didn't want to take a hit all evening, but even his cowardice on the evening didn't define his performance, which made him look like as much of a clown as ever, which is saying something, considering his history against Texas. Instead of congratulating his teammate, McGee ran down the field to scream in the face of Blake Gideon, who had been decleated on the play by Jamie McCoy. What a clown. And that's the difference between Colt McCoy and Stephen McGee (besides a great deal of talent and many more victories). Class. There could not be a better representative for the University of Texas than Colt McCoy, a kid who every father would be happy to let his daughter date. McGee? Well, I guess his clown act represents a place pretty well that lets kids play soldier like I did when I was a child.
Texas fans no doubt remember in the Cotton Bowl when Quan Cosby absolutely blew up Lendy Holmes. Colt McCoy didn't run down the field to yell in the face of Holmes. In fact, I can almost guarantee that McCoy would never even think about doing that. Why? Because Colt was running down the field to congratulate his teammates, not to childishly try to intimidate a fallen opponent. Be happy about the success of your teammates, not the failure of others. That's the difference between McCoy and McGee.
All this even before discussion of the most ridiculous act by McGee on the evening. Sergio Kindle beat whatever sad sack "offensive lineman" A&M put in front of him, absolutely obliterating the coward McGee on the play, who clearly didn't want to have anything to do with Kindle between the whistles, as he crumpled in a way that would make Peyton Manning proud. Sergio Kindle can hit a quarterback and even he isn't capable of hitting McGee much harder than he did.
After briefly recovering what little sense he has, McGee ran over the Texas sideline and started barking at Kindle, apparently upset at a little dance that Kindle did after the sack that can hardly be characterized as a dance at all. Kindle didn't stand over McGee and mock him as McGee had just done to Gideon, but was celebrating with his teammates. I'm sure Kindle must have laughed at McGee, who continued to bark before being led away by a referee, leading Chris Fowler to term the whole performance by McGee "bush league." Considering the history of cheap shots by Aggies against McCoy, it's unbelievable that McGee would react in such a way to a clean hit. Unbelievable until you consider that it's Bush League McGee. In a way, his barking at Kindle, safe because the play was dead, was as much of an act of cowardice as his pathetic passes to avoid being hit. He knew that Kindle could tear him limb from limb in less than a minute, but barked at Kindle under the protection of the play being dead. This is an Aggie hero, Bush League McGee, coward.
After the passing of his emotion, when the reality of the magnitude of the Longhorn beat down became to enter the consciousness and McGee stood alone on the Aggie sideline, the sense of emptiness was palpable. His body was an empty vessel, suddenly devoid of the camaradery and glory from previous games against Texas. His whole existence gone, that by which he defined himself stripped away, leaving nothing but a gaping chasm emptiness. Yes, this is fitting for you, Bush League Stephen McGee. A banishment to the bush leagues of your sport if you ever want a professional career. Yes, Bush League Stephen McGee, to the bush leagues with you. And emptiness. Unfathomable emptiness of the type that will leave you drunk in old age, blathering to bartenders for the hundredth time your tales of lost glory against the Longhorns. If you're lucky, there will be an Aggie around who remembers, who can buy you another drink to cry into. Goodbye, Bush League Stephen McGee.