FanPost

27-25: The way it should be, the way it's always been.

Good Lord, what a game. A game for the ages. A game to end the series. A game that, quite frankly, embodied most of what this rivalry has been for the last 118 meetings.


I read a book many years ago titled Backyard Brawl: Inside the Blood Feud between Texas and Texas A&M. It's not a great read, but it is pretty good. I believe the author - W.K. Stratton -  went to Sam Houston State, but like many Texans who have no true allegiance to either team, he grew up with a great interest in the rivalry. He offers a generally unbiased, outsider's view on each school which naturally leads to some jabs at A&M. At one point, he comments on how strange he felt as A&M enthusiastically sang the Aggie War Hymn - a song riddled with anti-Longhorn lyrics - when they were playing some team like McNeese State to open the season in the early 2000s. He also writes about his bewilderment that A&M does not use the roman numeral IV on their clock tower because it looks too much like the letters TU, and the fact that the Aggie band calls their tubas "bass horns" because the word tuba has the letters t and u (amazing but, apparently, true).

 

To conclude his book, he asserts that throughout the history of this rivalry, Texas has simply been overwhelmingly superior on the field or, just plain-ass lucky. He sites that simple luck has played a huge part in many key games and always seems to favor the Longhorns in this respect. It's not a shot at UT or anything, he just makes the observation that luck, karma, fate, or whatever you want to call it seems to shine on the burnt orange far more than it does on the maroon. A&M has usually (though not always) needed to be vastly superior AND lucky while Texas has always needed only one or the other. This fact was never more evident than the most recent UT-A&M game this Thanksgiving. Despite a woefully inept offense, a horrible punting unit that left the Ags with a short field all night, inferior talent, and home-field advantage and emotion clearly in the Aggies' corner, UT won. Against all odds, inexplicably, the Aggies once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in heartbreaking fashion.

And that's the way it should be because, that's the way it has always been. Like it or not, an inferior Texas team kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired to beat a .500 A&M team that should be 10-2 truly encapsulates much of what this rivalry has been. It does not matter in this game. Texas is Texas, A&M is A&M.

I am one of those people that sincerely hope that this rivalry will continue one day, and I actually have no doubt that it will. You can't tell me that the two premier universities separated by only 100 miles in a state as big and as important as Texas will simply never play each other again. Things do change. Schools switch conferences, and old rivalries die and new ones begin. Hell, most of us have watched the SWC die and now live in a world in which TCU, SMU, and Houston have all returned to big-time BCS conferences. Things change, people move on, but then sometimes things change again and old foes find themselves face-to-face.

As accepting I am of change, one thing is certain and it is this: Texas is Texas and Aggies are Aggies. It is embedded into the fabric of Texas. And that truth was never more evident than when Justin Tucker's kick sailed through the uprights on Thanksgiving night. Texas won. We weren't supposed to win, but we did because we're supposed to win. Good game Ags, but not good enough. Farewell, and good luck. I have no doubt we will cross paths again in my lifetime. Hook 'Em Horns!

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