During the month of June, BON authors will memorialize the final days of the UT-A&M rivalry through a series of perspectives, as seen through The Eyes of Texas, to include essays, personal reflections and commemorations of significant note.
Editor's Note: In an act of solidarity, today's GTFO send-off comes from a Texas Tech gradute, my good friend Skin Patrol. After reading it, I think you'll agree that he had to be the one to write the TexAgs post. -PB-
This post is about TexAgs, the greatest website that ever was or ever will be.
I'm not a "Longhorn fan" (Red Raider**), and so this isn't, strictly speaking, a "Longhorn perspective" (although I do have a degree from Texas). But based on the way internet Longhorn fans pejoratively dismiss TexAgs as a gathering place of general buffoonery and imbecility, maybe an outsider's perspective is precisely what y'all need.
Because although you're right about TexAgs -- it is nuttier than a squirrel turd, crazier than a shithouse rat; in fact it's the Platonic ideal of face-palming stupid-insane -- you act like that's a bad thing? Half a million TexAgs readers per day cannot all be wrong, and I am one of them.
Although I can't recall the first time I met TexAgs, my love affair with it began around 2007. I was barely employed and getting ready for grad school, which meant all I had was free time to spend reading obsessively about Big 12 football. Of course I'd heard of TexAgs, as it has been one of the, if not the, most popular team-centric college football message boards. Ours started as a tryst, with an occasional visit attempting discovery of an educated Aggies' perspective on Texas Tech recruiting. That effort wasted, obviously, I'd instead find myself strolling into threads about Tech Tards and T-Sips and UNCOVER and Old Army vs. New Army, horribly misplaced 14 page posts about national champeenships and chradition and violent reactions to the latest Aggie internet embarrassment. Before long I was laughing out loud at TexAgs faithfuls' outlandish claims of thrown batteries and sincere, impassioned, and utterly indefensible defense of sword wielding maniacs.
"I think it's kind of a cool pic. Shows defiance and pride," writes Pelayo.
"It shows a criminal act," responds TorcanoAG2004.
"Which criminal act?" asks internet-lawyer Keegan99, "Battery by the male SMU cheerleaders moments before the picture was snapped?"
This goes on for four pages. Why would anybody hate this place?
My timing in 2007 was impeccable as the canary was coughing and glorious circumstance was leading TexAgs towards imminent meltdown on the Chernobyl scale. The Aggies were preseason ranked, albeit 25ish, but in some corners hopes were unusually high, the result mostly of a respectable 9-4 showing, including a close win over Texas in Austin.
(Followed over a month later by a thorough bowl-depantsing, at the hands of those godless hippies from Berkley. Dear Diary, Our national nightmare continues. Another year without a bowl victory. Year 6 will be different, though. -Texas A&M)
Dennis Franchione should be the patron saint of TexAgs, as he's caused more verbiage and traffic drive to that site than any person likely will (Deloss Dodds a distant second). Even after a very good 2006, TexAgs hated him, or had a sizable verbal contingent that hated him enough to drown out his meek supporters. And TexAgs hates with impressive vigor and purpose. A triple-overtime victory over Fresno State in week two was ominous (although that turned out to be a decent team), but the drubbing several weeks later by Miami effectively ended the Franchione era (aided in large part by FranGate), and the beginning of the TexAgs golden years. Self-loathing and cannibalism became art at TexAgs, as never before. Although they had to settle for Sleepy Sherman, in 2007 the major issue was the process, which fans had mixed reactions to. Unintentionally funny defense of A&M's not-racist hiring of Sherman from Lefty Ag '89: "I only interviewed on persion (an Indian) to work for me!!!! Man!!!! I am a racist! I didn't even interview the white man, the black man or even the mexican!"
If the fascinating Franchione fiasco made me an intrigued suitor to TexAgs, love blossomed during the 2008 season, which provided a lifetime of schadenfreude in a few fortuitous months. Besides that, I learned to love everything TexAgs, embracing their uncover threads, this one time at fish camp stories, old army vs. new army, fascinatingly stupid vernacular ("t-sips"/T.U. among them), and unearned delusions of grandeur (yea, Meyer will coach at A&M, heh). Did you know there were adults in the world with strong feelings about bevels? Me neither.
Like any other internet message board, there are many (PERHAPS EVEN DOZENS OF) completely sane, thoughtful, and reasonable voices at TexAgs. Fortunately these get drowned out by throngs of indoctrinated converts. I say fortunately because trolling the extremists at TexAgs (which I don't do, but we all know it's happening) is a simple matter, given that there's literally nothing too outlandish to propose that you won't find at least a handful of sincere supporters. TexAgs is a case study in Poe's Law. It is a place where aged but not mature people descend to discuss trivial subjects at an elementary playground level. Example? The reason people disagree with each other at TexAgs, is because someone is gay. Don't like Deloss Dodds because he's an athletic director at a school you dislike? He must be gay, possibly with the President:
"Deloss Dodds won't allow gameday to be in College Station. . . The sips have a lot of power in politics, all the way to the white house, and Deloss is not afraid to call in some favors." Seems reasonable enough, per bigcheese013 (is he a troll? I don't know, and that's what's so wonderful). If you enjoy a good conspiracy theory, "T.U." and "ESiPN" are in cahoots, obviously, a fact now exposed to the world on TexAgs, a, er, ESPN affiliate website. Unintentional humor is an underrated virtue.
The greatest news of all is that just because the Aggies are leaving the Big 12, doesn't mean TexAgs is disappearing. In all likelihood 2013 is going to be a banner year at TexAgs, as the stars are realigned for another Three Mile Island meltdown of hilarious proportions. Vegas thinks A&M is going to lose a lot of conference games (duh) next year, but what do they know? Well, I know that I'll be at TexAgs every day this season, enjoying myself, and I think you should too. There's no freude, like schadenfreude.