A week or so ago my perturbed friend Ben Berryman wrote an article ridiculing “bowl season” and its countless hollow games and matchups. Normally I would agree with his less than unique thoughts, but that was before I witnessed, first-hand, my beloved Texas A&M Aggies stick it to the Northwestern Wildcats (ok, they pretty much hung on for dear life in the 4th quarter, but still). You want to know why we have 30+ bowl games? So I can travel less than five miles down the road to Reliant Stadium and see the Aggies win the Meineke Car Care bowl. You won me over Mr. Meineke! In a season like the one we just endured… any reason to celebrate, is a worthy reason. The Aggies let me taste a semi-important victory again, and it tasted very nice. Thank you football team.
I honestly don’t have many comments on the actual happenings of the game. There were indeed larger themes to be revered (I will touch on those in a moment), and thankfully the Aggies were able to honor those with a victory. We played our normal strong half of football, stood around some in the second half, then made the ever-so-frustrating switch to what I will now refer to as the “Prevent [you from winning]” defense. That is neither here nor there, we won; and one week from now we won’t remember the specifics.
I would like to give a shout out to Ryan Tannehill for becoming the Texas A&M career leader in passing yards, rightfully taking the crown from our former fraud of a quarterback Jerrod Johnson. And for the record, I am definitely going to miss Tannehill. I honestly believe he was a great if not fantastic quarterback (maybe we will find out more when he goes to the next level); he could run, he could throw the ball in an accurate fashion, and most importantly he was able to instill hope into my constantly aching heart. As I have made it quite clear in the past, I was never a fan of McGee or Jerrod, but for some reason Tannehill never seemed to be the direct reason for my usual Aggie angst. Obviously, something went wrong in our many second half collapses, but in my opinion that had way more to do with play calling, our respective gameplans, and most noticeably our defense. I am nervous about quarterback situation for next year… but I will save those thoughts for another day.
Moving onto those larger forces that arose on the last day of 2011… rain or shine, win or lose, I am proud to be an Aggie. When Aggie football is discussed, my blood often boils, but Aggie football isn’t the reason I wake up in the morning nor my last thought before I fall to sleep. I thoroughly enjoy and value each day that is afforded to me, and that particular joy and sense of value has A LOT to do with the college I choose to attend. Texas A&M instills a sense of pride, not only in your school, but also in yourself. I encounter very few people that don’t describe their time in College Station in hyperbolic terms of elation. It is a contagious attitude that can’t be avoided while you are in that special place.
And one of the greatest themes of Aggieland is the respect for the fallen. Whether it is the monthly Silver Taps or the annual Muster call, Texas A&M does not let anyone fall between the cracks. And when tragedies like Joey V's accident occur, Texas A&M does a phenomenal job of not only honoring the lost, but also reminding everyone else to truly value the many blessings bestowed upon them, the greatest of which is life. Nobody expects nor wishes these tragedies upon anyone they know, but when these situations do occur, I consider myself extremely fortunate to be surrounded by Aggies. Football is fleeting. Thankfully, being an Aggie, is not.