Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Weekend in College Station: Retro Diary

First Aggie football game of the 2012 season.  First SEC game EVER.  College GameDay in College Station.  Any ONE of those three things is a worthy weekend.  All three of them together?  That is a mind-numbing lineup.

I was fortunate enough to have purchased a season ticket this year… and I am proud to say I will be there on September 8th when the jets fly over and the Aggies begin a new life in the SEC. 

It will be a memorable 36 hours to say the least and I will be drinking ALL the kool-aid until kickoff at 2:30 pm.

In honor of the weekend, I have created a retro diary (starting before I leave for College Station on Friday) of the actual happenings of my weekend.  Many of the happenings may be covered in a fuzzy haze, but I shall attempt to scatter as much insight into the true emotions of the weekend; from my distinct friend circle, to the overall feel of College Station.  Gig ‘em.

Tuesday, September 4th – Friday, September 7th – Lost countless hours of work productivity as my friends and I swapped hundreds and hundreds of emails planning our once-a-year, slobberfest of a tailgate in Spence Park.  The common theme amongst the group has been “are we SEC ready?” 

And I can only hope the players and coaches put in as much time into actual football strategy as we put into how to make the PERFECT jelloshot.  My influence on the weekend is limited to positive energy and libation creativity.

Friday – 9:45 am – As expected the clock is crawling… the only thing I can do to prepare myself while I work is drink water and pee.  12 ounces down.  Looking to get to 100 ounces before I bolt.

Friday – 10:15 am – Ran into a fellow Aggie coworker in the bathroom (he wasn’t wearing an Aggie polo to casual Friday… bummed me out a bit) and I gleefully spouted out “Gameday, baby, you ready?” he responded with, “it’s Friday, the game is tomorrow” and as he walked out, I thought to myself… he is NOT SEC ready.

Friday – 2:00 pm – Excitement is overwhelmingly, requested to leave work early, request granted, still drinking water… still peeing.

Friday – 4:30 pm – Packed up, on the road… College Station here we come!

Friday – 7:30 pm – The gathering of friends brings the excitement to a whole new level, burgers and drinks are enjoyed.  There is truly something special about a football weekend at your alma mater.  Every time I return to College Station for a football game, I count my blessings that I went to such an awesome University (this sentimental notion usually changes by the end of the actual game).

Friday – 10:00 pm to Sleepy time – Northgate is humming.  I honestly forgot how insane that place gets on a huge weekend.  The bars are packed, the streets are packed; College Station feels invincible.  The Florida fans definitely showed up.  It might have been the largest number of opposing fans I have ever seen make the pilgrimage to College Station (save for maybe Nebraska a couple years back) in my time as a student and recent graduate. 

And on this note, I was talking with a buddy of mine, and maybe we were just looking for a reason to bash our old friends in the Big 12, but am I crazy to think that they (as a conference) are significantly below average as far as traveling fans.  Let’s point at Baylor for example; they are ninety miles away, yet I don’t remember any memorable College Station sporting events involving Baylor fans.  But then again, what am I supposed to expect from Baylor.  Baylor is lame. 

It was a great night.  And since I am writing this section with the hindsight of knowing the result of the game, I will definitely defer most of my thoughts to what happened BEFORE the game, which brings me to…

Saturday – 8:30 am – My friends and I were hosting on our tailgate for this special occasion so we were up bright and early to get the shenanigans started.  The weather was a pleasant surprise, and the faint smell of barbecue in the air gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Saturday – 9:30 am – I wandered my way over to the College GameDay set at Simpson Drill Field.  It was a pretty cool to sight to see, but ultimately underwhelming.  Unless you are in the front row and have the mindset to scream and yell for an hour straight, I think the entire production is probably a little cooler on TV.  But then again, the reason it is cool on TV is seeing all the fans going nuts.  So just chalk this one up on me being lazy AND being preoccupied with the jello shots that were for me waiting back at the tailgate.

Saturday – 1 pm – The tailgate was a success, and based upon my brief observations and the rumblings of others, ALL the tailgates were a great success.  I mean can a tailgate actually be a failure?   I don’t think so.  Not as long as you have excited fans, libations, and meat.  That is a trifecta made in Heaven.

Another facet of the tailgating atmosphere was the solid showing (slash attitude) of the Gator fans.  Save for a couple of annoying drunks I came across in the South end zone during the game, I was thoroughly impressed with the culture they brought with them.  And from the ones I spoke with… they were definitely impressed with Texas A&M.   The Aggies put their best foot forward and I think our true southern/SEC nature showed.

Saturday – 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm  – It was an absolute madhouse to get into the field.  My dumb friends were slow to get moving and in order to avoid any personal blame I deem them completely responsible for me missing the fly over, the pump up videos, and the intros.  I should have known at that very moment what was about to ensue.

Saturday – 2:31 pm – the game starts…

Everyone knows what happened… there is no reason to walk you through the pain again in a step by step fashion.  

My thoughts on the game, after a word from our sponsors.

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