The Last Lone Star Showdown

I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I know I did.

One Thanksgiving tradition in Texas is the “Lone Star Showdown.”  The Texas A&M and University of Texas football teams face off either on Thanksgiving or the day afterward.  It’s a huge rivalry and tradition.  Today’s game is their 118th, and unfortunately, last meeting.

Due to the conference changes, money, and, according to the commentators, “arrogance and stubbornness,” today is the last Lone Star Showdown, at least for the foreseeable future. (And seriously? Tom Cruise, I don’t care if you have a movie coming out, why were you making the game introduction? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT TEXAS FOOTBALL?)

In the full spirit of disclosure, I went to Texas A&M (please y’all, no Aggie jokes. I have heard them all.).  To sum up my college experience succinctly, I would say that I loved the campus, enjoyed the classes I went to, and met some good people there; however, I was a different person back then and the small town atmosphere made me rather miserable.  I was more than ready to move to a larger city once I graduated.  The last time I visited was two years ago; College Station is expanding and it looks like there is more to do.  Bryan still appears to be a cesspool of despair.

Texas A&M is heavily based in traditions, and one of its most-loved traditions is its rivalry against UT.  UT has always been a little indifferent against us, focusing its hatred for OU.  But Texas A&M embraced the rivalry in full force.  Our fight songs focus completely on UT.  Aggies call UT “Texas University” or “tu” (I don’t, because I think it’s stupid).  Our fight song starts off with, “Goodbye to Texas University, so long to the Orange and the White.”

I’ve never been a football fan, and I never embraced the rivalry in full-force.  UT is a great school, so I don’t make a big deal over the rivalry like some people do (though I have to say, burnt orange is not a color you would catch me wearing.  Just because it’s not the most flattering color and all).  But I’ve always enjoyed the spirit of these Lone Star Showdown games, especially with a “house divided.”

This is Patrick and me, right before the 2006 Lone Star Showdown game.  I hesitated even posting this because I look so idiotic.  Actually, both of us were supposed to be flashing gang signs as a joke, but then my mom told my brother that he looked too gangster (shows you how much of a gangster I am).  Anyway, don’t judge me because this was five years ago, and I was in my early 20s, and it was a VERY CONFUSING TIME, OKAY?

ANYWAY, I DIGRESS. I feel sad that future generations won’t be able to witness the Lone Star Showdown.  Watching the game brings back a lot of memories – waving my towel at Kyle Field, the excitement of being able to shout out my wildcats at the end of each yell (the best was the sophomore wildcat because it was so obnoxious), and how charged campus would get on game day.  I remember feeling stifled by the conformity at times, but I’m grateful that I was able to have that college experience.

I hope that one day, the Lone Star Showdown will be resurrected.  Sure, the rivalry gets dumb at times.  But it also brings us together – families, friends, coworkers, and strangers bond over the excitement of a favorite college team winning a game.

And the biggest question is – what is A&M going to do without its biggest rival?  Will we have to write a new fight song?

So for the last Lone Star Showdown game, I bring out the Aggie-ness that I have long stifled.   “Rough! Tough! Real Stuff! Texas A&M.”  WHOOP!


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