1. food from the fan zone is a much better choice than the stadium food inside. i may have eaten my last hot dog and cold pizza.
2. took in the basketball scrimmage from court side seats before the football game. a much better view for the game just for the sounds alone.
3. the game was moving along with ease as the Ags scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. 21-0 is such a good score on the eyes!
4. didn’t realize our punt team had a perfect game until i was in the car going home. 0 punts!! that was just the flow of the game all day.
5. first game back at kyle in over two weeks and it was obvious there were two different crowds for osu and isu. no volume or intensity.
6. military appreciation day puts things in perspective. pictures of Aggies all over the world serving our country forces TRUE appreciation.
7. can’t tell you how excited i am for the future of this team. when these freshmen are seniors, i’m ALL in! wish we played USC then. . .
8. made my first trek to the upper portion of The Zone. i decided that even though the tickets my be cheaper, i will pay more to walk less!
9. Jeff Fuller is a beast. One of Sherman’s first acts as HC was talking him into not signing @ ou. so thankful i can follow his career at A&M!
10. i noticed sat just how big of a role jamie mccoy plays in the offense. because we lack a tru FB or it’s a tru role in this offense?
11. it came to my attention that i’m really looking forward to baylor coming to Kyle. watching the tech revenge game, a bear becomes a cub?
12. choose wisely: 3 losses in a row w/ a win over tu knocking them out of champ contention OR 3 wins and a loss to tu with them in title game?
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1st down: The Aggies have to run the football. There’s a difference between running the football and trying to run the football. If the Aggies are able to RUN the football then they will truly have success in the passing game and overall on the scoreboard and not just the stat sheet. Something bad happens when there is such a commitement to run the football and the defense is stopping the run. If the run is stuffed and the Ags keep forcing the run just to prove the 300 plus rushing yards last week wasn’t a fluke that could force problems. Hopefully the O-line has the same mentality as last week and the Ags will be able to RUN the ball and not have to FORCE the run.
2nd down: The Aggies have to repeat last weeks performance this week. Duh right? Not what they did on the field but what they did collectively off the field. One reason for the success against Tech was the team successfully put the game against Kansas State out of their minds. This week the Aggies need to put the game against Tech out of their minds to have a good performance today even if lightening strikes three times and the Ags happen to fumble on their first offensive possession!
3rd down: Leave the trick or treating to the kids. The Aggies need to come out dressed up as themselves. They don’t need to be the team that played poorly against Arkansas or Kansas State and in my opinion they don’t need to try to be the team that wrecked havoc on the west plains. They should come out as themselves. Who wouldn’t want to see two of our linebackers trade in their numbers this week for numbers 9 and 44. An attempt to recreate the Wrecking Crew would be awesome but how long has that been going on? 1998 maybe. These players need to be themselves in an attempt to become a part of the Wrecking Crew but not duplicate or BE the Wrecking Crew of old.
and 1: To me the game is going to come down to defense. Surprise right? Here are two teams coming off of games where the defense forced turnovers to upset the flow of each of the favored teams they were up against. Let’s see which defense duplicates the turnover game this week. I would point to that team at the end of the game and probably see them celebrating a victory. Then I hope to turn and see the Yell Leaders run onto the field trying to elude some clean head shaven fish chasing them!
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There are a ton of memorable maroon moments. More of those moments depend on me having a good memory in order to recall them as there haven’t been a whole lot lately. This memory doesn’t require too much effort to recall.
I remember waking up October 10, 1998 and walking outside. I felt great. Something was in the air. I distinctly remember smelling the all so recognizable new t-shirt smell as my Maroon Out shirt had never been worn. I don’t want to be crazy and say I smelled something like victory or upset in the air so I’ll just say I felt it (I did smell it though, flat out smelled it.).
#2 Nebraska rolled in to town and looked larger than any huge challenge anyone could create. Leaving midnight yell I starred at the Nebraska trailer parked outside of the opponents locker room that carried the teams equipment in from Lincoln. The big red “N” was surrounded by all of it’s credentials achieved on the gridiron. Five championships detailed the side of the trailer with the year that they accomplished football greatness including 1997.
No section 114 for me and my boys for this game. Ricky, Eric, and myself were on the track! Chairs mimicking section, row, and seat number were set up on each corner of the track. I had never seen so many opposing team’s fans. A guy in a red Nebraska t-shirt stood and yelled behind us. I turned around to see a giant corn cob had attacked his head. He wore it as a hat and I can only guess he was doing it on accident.
Moments in the game stick out like individual spokes on a bicycle tire supporting the weight of just how classic this game really is in the history of Aggie football. The Zone was still under construction and many construction workers were hardly working that Saturday afternoon as they had an unobstructed view of the field.
Ready for the memory? The score is tied at 7 and “Corn Head” is still standing and yelling. In those days it was a steady dose of run, run, run, punt if ten yards weren’t earned in the first three plays. Dante Hall ran for five yards. Second down and five to go for the first and Hall picks up another three. Third down and two belonged to a new freshman running back named Ja’mar Toombs. Toombs took the ball and ran 71 yards to the one yard line at our end of the field. One thing I remember about this outstanding run was Toombs looking up at the video board as he was in a foot race with smaller, faster athletes.
As we exchanged high fives with Aggies nearby I noticed “Corn Head” had lost his corn, er, hat. He was sitting down and was the only person sitting in our section. Hall punched it in from the one and the Aggies would not look back and made a quick exit of “Corn Head”. He missed a good game as the Cornhuskers came back just as you would expect a good team to do.
That 71 yard run was etched in my mind. Sure I remember seeing me and my buddies on TV for a second each as the cameras came over for a shot of guess who, “Corn Head”. The thing that sticks out the most is the #28 of Toombs jersey. The next year he would switch to #5. I would forever see #28 as I watched #5 run the football the next few years.
Walking out of Kyle Field I glanced back to see Aggies everywhere celebrating and noticed the chairs of our section and the other three around the track were anything but straight. Chairs were turned on their side, knocked over, facing each other, and holding a few Aggies who were standing up cheering.
Yeah, #28 > #5.
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Section 114 has served as the view of game day at Kyle Field for six years. I need to go back and check my ticket stubs to be accurate of the first section I called home in 1999 when I first purchased season tickets. I remember several memories from that first section.
One, the parents of Cliff Groce sat one row in front of me. Pretty awesome to see them still supporting Aggie football long after their son’s playing days had moved from Saturday to Sunday. Two, this would be where I soaked up every deafening silent moment and every ear piercing scream of joy on what would be known as “The Bonfire Game”. Hard to imagine that there would be such polar opposites on the volume level that day but it happened. I’m going to go into detail later on each of those moments in the future.
Today’s view point is of another group sitting in front of our row. Section 114 is not the best view for the entirety of a football game. They are however pretty good seats when the Aggies are driving into the end zone of The Zone and the quarterback flaps his arms as if to push the sound of the anticipating crowd lower. The seats are perfect for watching the defense (can’t call them the Wrecking Crew at this point) wave their arms in the opposite direction as if to raise the volume of the crowd. So we have the corner of the end zone.
Apart from game action on our side of the field we are privileged to the non-game activity of the opposing team warm up. Keep in mind that this is the first glimpse we get of the opponent. After stretching the teams break up into groups by position and continue warming up with position specific drills.
Do you ever wonder what other people are thinking in a largely attended public venue? Like if there were comic bubbles over peoples heads that gave you an inside look at what they were thinking. “I have to go to the bathroom.” “These are horrible seats.” “I hope we don’t lose by 20.” You know, stuff like that.
Our neighbors one row closer to the action needed no comic bubble. The iPhone didn’t exist at that time but if it did, I would be searching for an App for that. Comic bubbles for peoples thoughts. That way I didn’t have to hear what she was saying. It started from pre-game warmup and continued through the entire game.
First game was no big deal. You are trying to figure the team out as they try and figure themselves out and most of the time the opponent is of no big concern. Unless it’s Arkansas State and the year is 2008. The lady notices the group of offensive line going through blocking drills against each other. “Man, number 60 is a big ol’ boy. He’s really big.” I look up without thinking to find myself taking the height and weight of number 60. Yep. He’s big. I watch our running backs on the other end go through handoff drills. “Whoa! Number 55 is a big ol’ boy. Whew, he’s big.” I look up again. She’s right. “Now that’s a big ol’ boy. Number 70. How much does he weigh do you think?” She’s not talking to me. She’s talking to her husband who has headphones on and doesn’t acknowledge her. She goes through the entire OFFENSIVE LINE! The entire depth chart of the offensive line.
I was happy when she made it through their roster of the “big ol’” variety. Game time! Warm ups are over and the pigskin is resting on the tee as the kicker lines up for the boot. I have forgotten the fact that I just scouted an opponents offensive line by height and weight. Remember the comic bubble idea? It’s probably at this moment that I realized why her husband wore headphones. He wasn’t listening to the game, he just wasn’t listening to her.
Every play. EVERY play. She expressed her belief that the play we were running or the decision of the player was wrong. “No Reggie. No Reggie!! Don’t do that!.” Then came the voice over the loud speakers, “Pass complete to Terrence Murphy for 34 yards and another Fightin’ Texas Aggie first down.” This happened every play. “No don’t hand it to Toombs.” Followed by, “Run by Ja’mar Toombs for 7 yards good for another first down.”
I lived through this for two seasons of football. I wondered how in the world this wife’s husband could sit next to her for football and beyond. That thought quickly went away as I put on my headphones for game two of sitting in Section 114.
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