“Big ol’ boy.”
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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