Texas and Texas A&M haven’t played each other on the football field since 2011. In case you forgot how that game ended, go ahead and click here for a quick refresher.
Now that you’re either feeling pretty good about life or completely hate me for bringing up that memory, let’s get real about this game coming back for a minute.
I understand there are politics, money and egos involved with the whole situation, but I could care less about that. I also know that both schools did what they thought was best for them at the time and in the future, and I’m not concerned about that right now either. I’m talking strictly about reasons why it makes sense for the game to be played again.
1. The fans crave it.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the attendance numbers any time Texas and A&M play each other in any sport. The Longhorns hosted the Aggies about a month ago in baseball and had a sold out crowd on a Tuesday night. In what is normally a meaningless game on a Tuesday, this game meant something, even though there is no “rivalry” anymore.
And I don’t care if it’s volleyball, basketball, golf, baseball or any other sport. Both fan bases will at the very least check in on the score and rest a little easier when their team wins against the other. And some people say the football game shouldn’t be played again because of lack of interest? Get out of here with that nonsense.
2. It’s great for the state.
Quite frankly, there’s not enough hate going on in the state of Texas when it comes to football, and that has to change. As a Texas fan, the only team that comes close to the rivalry with A&M is Oklahoma. I could care less about Texas Tech or TCU. Baylor is up there on the hate list because of their scandalous behavior, but that’s a whole different level.
Even high school kids are beginning to choose out-of-state schools over Texas or A&M. A lot of that has to do with both programs being average or below average, but it makes you think if this game not being played has something to do with it as well. As a result of kids leaving the state, Texas did not have a program in the top 25 to end the season in seemingly forever. Is there a connection there? Maybe.
3. National attention.
It’s hard to say that this game would get a lot of national attention at first, just because neither team has been any good lately. However, I’ve noticed something last year and this year that could be very attractive.
Texas moved their opening game to the Sunday of Labor Day against Notre Dame, and it ended up being one of the highest rated games for TV all season. This year, A&M is doing the same for their game against UCLA.
Why can’t Texas and A&M play each other every year on the Sunday of Labor Day? It’s the first game of the year, so the hype would be unreal between the fan bases all offseason. I get it that neither school would want to play the game later in the year after the conference schedule, so the first game makes perfect sense. It could alternate home and away games, or just make it neutral every year at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. I guarantee it would be a sold out game with good TV ratings every year.
I’ve heard some opinions that the game should never come back, because the rivalry will be forgotten in ten years anyway. I couldn’t disagree more. Anyone who has gotten a taste of the rivalry will welcome it back. That means my generation definitely won’t forget about the rivalry ten years from now and much longer.
Both programs had to do what was best for them back in 2011, but now it’s time to do what’s best for the fans, the state and the game of college football. This game needs to be played every year, and that’s coming from a Texas fan acknowledging that my team would have lost to the Aggies most of these past several years, if not all of them.
I used to be satisfied with being able to reflect back on 27-25 for eternity, but now I just miss the feeling of beating A&M again. And maybe I miss the feeling of being hurt after a loss in some twisted way. But with an all-time record of 76-37-5 against the poor Aggies, losing to them is not a feeling I’m accustomed to.
See there, I couldn’t even write this article without throwing in a jab or two. And I’d expect the same from the other side. That’s the beauty and uniqueness of the rivalry. The verbal attacks and social media attacks are getting old. Let’s just play the game already.
E-mail Chase at chase [dot] holik [at] campuspressbox [dot] com and follow him on Twitter @chaseholik88.