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So it’s official; I’ve finally lost it. I have finally gotten stuck to the drain at the bottom of the deep end of the pool. I’ve finally done a belly flop off Gibraltar. Yes folks, I’ve tried on the pretty white jacket and found it an excellent fit.

I went to a Texas A&M baseball game. The crowd was disappointing to say the least. They seem to have forgotten how to heckle. They can do the “E”, they fire their guns on a strikeout, they do the “Woooop, woooooop” for fouls up the net. It’s like going to a line dance, everyone is doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, but it’s like watching sheep.

The group stuff we did was just filler. The traditions were just what we did to give us time to think up classy heckles. In the 3rd inning, Dallas Baptist went through 4 pitchers. And not a single one of them left the field crying. Everyone just waved.

But I really couldn’t blame the kids, I understand that there was a lot lost when Bonfire fell. That the strong emphasis placed on creative mocking is probably gone forever. Maybe someone should write a collection of the old grode stories, or at least record the dorm yells. Maybe someone should….

Then I saw it.

I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. It was already the third inning and even though it had been right in front of me the whole game, what I saw just wasn’t processing through my brain.

Written on the outside of both on-deck circles was “Texas A&M - Building Champions”.

It was a little while before I could really come to grips with the phrase. And then, in a voice a little too loud, I said “That’s it!” pointing at the on deck circle. “That’s why I’m angry with this place. That’s what I hate about how this school has changed.”

Regrettably, I didn’t stop. In hindsight, it might have been a little wiser to just leave, but I don’t have the capacity to stop mid-rant any more. “Ten years ago, someone would have beat the hell out of you for saying Texas A&M builds champions. Hell, I’d have beat you for saying that. Texas A&M doesn’t build champions. Texas A&M builds Aggies. It used to be we left it up to the world to figure out how to translate that into words they could understand.”

Aggies are above winning and losing. They always win, for in the end, they’re always Aggies. They never lose, because in the end, the other team can’t best us. We can be outscored, and often are, but that’s nothing but a number. I’m still so angry I could scream.

My friends ask if I would send my kids to A&M. Maybe. But not if A&M continues to try to be “World-Class” or build champions or any of that other nonsense. We’re A&M, there was a time when the rest of the world wanted to be like us, and the ones who didn’t, just didn’t know us well enough to know we were what they wanted to be. There was a time when we would have considered it an insult to be compared to any other school. Now we act like we have something to prove.

I’ll send my kids to any school that promises to make them Aggies, but I’ll be locked away in a padded room before I let some university try to make them champions.

Posted with : Sanguine Maroon