The Battle of the Brazos Lives Again
The original intent behind this article was going to purely to describe the intensity and the passion behind the Battle of the Brazos rivalry between Baylor and Texas A&M. And do NOT mistake me, the rivalry certainly has enough material to be the foundation for numerous books.What ended up forming instead was a collection of stories. Some intense, some infuriating, some hilarious, some that will make you shake your head. As Baylor and Texas A&M reanimate the basketball rivalry, playing in the first of a 2-game home-and-home series at the Ferrell Center, we decided it might be fun to look back at some of the best stories from the rivalry.
My friend, who we will call… let’s call him Dave, was an already excitable guy. It didn’t take a rivalry game for him to get in somebody’s face, but we got one anyway. As we were walking back to our ride in the Reed Arena parking lot in College Station, a small cluster of Maroon yelled out, “GO F*** YOURSELF, BAYLOR F******”. I laughed. Stuff like that has always struck me as a child complaining, not understanding how they wound up in timeout. Baylor had just won a devastatingly close game in overtime at Reed Arena.
Dave didn’t let words like that roll off his back. “Hold my knife”, he growled at me.
Similar to most situations in my life, the first thing out of my mouth was a slow, drawling “uhhhhhhhhh”.
“I don’t want to do anything stupid.”
Nothing stupid ever had the chance to happen anyways, because we were all dumb, loud college students. Both groups walked their separate ways, never coming closer than 50 yards.
From guest story contributor @JdotPdot12:
“I think this was the home game in 2008, but not completely sure. It was a huge crowd and the game was very chippy. The refs were calling just about everything you could think of and the crowd was getting relatively hostile, more-so than I had ever seen before at Baylor in my career (2005-2009). At one point, the refs had made a pretty ridiculous call that had led to someone throwing what I remember being an empty water bottle onto the court. The ref stopped the game and announced that if anything else was thrown on the court that a technical would be assessed against Baylor.
Coach Drew got on the microphone and let everyone know that he loved our enthusiasm, but needed us to act like the classy fans he knew we were. We all listened to him and I am sure not one person in the Ferrell Center wanted to let him down.
5 minutes pass and another horrible call, everyone boo's, and then out of the corner of my eye I see a foam basketball (which had been given out earlier in the game) was on a flight path to the basketball court. Everyone was overall pretty surprised that someone would completely ignore Scottie's plea to not hurt the teams chances of winning the game. We are all looking around for the culprit, I look down in the area where I thought I saw it come from and low and behold there are 2 Aggies standing there, with about 10 Baylor index fingers pointing them out as the perpetrators.
Some Aggies may try to tell you that this was the beginning of "Dude Perfect" and they were just trying to make a foam basketball into a basket they had installed in the rafters, but that is a blatant lie, mostly because I just made it up.
A technical was not assessed and they were escorted out of the game. On their way out, they decided to flip the bird at everyone in the stadium, reminding us why so many Bears have such a disdain for Aggies.”
With 4 seconds left in that same game a with a solidified 12-point lead, Texas A&M guard Donald Sloan received an outlet pass. The easy decision would have been to dribble out the clock, celebrate the road victory with your team, and then go home. Instead, Sloan threw himself an off-the-backboard alley oop and finished it with aggression. Baylor fans were not pleased. It is now affectionately known as The Baptism.
The atmosphere was particularly energetic for this particular game; I don’t remember the exact reason why this game was so important. TAMU made their annual drive to Waco, but found more than just a packed Ferrell Center. Also, floating amongst the Bear Pit and student sections were dozens of inflatable white sheep. Word has it a Baylor alumni handed them out pregame. Now there exists stigma between Aggies and sheep that I won’t delve into here, but there was, uh, very little respect shown.
Possibly the most memorable game though, (if we’re focusing on the actual competition on the court) was the 5-Overtime contest in College Station. Back and forth, leads and dissolved leads, runs and counters, it was two teams refusing to lose. Baylor refused more.
There are an unlimited number of stories out there, and we want to hear them. Go share them in our forums!