Road Warrior: Aggies satisfied with moral victory

Sooners Illustrated's fan in the stands breaks down OU's win over OSU and previews Texas A&M.

Well, I'll give the Aggy their due. They were able to "Let 'er Rip" a little better this year than last. But, alas, it wasn't enough, and they were left with a moral victory, which they claimed not to want but embraced with gusto. Maybe we should call them Moral Victory State instead of Lowered Expectations State. Either fits, but in the end, they got an L, we got a W, and that is truly all that matters.

I will also give the Aggy their due on another front, as they were acceptable hosts. Not to say that untoward acts didn't occur, but I saw none. They mostly just ignored the many Sooners there, which is always OK in my book. The only conversations I had with Aggy were cordial and respectful. I did go out of my way to spend as little time up there as possible, driving an "unmarked" car which went blissfully unmolested.

What was really blissful about the trip was the traffic, or lack thereof, on the circuitous route we took up there and back. We never came anywhere near I-35 or Highway 51 west of town. Instead, we went through Chandler and up some two-lane roads into town from the opposite direction, and never had a holdup. An hour and a half after the game ended, we were sitting in OKC eating lunch while most of you poor folks were stuck in traffic. Heh.

The wife went along, of course, and actually attended her first game since the Rose Bowl. She only lasted just over a half, though, and went back to the car to listen to the rest of it on the radio. We were way up in the corner, just under a speaker mounted on the light standard, and in the sun. The speaker was blaring music so loudly that she had to stuff tissue in her ears to be able to stand it. She doesn't like to be uncomfortable to watch football, so between the noise and the sun, she was outta there.

As for the Rustoleum renovations, I can say that they have definitely spiffed the place up, but it's still a big high school stadium. We were sitting on the north side, that they haven't done much work on, so we missed out on the brick covering hiding the erector set on the south side. On the north, about all that had been done was a nice sandblasting and paint job underneath the metal stands. I was underwhelmed, but then again, look at my perspective. Maybe if I had gotten to see the OSU logo in the stall doors in the crappers on the other side, I would have been more impressed. Then again, probably not.

The atmosphere was decidedly high school. I think they must have sent some intern into the depths of Harry Birdbrain's CD collection to find every country, hip hop, and '80s hair band song that had the word "cowboy" in it so they could play part of all of them every five minutes. They played a police siren over the PA to get the orange people fired up, and also apparently to encourage Prentiss Elliott, Vernand Morency, and the like to run faster, given their past experiences with Johnny Law.

Before the game, they did a Monday Night Football-type deal where the players in the starting lineups came on the big screen and gave their names, numbers, and positions. Particularly amusing was Aggy DB Vernon Grant, whose screen time began with, and I quote, "My name Vernon Grant." I think there was a verb missing in there, but that's just me. My wife gives me a hard time for gratuitous shots at the Ags, but she admitted that she couldn't really complain about it when they did it to themselves. I don't know that you could expect anything more from the school that gave us Dexter Manley. Oh, and for future reference, when you say you're going to show stats on the big screen, there are stats for both schools. Aggy only showed Aggy stats, not OU stats. Bush league, to the nth degree.

The announcer for the Aggy Band sounded like he had recently gotten the "big snip," if you know what I mean, and like he had gobbled a bad batch of meth before the game, to boot. The main announcer, the same goober that works their basketball games, was more cheerleader than announcer, with his voice rising and falling with Aggy fortunes throughout the game. Very low-rent.

I took a look at a couple of Aggy boards after I got back from Nose Pickens, and was astonished to see multiple threads complaining about missed calls from the officials. Let's see – Aggy gets the ball on an alleged muffed punt that Mark Clayton did not touch = gift TD from the officials. We get called for a personal foul because Morency's back gets touched while he's crossing the goal line and going out of bounds. We get called for 10 penalties to two for the Aggy, many of them offside calls on the defense when Aggy linemen moved and the call went the other way for some unknown reason. Oh, irony, thy name is Aggy.

I must admit that, at times in the second half, I was having bad flashbacks to two years ago in College Station, when another freshman QB heaved up four or five prayers that were answered, and we left with a loss. Which brings me to next week's contest.

I have no idea about what's going to happen in College Station. I mean, A&M tanked on the road in the opener against Utah, which has turned out to be a pretty good football team, then was dominant up until two weeks ago. Then, they struggled to win at home in OT against a bad Colorado team. Saturday night, they were taken to OT again at Baylor, and this time they lost by a point. We would have been much better off had they beaten the Bears, for obvious reasons.

I was expecting a titanic struggle against a fired-up opponent in a loud Kyle Field. Now, I don't know what to expect. Certainly, if we don't play better in the secondary than we did against Aggy, Reggie McNeal can slice us up like he did a couple of years ago. On the other hand, we should be able to move the ball up and down the field on them, and I don't really think they can outscore us no matter what McNeal does.

All I can say for sure is that I will be there, riding up on the bus from Houston with the good folks from the OU Club of Houston, and if the Sooners can pull it out, I will be making my reservations for Kansas City. See you in College Station.

The Road Warrior is your typical OU fan in the stands, with one notable exception. He's been in the stands for every Sooner football game, home and away, for 162 consecutive games, dating back to October 12, 1991. His views appear in each issue of Sooners Illustrated.

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