Okay, you can take a deep breath now. For the diehard Aggie football fan, it's been a painstaking 246 days since the last live football game. That's a long time walking the deserts in pursuit of magical thirst-quenching waters. Sure, there's the occasional oasis known as the Maroon and White Spring Game, and the one open practice in August where you squeeze a few drops of satisfaction into your football-parched lips.
However, in the end it's only a mirage. You come away feeling empty because it's just not the real thing. It's not a fall Saturday at Kyle Field watching the Aggies smash heads with an opponent with a different jersey color. It's not seeing the Aggie Band marching on Kyle Field with 100 brand new fish in tow. It's not watching the Corps file through campus and into the stadium prior to kickoff.
Frankly, it's not game day and it's not Aggie football until the team puts on the pads in September.
To be honest, not all Aggie fans fall into this category. There's the Carefree Ag that dearly loves his Aggies and comes to College Station for most home games, but that's about it. He's the lucky one. He can put away the emotional attachment for 246 days and can pursue other life's interests without the burden that we shoulder. He can run off to a spring break destination without a care in the world. He's not saddled with the responsibility to figure out if Stephen McGee's arm is 100 percent healthy, or if Jorvorskie Lane is following his spring diet regimen.
He can jet off to Cancun for a summer vacation while we are left to count the number of commitments from the June summer camps. He's off in Mexico having Miss South Carolina rub suntan lotion on his back and providing insight into the issues of geographic education in the United States and South Africa while we are studying the impact of the new kickoff rules and wondering why the NCAA Clearinghouse takes so long to look at a high school football player's academic transcript.
He's worried about his possible promotion at work, while we're stuck wondering why it takes six months and $800,000 to cover the concrete track, and whether or not it actually needs to be covered with more expensive anti-microbial materials.
Welcome to our world. It's not always pretty, but somebody has to bear the burden, and we choose to accept this responsibility for the rest of all Aggies out there. We sacrifice our well-rounded lives so others can have theirs.
But for all of the sacrifices and painstaking analysis of every player at every position and the detailed economic breakeven analysis we performed on the potential Texas Tech game in Dallas, this is now our time. While Mr. Carefree Ag strolls into Kyle Field this Saturday with a tan and Miss South Carolina on his arm looking forward to a good football game, we come to Kyle Field knowing that all of our hard work, passion, and sacrifice have led us to this moment of triumph. It's a satisfaction and a desire that Carefree Ag doesn't know. He hasn't walked in our shoes. He didn't spend 12 hours in the searing July heat scouting 2009 prospects in the state flag football tournament. He didn't TIVO the Texas High School Coaches All-Star Game and pull an all-nighter dissecting each play with an Aggie signee.
That's why we're so excited. The time has come for us to shine. So when Carefree Ag sits behind you and asks his buddy next to him who No. 21 is, we can proudly and confidently turn around and tell him it's freshman Roger Holland who earned spot in the rotation despite getting demoted in rating by an unnamed recruiting service. When Carefree Ag wonders out loud why the team is kicking off from the 30 yard-line, we can snicker and leave him in the dark because we decide it's not worth it to turn around and inform him yet again on a new development since last December. However, we will point out to him the story behind the new stadium lights, and during a break in the action we'll be sure to let him know that his Nike A&M shirt is now outdated and we go into the financial terms of the Adidas deal.
After the Aggie Band finishes, we'll tell him that the halftime has been shortened, and that Billy Pickard has already ordered a new disinfectant for the third deck restrooms that will dissipate the 95 degree urine stench that we've dealt with for 25 years.
And then there's our crowning moment in the second half when the Aggies are comfortably ahead and the coaching staff starts making wholesale substitutions. While Carefree Ag fumbles through his game day program looking for jersey numbers asking out loud about substitutions, we can rattle off name after name after name with ease and with a hint of arrogance and cockiness.
It's at that moment when all of the blood, sweat, and tears of the past 246 days is worth it. We may not have Caribbean memories, a trophy wife on our arm, or a high paying, glamorous job, but we are the expert in the stands. We are the guy everybody in our section leans on for the answer. For three hours, we are the man holding court. We are the guru of all things Aggie football.
But honestly, we don't do this for the adulation of our peers at the stadium. Nor do we acquire all of this knowledge to impress our friends at the tailgate parties. We do it out of love for the game and our passion for the Aggies. It's hardwired into our system, and it will always be that way.
Welcome to our world. Welcome to the greatest time of the year.
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