So I finally sat down today to start posting some of the blog ideas I have had floating around in my head, but I find myself completely unable to get past the last couple of days. I was reminded over the weekend of another ‘f’ word and why I don’t take the time to follow spectator sports like I used to when I was younger. Those of you who watched the A&M/Nebraska game on Saturday evening know that the ‘f’ word I refer to here is Football. I know this is going to result in some fairly strong comments headed my direction and that is ok….blast away.
I make no apologies for being a Texas Aggie. I spent nine and a half years (yes, 9.5; it’s ok to laugh…I can take it) of my life attending classes at Texas A&M. I say this only to say that I realize that my opinions are biased toward the maroon and white. I also realize that I live in Nebraska and as such am hearing more about the game on Saturday than the rest of the country. What I am struggling to get past is the hatred toward not only Texas A&M but also toward my home state of Texas and the Big 12 since the game ended on Saturday night. If you live in Nebraska it seems that all 3 of these entities are responsible for the Nebraska loss this past weekend. It was an ugly game, but I find it hard to believe that this is true.
As an Aggie fan, I have been eyewitness to A&M teams that didn’t deserve to be on the field with Odessa Permian High School much less a Division 1 College team. I hate it when we suck, but I admit that we suck and move on. I have also been witness to games we lost in Lubbock, Austin, and Baton Rouge where I felt that the officiating had a larger than acceptable impact on the game. In those instances I know that I commented on the officiating being poor from my perspective. However, in all my time as an Aggie fan (23 years now) I cannot recall a time when the Aggies lost (or won) and no credit was given to the opposing team for their effort on the field during the game. Since the game on Saturday I have not seen one comment/article/media report from a fan/reporter/Nebraska coaching staff/etc. that in any way acknowledges that the A&M team’s effort on Saturday night had an impact on the game. If you hadn’t watched the game and had only read the comments I have seen over the last couple of days then you would believe that a crew of Big 12 officials racked up 300 yards of offense and kicked 3 field goals while holding the Nebraska football team to about 300 yards of offense and 2 field goals. Ok, I know that is a little extreme (and offensive) but comments referring to the officials “winning the game” or “being the twelfth man” are also a little extreme and offensive. If the tables were turned and the A&M coaching staff had not at least commented on Nebraska’s effort in winning I would be ashamed to be an Aggie in that moment. As I stated earlier, I cannot think of a game (won or lost) when our coach has not shown appropriate respect for the opposing team.
In response to all the anger and hate I would like to state here that I agree with you that the officiating was poor on Saturday and that there were some untimely calls made against the Nebraska football team. The roughing the passer call in the fourth quarter was questionable at best, but the penalty alone did not lead to the winning field goal. After the penalty the Aggies proceeded to drive the ball (courtesy of Cyrus Gray) another 32 yards down the field (to the 2 yard line) before kicking a rather easy 19 yard field goal. The Nebraska defense had an opportunity to make a stop and force a possible 40-50 yard field goal attempt and could not do so…perhaps because they were too busy focusing on something other than the Aggie offense. Also, I do not claim that Aggies are perfect and do not condone the pinching of Mr. Cotton’s leg on Saturday…the Aggie coaching staff feels the same way and has commented to that effect in their weekly press conference today.
I am confident that were the tables turned and the Aggies were on the losing end of things I would be upset as well. However, I am equally confident that I (and the Aggie coaching staff) would still acknowledge the fact that our opposition played hard and won the game. A huge statement is made in the fact that the Nebraska fans, media, and coaching staff have chosen to focus on officiating and what they didn’t do rather than what their opposition was able to do this past Saturday. Last week before the game Mr. Pelini made a comment about Nebraska fans being better than Aggie fans. The way things stand, I am thankful to be a Texas Aggie and humbly disagree with Mr. Pelini….Aggie fans are better than Nebraska fans.