Hello. Thanks for coming today.
So what is college football?
Oh sure, there's the excitement. The crowds, the bands, the cheerleaders. Tailgating and crazy costumes. It's a great atmosphere, and one you'll never find in professional sports. There is a connection between the team and the crowd borne of shared experiences at a place.
It is special. It is invigorating and enlivening. You are there at the place you spent your formative years. You're doing the same thing you did when you were 20, but only this time you have the missus and junior with you.
You're 20 pounds heavier and sweat more in the September sun. But you wouldn't trade it for the world. It's incredible.
So that's college football.
So why do we care so much more about Aggie football?
I raise chickens. Some people think this is odd because I play professional football. Kids dream about playing in the NFL. I dream about getting back to my chicks. When they're just a few weeks old, baby chicks can live in a cardboard box inside the house. It doesn't last long because they grow up so fast. Soon the box isn't large enough and you have to put them in the yard. It's different when the chicks are in the house. You give them names. You hold them. You check on them all the time and make them feel... well, you make them feel like they're home.
One day, I stepped out back to feed my chickens and discovered that one had escaped through a break in the wire fence. I spent hours searching for it and when I finally gave up and returned home, I found that old chicken sitting with the baby chicks in the cardboard box. Damned if I know how she got back into the house.
Every living creature wants to get back to that one place that felt like home. The house where you grew up. The university where you learned to live as an adult... back to the chicken box.
College football is exciting. The roar of 85,000 fans watching a broken play. The breathless silence as the refs peel back a dogpile after a crucial fumble. Tailgating, fight songs, rivalry and revelry. A connection felt with complete strangers because you're all in the same place and you're sharing the same purpose.
But Aggie football? Something is different. Better. Spirit, honor, tradition, family. At the end of the third quarter when the bugles call out the cadence, "Hullabaloo, Caneck, Caneck!"
That's when you realize, you've come home.
(H/T to cuppy for the assist)