What is the best Texas Aggie football game you ever attended?
OrionHjarvis, recruitnik: Reggie McNeal coming off the bench my freshman year to beat OU.
My truck had gotten towed at Northgate so I was actually late to the game. Maybe it was because it was one of my first few games at Kyle, or because I was in the student section, but I've never experienced a game atmosphere like that since. We could feel the stands swaying beneath us and we were deafening.
The victory was even sweeter because I had my "Real Deal McNeal" t-shirt on that said "Let him play" on the back. I'll never forget that game as long as I live. It was my first true experience as a Fightin Texas Aggie.
oscarwildecat, literary scholar: On November 9, 2002, I walked into Kyle Field and sat down in between my little brother, a high school senior who would be heading to College Station the next Fall, and my father, a Former Student and season ticket holder since the 70s. None of us had much hope for the game against the #1 Sooners, despite some encouraging signs from freshman Reggie McNeal and the offense.
Most of the game remains a blur, but as OU dropped back to pass on 4th and whatever from our end of the field, my West Side seat was at a perfect angle to watch Terrance Kiel break on the ball, intercept it, toss it at the OU coaches, and begin to dance back towards the A&M sideline before being mobbed. I remember elation. I remember OU sorrow. I remember deafening noise. Above it all, I remember my voice screaming FUCK YOU BOB STOOPS over and over until I realized my father was lifting me up and hugging me. And he didn't even stop to correct my language.
Dr. Norris Camacho, not a doctor: The 2013 Cotton Bowl.
"I remember after the Alabama game this year the feeling of soreness in my cheeks from having a permanent smile. The cold numbed this on Friday, but it was still there. I remember the OU fans being subdued, but not really shocked. There was a respectful silence between us. It took us forever to get out of the parking lot and back on the road to the hotel, but that was the fastest longest hour-and-a-half I can remember." Read more.
Doug Keegan, degenerate gambler: Pre-emptive disclaimer: The '99 t.u. game is ineligible for this distinction, as it's in a category all its own. An emotional tidal wave overwhelmed the Aggie family when Brian Gamble recovered Jay Brooks' forced fumble to seal the win. Euphoria. Relief. Joy. Tears. I normally laugh at those who think whatever divine power exists in this universe might take sides in a sporting event, but I have to think that, on that day, God just might have intervened for the Ags. Possibly in the form of Dinesh Patel.
That bit of business out of the way, the winner in this category is the 1998 Big XII Championship. An old fashioned college road trip with twenty plus friends scattered among five vehicles traveling 850+ miles each way, to see our Aggies take on the #1 team in the nation? Yes, please. With seats situated in the prime real estate that is the dead last row of the corner of the upper deck. It didn't matter. We were there and we were gonna have fun, though no one seriously entertained the possibility of a win. Then halftime arrived, and the Ags were only down 14-6. Turning to my buddy, I remember uncorking a little bit of unjustifiable optimism that only a naive 20 year old fan could generate, saying "Ya know... if we could just finish our drives, we'd be tied. It's really a close game!" That absurd thinking dissipated in the third quarter and early fourth as Kansas State predictably built a 27-12 lead.
Word spread through the stadium that Miami had upset UCLA. The party had started among the KSU fans. Some were pulling out their Mesozoic-era cell phones and booking plane tickets to the Fiesta Bowl. Then it happened. Everything that could go wrong for K-State went wrong. And the Aggies could do no wrong. Branndon Stewart turned into John Elway, and Sirr Parker? Star Power Mario. Overtime. Wildcat sphincters tightened. When the yell leaders weren't leading yells during timeouts, we led our own from the back row. Second overtime. KSU had the ball first and settled for a FG. Then the Ags faced 3rd and 17 from the 32. What happened next can be viewed on YouTube. Pandemonium. HEY YOU'RE WEARING MAROON I DON'T KNOW YOU BUT LET'S HUG EVEN THOUGH WE'RE BOTH SWEATY AND HOARSE AND EXHAUSTED! War Hymn singing on repeat as we victoriously descended the stadium ramps. Purple tears flooding the concourse. So... yea... it was pretty awesome.
jzimmermann11, beer man: I'm really going to be showing my youth on this one, but I'm not sure anything can top the experience last fall in Tuscaloosa. I have to admit, I was really surprised by how friendly and welcoming nearly all of the Alabama fans were. After going to Auburn earlier in the fall, I was told how much I was going to hate Tuscaloosa and the fans. Not the case at all. Even after the game, they were very gracious in defeat.
Then, obviously, the game. Somehow we were running late actually getting into the game, so by the time we actually made it to our seats 3 rows from the top of the stadium, the Ags had already scored a touchdown. As we continued to build a lead, I tempered my excitement. Was this really a new team that wouldn’t blow a lead? I couldn’t let myself believe it yet. As Alabama started that rally late in the game, I thought for sure we were toast. The same old 2011 Aggies were back. But then Deshazor Everett jumped the route in the end zone, followed by the punting unit drawing the Alabama's special teams offside, and suddenly it was over. I hugged more people that I’ve ever met that night. I vividly remember – and will never forget – standing in the top row of Bryant-Denny and just soaking it in. Watching the team celebrate, watching our fans go nuts, and watching the Alabama fans wander out in a confused haze. Until we win a national championship, nothing can top that moment for me.
rcb05, photochopper: For me, my most memorable game is the one that I chose not to attend. In 2002, I was a sophomore at A&M, but had a long-term girlfriend in Dallas, which meant that I made frequent weekend trips home. Up until this point I had never missed a home game as a student, but in 2002 alone I had already seen us lose to Virginia Tech, Texas Tech, and Nebraska on Kyle Field. Surely our fate against the top-ranked and defending national champion Sooners was already sealed. Surely we were going to get blown out. So just as surely, I decided that I should forego the game to drive home and spend time with my girlfriend.
You all know what happened. I watched in disbelief from her parents' couch as Reggie McNeal, Greg Porter and the Ags shocked the world that day. But unfortunately the elation I felt from that win was equaled by the endless pit of regret from not being there myself - regret that I knew I'd carry forever.
My girlfriend and I broke up less than five months later. Was the resentment from that game simply too much to overcome? I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
stringsays, opinion leader: This is a tough one because there are more than a handful to choose from. I’m going to pick arbitrarily from the handful of usual suspects (including 1997 OSU, 1998 Nebraska, 1999 Texas, 2002 OU etc.) and randomly pick our win over Kansas State on October 28, 2000.
The weird thing about that game was that Kansas State was a perennial power back them. Year in and year out (to no one’s surprise) Bill Snyder just had his team ready to play. And that 2000 game was the first time we’d seen the Wildcats since we upset them in the ’98 Big 12 championship game. On paper we should have lost…we were breaking in a new QB, and we were having an schizophrenic season…lose to ND to open the season, beat Texas Tech, but then turn around and lose to Colorado at home ending our home winning streak.
KState came in ranked in the top 10 (we were unranked) and I’m sure they were focused on pounding us…but RC just owned Kstate back in those days and we ended up kicking their asses. I mean we had them blanked at the half 19-0 and ended up winning 26-10, all with a brand new QB…it was the oddest but most fulfilling victory of my time in college.
The one thing that I remember about it, and I’ll debate this until the day that I die, is that it was truly the loudest I’ve ever heard Kyle Field. I was on traditions council that year, and we were given the opportunity to go down on to the field to help with bootline and I couldn’t hear myself think. Nebraska in ’10 was a close comparison, but I really don’t think I’ve ever heard Kyle field quite as loud as it was against KState.
cuppycup, tweeter: My memory is not that sharp but I'm still going to dig deep and go with the 1986 Cotton Bowl. This was the first Aggie football game I attended in person. We were living in Grapevine, TX so the drive to Dallas wasn't far but I remember traffic being insane. I was six years old so I was making faces at the cars that had Auburn gear on display. The Tigers were a formidable opponent with Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in the backfield. Bo knows the Wrecking Crew.
Auburn had the ball first-and-goal to take the lead and the Aggie defense stuffed Jackson 4 consecutive times. The Ags went on to win 36-16. My favorite part of the game was the yells and probably the snacks. I thought it was crazy that we were allowed to yell "Beat the hell outta Auburn." I proudly displayed my Cotton Bowl pennant in my bedroom for years until my brother stole it.
Lucas Jackson, rebel lawyer: There have been so many, but the best is easy to point out: 1998 Nebraska. It was the first ever Maroon Out game, and though it might seem strange to fans now, back in those days Nebraska was the most fearsome team in the land. They had torn us limb from limb at the 1997 Big 12 Championship game the year before, grinding our bones to make their bread. Nobody really expected to win that game.
In many ways that 1998 season paralleled 2012. It started with a close loss to a Florida team, followed by expected victories. We had a star player in Dat Nyguen. Still, nobody expected us to beat the best team in the land. However, just like in last year's Bama game, we jumped out to a big lead quickly thanks to some big plays. I'll never forget Jamaar Toombs just magically finding himself in space and steaking down the field. The fans didn't know how to react during that play. Everyone was silent. I just yelled out "RUN FATASS, RUN!" and then mass hyesteria in the stands ensued as Toombs rumbled towards the end zone, carefully eyeing the newly installed Jumbotron to see if he was being pursued. Nebraska would challenge, but we held on thanks to a late interception by Sedrick Curry, and when it was over nobody wanted to leave. The image of Toombs in the end zone, hands stretched to the heavens in thanks, will forever be etched in my memory.