by Rush Roberts
It's always been the first thing you see when approaching College Station driving in from the west: a gnarly beacon jutting into the sky after two hours of blackland prairie and country roads. You're home, and it's time for football.
by Chuck GBH
IMPOSING VS. MESMERIZING
TRADITION VS. MODERN
PRESENT VS. FUTURE
It’s utterly staggering in size. Kyle has dominion. It’s the reminder of man’s ingenuity and gumption across the miles of flat, sleepy Brazos Valley. When you’re witnessing another iconic, big sky Texas sunset, Kyle Field is there.
The amenities are there to meet the hyper demands of 2015 consumers. A stadium that was charmingly covered in mold and batshit two years ago now has WIFI to support 100,000 phone addicts. The farmers have gotten fancy. This rough tough real stuff was funded by men who spend more money on a random football weekend than I make in a year. They hearken back to the good ol’ days with bonfire and the corps while dining on cuisine and sipping wine before jumping back on the private jet.
Only the strong survive. And the soft. They survive too. At the old Barn, you earned your damn seat in the third deck. You climbed those 18 stories via concrete ramps wondering if that rugged structure might just crumble beneath you. No more. Moving stairs take you comfortably up – less wear and tear on the heels, loafers, and custom boots that now saunter around Kyle.
If we’re honest with ourselves, there is nothing practical about any of this. There are 365 days in a year. We use Kyle Field for its intended purpose for seven of those days – roughly 2%. Practicality was never the goal though, was it? It was never on the radar. As is the case in so many of life’s decisions, pragmatism and passion can be comically incongruent. Diamonds, religion, luxury pickup trucks, and football would cease to exist if humans were predictably practical.
A&M prides itself on churning out precise, measured, sensible engineers. These individuals are wired to work in the details. They’re conditioned to work in protocol and budgets – in the excruciating minutiae of massive projects. They iron their toilet paper. 2015 Kyle is representative of this exactness in the nuts and bolts – but with the taste, opulence, and ego-flex of a Texan hell-bent on football and a good time.
If you’ve been to Kyle Field the last few years, part of you will feel some ownership and pride in this place. Hopefully it’s a big part. It feels like we built it. For a university obsessed in its own yore, history is currently being written. Sumlin’s mark is on this place. Larger than life reminders of Johnny hang around more than one corner. I don’t really swing a hammer and my donations to the 12th Man Foundation could fund half a bucket of primer, and yet, I feel like I helped in the construction. This place is for generations of the Aggie Family.
Like any new home, it needs a few parties, a broken lamp, and some scuffs to bring out the real character. Kyle needs some college kids trespassing and a few hijinks. Crazy things will happen in this shiny, meticulously-planned structure – on and off the field. It could use some belligerent Cajuns to visit and leave town as losers. It needs Saban losing his mind because he can’t hear his rainmaking brain think. It needs an SEC night game with a trip to Atlanta at stake. Hell, it needs the hate that could only emerge from a visit from the Horns.