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HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM OL’ SARGE

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HOWDY, GHOULS

PEOPLE THINK I AM A MONSTER, BUT IT DOESN’T BOTHER ME TOO MUCH. THEY THINK THAT BECAUSE I AM GROTESQUE ON THE OUTSIDE THAT I CANNOT HARBOR FLEETING HUMAN EMOTIONS SUCH AS JOY AND PRIDE BUT THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. THEIR LOSS I SUPPOSE. WHEN YOU HAVE SEEN THE THINGS THAT I’VE SEEN YOU LEARN TO CULTIVATE A SECRET SPARK OF HAPPINESS INSIDE NO MATTER WHAT SORT OF GRUFF EXOSKELETON YOU BUILD AROUND IT TO PROTECT EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOURSELF.

I HAVE SEEN THE WORST OF IT. DAYS WHEN 300 YARDS OF OFFENSE WAS CONSIDERED BOUNTIFUL AS AN AUTUMN HARVEST. DAYS WHEN A DEFENSIVE PLAYER WASN’T EVEN ALLOWED TO PICK UP AND ADVANCE A FUMBLED FOOTBALL. DAYS WHEN MUDDLED AND CRAVEN COACHES WOULD PLAY FOR A TIE BECAUSE THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS OVERTIME.

THESE WERE THE DARK TIMES. DO NOT PINE FOR THEM. I WAS LUCKY TO GET THIS BEAUTIFUL MUG ON TELEVISION MORE THAN ONCE A YEAR. SURE, THERE WERE BENEFITS, LIKE THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE AND THE ABSENCE OF TWITTER, BUT AS A WHOLE, IT WAS A ROUGH GIG COMPARED TO NOWADAYS. ETERNAL BUS TRIPS AND FLEABAG LUBBOCK HOTEL ROOMS WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING. MY TUTELAGE OF DAVE SOUTH IN TINY CORRUGATED METAL BASEBALL PRESS BOXES IN THE QUAKING SPRING HUMIDITY OF HOUSTON.

HARDSHIP? YOU DON’T KNOW IT. TRY KEEPING UP WITH THE BOBS (THAT’S TOLEDO AND DAVIE TO THE UNINITIATED) ON A DALLAS PUB CRAWL AFTER AN SMU GAME. MY HEAD GROWING HEAVIER AND MORE CUMBERSOME AT EACH ESTABLISHMENT AS THE REVELRY CONTINUED WELL INTO THE NIGHT, THE COORDINATORS GLOATING OVER THE SULLEN PONY BOOSTERS GLARING AT US FROM DARK CORNERS. IT HAUNTS ME STILL.

I DON’T WANT TO SCARE YOU OFF, DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY THINK. MY LESSONS ARE HARD-LEARNED BUT NOT WITHOUT HOPE AND PROMISE. LOOK AROUND YOU AND EMBRACE THE GLITZ AND GLAMOUR I HAVE SUFFERED SO LONG FOR, HOPING TO ONE DAY REVEL IN IT. THOUGH MY PRESENCE MAY FRIGHTEN SMALL CHILDREN AND ANIMALS, DEEP DOWN I AM JUST LIKE YOU. I LIVE AGGIE FOOTBALL, AND ITS RESURRECTION HAS BEEN MY LIFELONG ASPIRATION. WE ARE CLOSE NOW, YOU AND I, SO LET US GRASP OUR DREAMS AND LIVE THEM LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, FELLOW AGGIES.