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THE TAILGATE: A Graphical Preview of Texas A&M vs UCLA

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“Good People: I will not tax you further with another long list of nobility. God knows, the nobility has taxed you long enough!! I cannot look upon my Lord Trevor, for I weep to see his shining face. My lord is a gift to your eyes! For we shall NEVER, EVER see his like upon this Earth again.” - Geoffrey Chaucer, A Trevor Knight’s Tale


GUY WHOSE MISSION IT IS TO MAKE SURE YOU RESPECT LITERALLY EVERYTHING BY TAKING OFF YOUR DAMNED HAT

Man, I am fired up. I’ll tell you what I am fired the hell up, man. So fired up I can’t stand it. It’s been months, y’all. We ain’t seen no damned football in months! Can you believe it? And now it’s here, man. Standing here, in Kyle, I’m just taking it all in, man.

And let me tell you what, I can’t wait to see our 2016 Fightin Texas Aggies run out of that tunnel to face these so-called UCLA Bruins in a few minutes. Ranked 16? Pshhhh. I don’t care what your PAC-whatever team is ranked coming in here…

SIR! CAN YOU PLEASE RESPECT TRADITION! YOUR HAT! I NEED YOU TO TAKE IT OFF AS… SIR!

Some people have no respect for traditions, I’ll tell you. In my day, Old Army meant something, man. Anyway, can you believe that quarterback had the audacity to give us bulletin material before the game? He said that 50,000 is about as loud as…

SIR I AM TELLING YOU THIS, WHEN THE YELL LEADERS SIGNAL A YELL, IT IS OUT OF RESPECT. SO WHEN WE SAY “BEAT THE HELL OUTTA UCLA” IT IS DONE WITH SOME GODDAMMED REVERENCE. WERE YOU RAISED IN A BARN, SIR? WERE YOU?

I’m so sorry. It just gets to me, you know? People should know that you take off your hat for every yell, because, as we all know, they were penned by Jesus after dismounting his velociraptor upon defeating the British in our war for INDEPENDENCE.

Like I was saying, our offense should know the ins and outs of the UCLA defense due to our recent addition of Noel Mazzone. That man knows how to run an offense, by God. And one more thing, our defense.

SIR! I SWEAR TO EVERYTHING HOLY TO ME AND ALL THAT IS RIGHT IN THIS WORLD, IF YOU DO NOT RESPECT THE PLAYING OF “I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN’ DURING THIS STRATEGICALLY PLACED BUD LIGHT ADVERTISEMENT PLAYING ON THE GIANT SCREEN, I WILL DEVOUR THE SOULS OF YOUR CHILDREN IN FRONT OF THEIR GRANDPARENTS! TAKE OFF YOUR FUCKING HAT!

Score Prediction:

Ags: 31
Bruins: 24


CAST OF CHARACTERS

The Aggies are suddenly young on the offensive line after losing three regular starters from 2015. AG is the only player to start all 13 games last season, and the former “Last Chance U” player just got his degree from A&M. STRONG.

This is the year. Injuries have hampered #42 for the past couple of seasons, but he is geared in and ready to go this season. Which is good, because having linebackers is fairly important.

With linebackers dropping like flies, we’ll see a heavy dose of the nickel guy. Plus he’s too damn good to keep off the field. I think the safeties may enjoy playing PAC-12 teams.

Tall, lanky, efficient, relaxed...and that’s just his hot tub game. Look, it doesn’t matter that he’s not fazed by 50k or 100k people or whatever, man, or that he’s facing his old OC. Dr. Rosen still has a full day of appointments with Mr. Garrett.

At 6’8” and over 310 lbs, all the anchor of the Bruins line has to do is prevent Myles Garrett, Daeshon Hall, Hardreck Walker, Daylon Mack, and a few others from getting any sort of push. Hope the NFL scouts are ready to break down some pro-grade holding techniques.

Eddie V is looking to make an impact this year after missing nearly all of 2015 with a torn ACL. It’s going to be the first start for freshman center Erik McCoy so let’s hope this terrible joke doesn’t come to fruition.


TALKING POINTS

Deep in the shadow of Kyle Field, in the recessed darkness and electronic glow of the production trailer, a man sweats. Staring intently at his monitor, his ears straining to pick it up, intoning the jolly man on the broadcast more desperately with each passing breath

“say it….SAY IT…”

but still he won’t. Weaving his mirthful narrative in the beautiful hot September afternoon, his voice a rich stream that flows perfectly over the hard backdrop of the action on the field. Blatantly disregarding his missive from above. Not making that key connection that came straight from the top, the one they told him over and over throughout the week to stress during the broadcast, the one that fans of both teams already knew but THE REST OF THE PEOPLE might not know

“why won’t he say it”

and they’re nearly into the second quarter, the window is slipping away and there is a compelling series on the field and the man’s palms are slick to the touch and as he’s about to do the unthinkable...to buzz up to the booth and ask for Gary and then suddenly it's out, almost an afterthought: deftly slipped in there with a hint of defiance by the sly old coot

..and Noel Mazzone, who as we know was with UCLA last year..
and seamlessly into the next bit.

The man heaves a giant sigh of relief, his hour of tense agony over. Relief cascades over his exhausted body in a palpable curtain of joy as the chortling in his headset fades into a relaxing whitenoise. Now the people know.


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

THE LUNATIC NOT ON THE GRASS

Junior WR Speedy Noil will miss the game as he finishes serving a two-game suspension rolled over from the Music City Bowl last year. Speedy is suspended for "violating team rules", which is a nice way of not saying what you're all thinking. We used to violate team rules and watch Dark Side Of Oz when I was a sophomore so I get where he's coming from. The good news is that the Aggies will still have Christian Kirk and Ricky Seals Jones on the field. The better news is that the Aggies have never lost a regular season game that Noil sat out.

THEY'RE STILL ONLY 6-7

Last year there just weren't enough bowl eligible teams, and so three scrappy but studious 5-7 teams were extended invitations to bowls. And wouldn't ya know it, they went 3-0 in those bowls? Gosh it would be embarrassing to be one of the teams that lost to a 5-7 bowl bid! Anyway, I don't know what made me think of that but it sure does make me laugh.

SAFE SECS

Don't forget that this weekend Kyle Field will be enacting its clear bag policy. While this will no doubt save us all from the terrorists that have become rampant in east Texas, it will also make it more difficult to sneak in your contraband alcohol and... other sundry items. PRO TIP: ladies, if you embarrass easily and want to avoid drawing attention to yourself, we recommend small, plain packaging with big block letters that says DEFINITELY NOT TAMPONS.


ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC

College football missed you too, baby, and to make it up to you she's gonna make sweet, sweet love to you all weekend long. Now just lay back and have a beer while she takes care of you.

We'll start you off with a little Thursday night foreplay in Knoxville, where #9 (!) (?) Tennessee sleeps soundly in the knowledge that nothing bad has ever come of inviting Appalachian State over to start off your season. It's gonna be hot.

Saturday afternoon we have a duel of true southern gentlemen as #18 Georgia heads to #22 North Carolina to trade haymakers and mint julep recipes.

That evening's prime time match-up is #20 USC and #1 Alabama, where Lane Kiffin is just hoping that someone remembered to bring the Pac-Sun visor and Reefs he left at LAX.

And then oh baby ARE YOU READY FOR SOME college FOOTBALL? #11 Ole Miss is heading to #4 Florida State for Monday Night Football in Orlando, because you have been so good this offseason and you deserve it. Winner is going to Disneyworld, loser gets to leave Orlando.


HOTREELZ


LET'S HAVE A STATGASM


PLACE YOUR BETS


BEST CASE / WORST CASE

BEST CASE

Trevor Knight starts his Heisman Campaign Saturday night in rare form. He pulls a duck call from his pants to call audibles in tribute to his new lady-person. Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall split 10 sacks and Daylon Mack has a crater named after him after one imposing backfield tackle. Kevin Sumlin just sits back and cooks steaks on his hotseat because it's time to dinnnneeeeee.

WORST CASE

The Ags take a 21 point lead into the 4th quarter only to see interceptions and over-pursuit lead to a devastating loss. Every Aggie freshman transfers, and the Good Bull Hunting staff sends out the notice that it's time to adhere to that preseason suicide pact. All future Tailgates are written via SB Nation's new "humor algorithm" that pieces together random snippets of CFB Twitter into "jokes."