Throw out them LA papers
And that moldy box of vanilla wafers.
Adios to all this concrete.
Gonna get me some dirt road back street
If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I'd be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain't bought bought bought
Guy Clark - L.A. Freeway
In 1990, I was a shy - albeit snarky - seven year old growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado.
I was raised by a B1G father and a mother who was in the second female class at Notre Dame. Somehow, I sided with my mother and bled Notre Dame gold and blue from the crib on.
The 1990 Colorado Buffaloes were experiencing what would be their historical peak in an otherwise mediocre college football existence. Even as a bright-eyed young kid, I grew to hate the Buffs. Their fans were entitled. They were remarkably condescending. The Peoples’ Republic of Boulder spawns some of earth’s most delusional navel gazers. Sound like anywhere else you know?
That 1990 Colorado Buffaloes team with their 5th Down were invited to the 1991 Orange Bowl to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in what would serve as the de facto national championship.
My parents hosted a watch party for the game. As you’d imagine, everyone in the house with the exception of my mother and me were pulling for the Buffs. It was a tight, low-scoring game and then this happened:
My favorite Notre Dame player - Rocket Ismail - housed it.
As it was happening, I was sprinting around the living room talking trash to my parents’ yuppie Buff friends.
Then it got called back. Clipping.
I cried, went to my room, and kicked the wall so hard that I passed out. Yep. Fainted like a damsel in distress.
Rightly or wrongly (OK, mostly wrongly) I gave a damn. This maddening, corrupt, charged, frustrating sport had my heart.
The world in 2016 kind of feels like it’s held together with baling wire and a chewed up piece of Juicy Fruit. Everything is tense. The internet is smoldering with takes (Aggie Twitter chief contributors!). We’re running headfirst into an election where we all lose.
Even as a college football fan passionately devoted to something that’s ultimately pretty trivial, you have to wade through a lot of shit to get to the good.
[puts on Aggie pith helmet]
Tomorrow is the good.
Despite the media’s best efforts, tomorrow you don’t need to worry about that week last December when the divas were leaving and the national court of public opinion was announcing the death knell of Aggie Football.
Tomorrow you need not worry about assistant coaches making clumsy missteps in the world of Twitter.
Tomorrow you don’t need to give a damn about the overly dramatic and gratuitously intense meat market that is recruiting. You don’t love college football because of what some grown man says about a high school boy and a crystal ball.
No, tomorrow you get to give a damn in all the best ways. Tomorrow is Day 1 of 7 in 2016 when College Station becomes the finest place on the planet.
Tomorrow you get to surround yourself with your Aggie family and revel in a spirit that hundreds of other institutions futilely try to mimic.
Tomorrow you will give a damn because Aggie football in 2016 is filled with some great young men. Talented to be sure, but also excellent representatives of our school.
They’re led by a coach that is on the hot seat known simply as the SEC West where everything is expensive and there is no cool setting.
You’ll give a damn tomorrow because the alternative is a life’s methadone drip that cautiously avoids the pains but also misses all the joys.
Tomorrow you’ll show thousands of terminally cool Los Angelenos what the Aggie spirit is all about. These are people who spend thousands of dollars and countless hours to look like an unkempt, near-homeless, super chill starlet.
Yes, tomorrow you will yell your Aggie ass off. We have shiny new digs that need to be roughed up and made fierce. Tomorrow you get to be the loudest and proudest in the college football world.
Tomorrow you’ll give a damn because #FootballisFun and for better or worse, Aggies throw their hearts into everything.
This is college football. I hope you love it.
Beat the hell outta UCLA.
NOTE: I will fight to the death that there was NO clip on that Rocket Ismail return.