20 - 16.
I have loved football for a long time, but I’ve never had a score burned into my memory quite like 20-16. That was the score as the clock hit 0:00 on Nov. 26, 1999 and the Aggies defeated the Longhorns. I’ll never forget the arc of Randy McCown’s pass as he hit Matt Bumgardner in the right corner of the north end zone for the game winning touchdown. 20-16 feels like relief, and catharsis, and victory. It was the most perfect moment of my football fan life.
The A&M/Texas football rivalry is a complicated issue that stirs up a variety of passionate emotions. Some folks want the game back while others vehemently oppose the schools re-associating with one another. However, new data suggests that people on both sides are beginning to refocus their energy not on sniping from the safety of message boards, but rather bringing back the game and putting their money where their mouths are.
“Reinstate The Rivalry” is a student-led campaign being launched by representatives from both A&M and Texas who are working to bring the game back. These students represent many aspects of the student body, including student government, the Corps of Cadets, Greek life, and many other organizations. They also have the support of influential Former Students and Texas Exes, as well as vocal support from members of the administrations of both schools. Even Tom Herman has voiced his support of bringing back the game.
In September the Longhorns held a student body referendum on reviving the rivalry. Of the nearly 8,000 respondents, a staggering 96.7 percent of them were in favor of bringing back the game. Reinstate the Rivalry also held an informal online poll for Aggies, and of their over 2,700 votes 94.3 percent of them were in favor. A couple of informal polls of the readers here at Good Bull Hunting indicate that feelings have been trending towards renewing the game. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
These days college football is BIG BZNS, but at its core it’s supposed to be fun. Rivalries are one of the things that makes this sport so great. Big marquee programs have historic rivalries spanning decades and centuries with hate, passion, excitement, and stories. Ohio State/Michigan. USC/Notre Dame. Clemson/South Carolina. The Backyard Brawl. The Apple Cup. The Iron Bowl. The Egg Bowl. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The Red River Rivalry.
The Lone Star Showdown.
The editorial staff at Good Bull Hunting is vocally in favor of bringing the A&M/Texas game back. We want it back. On a personal level, I want it back. You may agree or you may disagree, that’s fine. If you do feel the same way, then we urge you to lend your voice in support and let the administrations know that you are a current student, a former student, or a passionate fan who would love to see Texas A&M and Texas renew this game and bring back the pageantry and rivalry. We deserve this game, and college football deserves this game too.
So what can you do?
Well, for starters you can take their survey at http://bit.ly/ReinstatetheRivalry. Then go to change.org and sign the petition. Encourage your friends and family to sign it as well. If you feel so inclined, you can email A&M Chancellor John Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org and A&M President Michael Young PresidentYoung@tamu.edu , and UT Chancellor William McRaven at email@example.com and UT President Gregory Fenves at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain to them what the game means to you and urge them to take action. Follow @ReinstateTX and tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #ReinstateTheRivalry, or get more information by emailing the group directly at ReinstateTheRivalry@gmail.com. Share this post on Facebook and Twitter. Print it up and canvas the area. Brand it on a cow.
With any luck some day this game will be back, and all of this punitive anger will be added to the lore of what was the third longest running rivalry game in all of college football. This will inform the new nature of the rivalry, and provide the backdrop for the next 20-16.
Gig ‘em, and BTHOtu!