There’s an unwritten rule on the Internet that all good things will eventually grow stale. This may or may not be true, but the end result always is: they go away anyway. I’ve been marinating in the news from earlier this week that Every Day Should Be Saturday is no more. I’ve been alternating between sadness, disappointment, and all the other blue feelings. One thing I didn’t feel was surprised.
Because it kind of feels like the era that made EDSBS was such a special place ended at some point in the past five years or so. This piece goes into much greater detail in a very organized way, but at some point the shadowy and mysterious entities that drive all things online reached their tentacles even into the most remote havens of the weird and carefree.
Like thousands of other sports bloggers, I started out reading Every Day Should Be Saturday in the early years and thought, “goddamn, this is how I’ve always wanted to consume sports.” It was chaotic without the unnecessary noise and clutter. It was worldly and sometimes elevated, but still edgy. It was bad, but it was smart kid-bad.
I joined the commentariat around the same time as my co-author Lucas Jackson, and there were very few Aggies around at the time. Since we’d never ventured outside the very insulated confines of A&M message boards, it was like a new schoolyard and all the big fanbases had well-established gangs. We scrapped and joked and grew thick skin and eventually managed to find our niche. It was a rough couple of years for me at my regular job, and EDSBS was a life preserver for my sanity. When they needed to restart a fresh A&M team site, we were in the right place at the right time and ready to join cuppy and Jimmy.
If there was ever a fanbase who needed a system of checks on the self-seriousness of college sports, who needed a devil’s advocate in the form of a somewhat crass and mischievous voice from the dark and shadowy corner of the room, it’s Aggies. God bless us, we are a very earnest, proud, and friendly group. We’re also insular and protective, even among the already-tribal world of college football. We love to laugh at others, but bristle when others do the same to us. The answer’s always been staring us in the face: learn to laugh at yourself once in a while.
The EDSBS blueprint was always something I was going to follow. You can get boring and serious analysis from anywhere else out there. The first thing I wrote (which was delayed several weeks by a hurricane) was Terry Bradshaw’s Dining Guide to Shreveport, straight out of the EDSBS playbook. From there, it was a process of interpreting all the crazy and weird shit that happens in the world of Aggie and college football and giving it an even more absurd flavor. It was fun, and it still is, and I’ll always love that I’ve been able to do this.
There are far too many brilliant posts on EDSBS to attempt to gather them in one place. Most readers from over the years have a handful that reside constantly in their memory. A good friend of mine I used to work with emailed me when he heard about EDSBS shuttering and said he went back and bookmarked the Curious Index from the day his daughter was born. That’s the impact the site had. When someone loses a pet, I send them Spencer’s piece on the passing of his dog. The Opener is always brilliant, but God’s Away on Business is peerless. And we all owe him thanks for coining the phrase “Hate Barn” after the final A&M/Texas game. These all fly directly in the face of the unwritten laws of sports media: that you have to be loud and brash and angry to get your point across. The greatest legacy of EDSBS may be that it maintained a consistent and grounded tone for fifteen years.
The last ever post on the blog had to be Free Bird. This one is personal to me, and in the spirit of sharing I will add to this tremendous mire of conflicting emotion. When I was 21 years old, 12 people died in the night building Aggie Bonfire. I was driving through campus a couple of hours after it all happened to pick up tickets to the Texas game when I saw the sea of sirens and lights. The entire community was completely taken aback. A pall fell on the holiday week. Everyone was subdued heading into that game, filing into Kyle Field in the harsh morning sunlight out of pure obligation. Then we won.
It is difficult to describe the feeling accurately to someone who was not there. It was the sort of distilled raw elation that gets people hooked on sports instantly. The most insanely powerful drug. It was a reprieve in a time of sorrow. It was okay to be happy and revel in that moment. Wandering around campus after the game, a good friend of mine grabbed a random bike and rode it straight into the West Campus Library. He high-fived a smiling cop. The library employees cheered him as he did a couple of circles in the lobby and rode back out, shouting “we won!” Then he put the bike back in its place and we went in search of the next scene.
The next morning, hungover at a pizza delivery job, I got a phone call. My bike-riding friend’s brother had died in an accident. He was a big brother to us all. His favorite band was Lynyrd Skynyrd. Days later, I rode to the funeral service with one group of friends and left for the burial in a different vehicle. I knew that the radios in each vehicle were tuned to different stations, but on the drive to the cemetery, Free Bird came on in everyone’s car. This was one of those fleeting phenomenons that gets forgotten, but it felt supernatural. For months afterward, I’d listen to Free Bird and get lost in it. Tears would inevitably come before the ending. And then for many years after that I couldn’t listen to it at all.
So here is one more thanks to Spencer. For writing so beautifully about this song, and the heartbreak and hope it inspires. And for doing the same with the sport we all love, which is permanently intertwined with the bitter and the sweet in life. Most of all, for reminding us that it’s okay to exhibit emotions other than disdain, anger, and resentment while consuming football. It is both our distraction and our drive. And it’s definitely too important to be left to the professionals.