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THE TAILGATE: A Graphical Preview of Texas A&M vs. Bye Week

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Wrap yourselves in fleece and embrace the day. It’s time to TAILGATE

ABSURD GAME PREDICTION

by GingerbRedass

You open your eyes. Something is different about the way that the light is streaming into the room. By some small miracle, you’ve slept in. The kids, the neighbors, and the years of circadian programming at the hands of consistent employment were no match for you. As you pour a glass of orange juice, your wife lets you know the thing at her sister’s this afternoon has been cancelled. Nothing major, but something came up. You quietly sigh in relief. It’s not that it would have been painful, but you wouldn’t have had any fun either. Their kids are loud and the base of every one of her husband’s stories is a complaint he has. It becomes an exercise in finding new ways to pretend you are engaged in the conversation without actually encouraging its continuation. Also, it’s just far enough across town to be a pain to get over there. You’ve been up for less than 30 minutes and you’re already on the scoreboard twice. You even nail the acting job well enough that your wife buys that you’re disappointed.

After a relaxing morning, your oldest manages to break out of his mental Alcatraz of Tik Tok and video games to throw the ole football around. As the satisfying sound of your son hauling in a deep fade rings out in your suburban neighborhood, you can’t help but feel like you’ve still got it. You start to mix it up a little bit; you’re running more complicated routes and putting a little zip on every throw. You and your son are clicking on a new level, every throw on time and every catch in stride. You sing the pigskin electric. Every arc is more perfect than the last, every spiral even cleaner. You pump your fist emphatically after hitting a back shoulder throw that you’re sure could beat even the most elite corners. You are unstoppable. The ball may never touch the ground again. You are on the peak of a mountain and the air is so clear. You are ageless and majestic. You do a little bootleg and then complete on a crossing route so sublime that if Grantland Rice saw it he would shit his pants and telegraph Cleveland that he’s writing a column declaring you a Norse God, or a hurricane, or something. After you are gone, the Catholic Church will have to beatify you as the patron saint of dropping dimes.

Your son dives for a catch and you hear him laughing as he’s getting up. Your head goes empty as you savor this moment of just being a dad. You jokingly imitate one of the Fortnite dances you always see your kids do and it’s only a little bit stupid. Instead of the normal eye roll, the dance elicits an even bigger laugh. This is everything you imagined being a father would be. With your son starting middle school, these moments have been hard to come by lately, and you know they will become even rarer still. But for right now, you are fulfilled.

Also the ‘horns lose in an embarrassing fashion, like a butt fumble or kneeling when they meant to spike it.

Playing Catch - 34
Midlife Crisis - 3

WHO’S YOUR DATA

by Century Swingers

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

by House Boyz II Men

The Bird Looking For Crumbs Around Campus

For whatever reason, a grackle has seemed to enjoy finding its way onto Kyle Field this season. Is it just me, or does the bird look a little scrawny? Maybe it’ll find some leftover food in the stands from the South Carolina game or from around Sbisa. For some people, chanting for the so-called “13th Man” has been a much appreciated distraction from having to endure Aggie football. Other fans find it disrespectful to applaud the fowl rather than watch the game. Either way, whenever you’re on campus, feel free to drop some food in hopes of providing the bird with a snack and giving it the energy for another endzone visit next week when we face off against Auburn.

A Variety of Costumes on Northgate

Name a better excuse to wear your scariest and sexiest outfit than Halloweekend at Northgate. If you like people-watching, this weekend will surely be an opportunity to see and hear things out of the ordinary. Of course, costume parties will be happening all over the Bryan/College Station area, but being at the Gates will be the best use of your time. I’m calling it now that the most popular costumes will be from Squid Game, Halloween Kills, Ted Lasso, Cruella, Suicide Squad, the Met Gala, and Formula 1.

Even More Proposals

In case you haven’t seen enough people get engaged this fall, just wait until this weekend. Why wait to be financially stable and independent when you know they’re the one? If you don’t do it now, you won’t be able to plan your perfect spring or summer wedding. The next question is whether we’ll see more proposals occur at the Century Tree, George Bush Library, or Lake Walk. Feeling lonely yet? Don’t worry, so is everyone outside of the Christian Bubble.

The Largest Greek Philanthropy Event on Texas A&M’s Campus

Yep, you guessed it. Songfest is this weekend and I’m expecting big things. There don’t seem to be any clear-cut winners this year, but it’s always a good showdown. The choreography, themes, and music never disappoint. Haven’t bought a ticket yet? You can just watch it on your friend’s social media story posts and find out who wins as soon as they do on Saturday night!

PUNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

by Hullabaloo Neglect Neglect and Midnight Smell

● There’s no football game on Saturday, but Kyle Field will definitely MSC you next week!

● Another day, another bootchaser claiming a corps boy is the kha-key to her heart.

● Reveille will be using her bye week to collie home.

● A bye week on Halloween weekend is perfect for engineers, as they finally have time to make their Zach-o-lanterns.

● The food in the dining halls will be a Sbisa crap this weekend.

● Kathy Banks on using the weekend to relax before sending us more emails.


THE QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY

by Kushing Library

Texas A&M football is no stranger to quarterback controversies: Kellen Mond vs. Nick Starkel, Kyler Murray vs. Kyle Allen, and who could forget the epic battle for the starting job between “Money” Marion Pugh and Charles “Cotton” Price on the 1939 Aggie team? With Haynes King poised to return within the next few weeks, head coach Jimbo Fisher will be left with a very difficult decision regarding the QB1 position for the remainder of this season and going into next year. To help Coach Fisher, we have decided to review the pros and cons of starting Haynes King or Zach Calzada next season.

Leadership

A great team needs a great leader. A fearless captain guides the ship through dark storms, and a powerful general leads soldiers into battle. Haynes King has 13,400 followers on Instagram and 5,903 on Twitter. Meanwhile, Zach Calzada has 25,900 followers on Instagram and 11,000 on Twitter.

Point: Calzada

Decision-Making

As the NCAA loves to remind us in all of their commercials, these athletes are students first, and 99% of them go pro in something other than sports. Both players are preparing for professional careers in the business world, but King has put himself on the better path with a major in management. Calzada, however, is majoring in the much more specific Supply Chain Management. Picking a more general major that provides a wider range of job options shows the kind of decision-maker King is.

Point: King

Media Savvy

Haynes King and Zach Calzada both declined requests to let me interview them.

Point: Neither

Speed

Both King and Calzada have over 90 credit hours as students at Texas A&M. However, Zach Calzada enrolled at Texas A&M in January of 2019, while Haynes King enrolled in January of 2020. This means it only took King three semesters to go through the same amount of coursework that Calzada took five to complete.

Point: King

Beat Alabama

Only Zach Calzada has started and beat the University of Alabama in football.

Point: Calzada

Won a Texas High School Football Championship

As a junior at Longview High School, Haynes King led the Lobos to a 6A Texas High School Football State Championship. Zach Calzada has never even played in a Texas high school football game.

Point: King

“It” Factor

Every great quarterback has that “ it” factor that separates them from the pack. This will never show up on the stat sheet and cannot be measured, but guys like Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Russel Wilson all have “it.” Zach has been blessed with a more square jawline, a natural smirk, and a pair of eyes that portray that disarming innocence, yet possess a watchful solemnity. Haynes, on the other hand, is marked by dark, sunken eyes and the slightest hint of wispy blond facial hair. Haynes looks like the boy next door, the friend who you will not realize is the one for you until he wipes the tears off your face on prom night and asks you to dance. Zach is the quintessential jock, the guy who commands respect from every boy he passes in the hallway, and who has unopened Snapchats from half the girls in school. So yeah, Zach is hotter.

Point: Calzada

It is clear that both players offer a number of benefits to the team and excel in areas the other one might not. Hopefully this review of each player’s abilities will be able to aid the coaching staff in the difficult decision they face moving forward.


YELP LEADERS

by Century Tree Hugger

Each week we are proud to bring you a concession review by a dignitary associated with one of the schools involved in the game.

Mom’s Kitchen

By Jake Fisher, freshman economics major

It’s good to be home. I really mean it after spending 10 weeks living with a randomly-assigned roommate who doesn’t own headphones and Facetimes his girlfriend in Waco for nine hours everyday. My diet has been reduced to dining hall lasagna, Chick-Fil-A nuggets, Bang, and anything served at the McDonald’s drive-through. I cannot remember my last home-cooked meal, and my body aches at the thought of a dinner prepared with love and served with any sort of vegetable. I never thought I could be this homesick.

There’s nothing like being home: Dad is grilling, Mom is cooking in the kitchen, and Nana is coming over with a platter of cookies. I assemble my mile-high plate of grilled chicken, charred peppers and onions, mashed potatoes, a dinner roll, and salad. I sit down with my family to eat the feast prepared just for me as the dog curls up beneath the table at my feet. Everything is right.

But when I bite down, the food turns to ash in my mouth. I realize that nothing is the same. This house no longer feels like my home. Something has changed, and, no matter how much my parents try to welcome me, I will always be a guest in what was my childhood home. Every time I return, the feeling of my life from before will only become more distant.

“So Jake, how’s the semester going?” asks my mom.

“Great!” I hear myself tell her from a distance.

We talk about classes, the neighborhood gossip, what my friends from high school are up to, and, of course, the Aggie football season. My dad says he wants to watch the Prairie View game with me, and I agree, of course I agree. When I excuse myself and go upstairs to what was once my childhood bedroom, sleep evades me. I find myself thinking that I don’t want to return to my dorm and my twin XL bed tomorrow, but I also don’t know anywhere else that I could go. Nothing feels right anymore.

BETTING TABLE

by Mugdown Staff