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Here’s What Probably Happened at the 2021 Spring Game

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Texas A&M Spring Game Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

After weeks of training behind a covered chain-link fence, the Aggie football team took to the turf at Kyle Field to give fans a special sneak peek at what’s in store this fall. Or at least, I assume they did. I could not be assed to attend.

That’s right—I didn’t go! Neither did you, of course, but you had excuses. You have a partner or kids, and you live in a suburb of Houston, Austin or Dallas. No way in hell were you making the trip to College Station to watch Madden practice mode in real life on a Saturday afternoon. You usually leave that kind of thing to the more hardcore hobbyists and professionals.

I, however, live seven minutes from campus with traffic and am responsible only for myself. I had no conflicts on my schedule, no greater tasks to tend to. Without shame nor hesitation, I woke up at 10:30 a.m. and abandoned the only set plan I had this weekend—to cover the spring game for this humble blog—and am instead enjoying my second cup of coffee at my kitchen table. Hell, I haven’t put on pants yet.

If pure laziness drove this decision, it had good reasons riding shotgun, egging it on to drive faster. No one cares about the spring game. You don’t care about the spring game. You inexplicably trust guys like me to go out there and watch every rep with an eagle eye, scribbling their observations in shorthand to later compile into something we can sell as “hard-hitting analysis.”

But you wouldn’t even read that analysis if it weren’t the speculative bullshit it so often is. No, you’d click through the embedded Twitter highlights like any sane person with a modicum of respect for their time. Here’s one below, an impressive dime from Haynes King:

Looks pretty cool! I sincerely hope that happens a lot during the regular season.

The real kicker? I’m writing this at 1:30 p.m. The game is still on! I could flip to SEC Network right now and pretend I was there in the stands, spending an idyllic spring day watching college students fuck up a read option until Jimbo shakes his fists and yells, “why I oughtta!” Hanna-Barbara style. I respect you too much, Ags. What are we, in these absurd times, if not our principles?

Instead, I’ll give you the closest thing we have to truth now: transparent bullshit. Key veterans showed improvements. New guys stepped up. The big question marks at skill positions showed flashes of greatness but remain question marks nevertheless.

Now that that’s done, I can return to my Jennifer Egan novel with a clear conscience. Eventually, I’ll take a nice, long walk and wonder how long it will be before I can experience the unbridled joy of a crowd without unspoken shame or outright cognitive dissonance. In that rumination, I’ll at least take solace in knowing that I never got so bored, so ground down by more than a year of physical and emotional isolation, that I willingly attended a spring game in person.