The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 16, 2024

Texas A&M baseball sophomore RF Jace LaViolette is known for his bat — and for good reason. LaViolette ranks sixth in the country in home...

Advertisement
Destination Bryan
Destination Bryan
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life writer • June 17, 2024

Editor's note: This article is sponsored content. All photos were provided by Visit Bryan. For the history buffs, there’s a story to why...

Advertisement
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Destination Bryan
Destination Bryan
June 17, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Saves and a robbery
June 16, 2024

Once more, for old time’s sake

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION
Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

I remember a lot of things about third grade. I remember learning multiplication and trying to be the best at it in my class. I remember sending Flat Stanley to my aunt and uncle on vacation in Colorado. I remember 9/11, because our school pictures were cancelled. I remember a lot of things, but I remember one thing the most. I remember falling in love with college football.
For one season, I would sit with my grandpa at his house and watch religiously every game on Saturdays. I became a Nebraska fan and watched as Eric Crouch ran up and down the field en route to a Heisman trophy. I watched crazy upsets like the Cornhuskers getting run out of the building by Colorado, who went on to narrowly upset Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. Then I remember the BCS pitting Nebraska against Miami in the national championship, despite the Huskers being ranked No. 4 in some polls. And I remember that legendary 2001 Hurricane team crushing my beloved Huskers in the Rose Bowl 37-14.
These memories stick out in my mind, and I remember each game distinctly. However, as enamored as I was for a single season, I slowly began to follow the sport less and less in the years that followed. My love for college football that had been so prevalent in my childhood lay dormant. That is, until I arrived at Texas A&M.
It’s funny — my first perceptions of A&M from a football standpoint were that it was a smaller, mediocre version of Texas, but the first time I saw Kyle Field on TV I thought, “Wow, their stadium isn’t really that small. I’m pretty surprised by how loud they are.” Pretty amusing in hindsight.
The first game I pulled for as a student, I sat in second deck. We played SMU and it was never close. While I had a great time, the memory is special to me for another reason. It is there my passion reawakened, and I remembered just how much college football used to mean to a young, lively version of myself. It was like reuniting with an old, dear friend, the kind you never have to “catch up” with, the kind where you simply pick up where you left off no matter the circumstances.
That 2011 year was quite a ride. We were the undisputed first-half national champions, but I guess the team didn’t know a game was four quarters. Heartbreaking loss after heartbreaking loss culminated in a Thanksgiving night disappointment of the highest order as another second-half collapse left Kyle Field silent after Justin Tucker kicked a field goal as time expired to give the Longhorns the comeback victory. While it stung me, I also remember that game for another emotion. I’ll always remember when Jeff Fuller scored with just under two minutes left to give A&M the lead. That’s the craziest celebration I ever experienced during my time in the student section. Pure jubilation.
The next two years were much better than the first, thanks to one Jonathan Manziel, though pangs of disappointment were still sprinkled in. The highlights include the 2013 Cotton Bowl, which I was lucky enough to attend, and my trip to Oxford, Miss., to see Josh Lambo’s game-winning field goal after an unbelievable drive by Mr. Football that left a stadium full of Rebels shaking their heads.
After a year of covering my favorite sport in the world, I made the trek to the east side of Kyle Field one last time as a student Thanksgiving night, hoping this time I wouldn’t go home to leftover turkey as distraught as I did three years prior. My voice gave out early after a season in the press box, but it felt amazing to be passing back yells to my 12th Man brethren and walking out of the stadium barely able to speak.
I got everything I had been accustomed to watching in an Aggie football game — joy, frustration, anger, elation and, ultimately, numbness. There were the highest of highs: De’Vante Harris’s interception, Speedy’s unbelievable touchdown catch, Devonta Burns’s huge sack at the end of the game. Of course, there were also the lowest of lows: Leonard Fournette running amok on the defense, the offense getting only two first downs in the first half and the final uncalled offsides penalty. I might call it everything I’d come to know and love about A&M football encapsulated in one game. That sounds about right.
So was I sad that my last chance to stand as an underclassmen was spoiled? Not in the slightest. It may not always be easy to be a part of the 12th Man, but I never regretted it for a second. If anything, it has been an honor, regardless of whether the Ags win or run out of time. And to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Patrick Crank is a telecommunication media studies senior and football editor for The Battalion.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *