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

The intersection of Bizzell Street and College Avenue on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.
Farmers fight Hurricane Beryl
Aggies across South Texas left reeling in wake of unexpectedly dangerous storm
J. M. Wise, News Reporter • July 20, 2024
Duke forward Cooper Flagg during a visit at a Duke game in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Flagg is one fo the top recruits in Dukes 2025 class. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Chu/The Chronicle)
From high school competition to the best in the world
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • July 24, 2024

Coming out of high school, Cooper Flagg has been deemed a surefire future NBA talent and has been compared to superstars such as Paul George...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
Lyle Lovett, other past students remember Bob Rogers
Shalina SabihJuly 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

The referees and starting lineups of the Brazilian and Mexican national teams walk onto Kyle Field before the MexTour match on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Opinion: Bring the USWNT to Kyle Field
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • July 24, 2024

As I wandered somewhere in between the Brazilian carnival dancers and luchador masks that surrounded Kyle Field in the hours before the June...

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.

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