As much as it pains me to lose to A&M, that's not the real reason I'm sad tonight. Sure, I'm disappointed with this game's outcome, and yes, I'm worried that my team's future is not as bright as I'd hoped. That's a bummer, but that's not it. The sadness I feel this time of year has one cause: the end of football season. I won't miss dropped passes or porous defenses or injured quarterbacks or LOSING (THREE TIMES!!!), but I will miss the tailgates, the camaraderie of our Section 1 fans and that unmatched gameday atmosphere.
Tailgates have been a great addition to our gameday ritual. Before this year, we'd usually eat somewhere and then drive somewhere else to find a place with TVs showing the early games. Now we get to our lot early, eat some great food and sneak peeks at the other games thanks to our neighbors' TVs. With tailgating has also come the added benefit of getting to know our Section 1 friends better. It's been great to have an hour or two just to chat with them, to find out how their families are doing and to "talk shop" about that day's game. I'll miss that time, and I'll miss seeing our friends every Saturday or so.
I'll also miss the gameday atmosphere. There's nothing like it! From Bevo to the band to the Godzillatron, I love it all. I love "The Eyes of Texas" and "Texas Fight" and spelling out T-E-X-A-S to "March Grandioso." I love the intro video and the players bouncing and the team's big entrance through the smoke tunnel. I love yelling my head off when we're on defense and crossing my fingers when we've got the ball. I love high-fiving my friends (and sometimes strangers) after really good plays, and I love having others to gripe with when the refs blow a call (or unfairly take away a touchdown!). I love knowing the best time to use the restroom and which stalls to avoid. I love recognizing the women at the concession stand. I love using first person pronouns like we to refer to my Horns. And even though I hate losing, I love being the type of fan who stays to sing "The Eyes of Texas" at the end of the game--no matter the score.
So yeah, I'm disappointed we lost to the aggies, but mostly I'm just sad that another regular season at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium has come to an end. We still have a bowl game to go, and of course I'll be cheering for my team whenever that game may be. But the countdown has begun to Sept. 1, 2007, when once again we'll be hiking up those stadium steps to Section 1, Row 52. (It's just 280 days away, you know.)
And for the record, 73-35-5 is the score I'm taking with me tonight. A&M will have to beat us 38 YEARS IN A ROW just to tie us up!