Student football fans often abandon Aggie spirit at stadium gate
There is nothing like football to bring out the legendary Aggie spirit.
The spirit that yells at the stupid girl in the next section because she refuses to uncover. The spirit that cannot understand why the jerk two rows in front will not hump it and cuss along with everyone else in the stands. The spirit that calls the football players unprintable names because they always run the ball.
Even E. King Gill would not stand for the attitudes filling Kyle Field these days.
Football is a sport. It is an entertainment, and one the Aggies used to enjoy better than anyone else. Then they started complaining, and today they continue trying to ruin the fun for everyone else.
Aggie students are in no position to complain about the football team, because these days the players are much better than the fans. At least the players do not leave halfway through the third quarter.
Ever since the men of Kyle ended one of the longest home winning streaks in college football history back in 1995, the Aggie fans have been grumpier than ever. Fans heckle the players, empty the stands shortly after halftime and bad mouth the coach even though he is a better Aggie than many of the students.
People can say what they like about R.C. Slocum, but every Aggie can be proud of the coach's accomplishments on the field.
His accomplishments, not just his victories, deserve some attention. No matter what numbers adorn the scoreboard when the final whistle blows, when Slocum's in control Aggies can still hold their heads up when they leave the stadium.
The team has a more than respectable record, and team problem are minimal.
At a time when legal trouble is commonplace among college and professional athletes, the Texas A&M football program has had very few extracurricular problems. Other universities have lost several players to academic or judicial problems, but A&M's biggest news was a player lost to a "clerical error" related to a summer school course.
It could be worse, and Slocum is one of the reasons it is not.
The Aggie football team has had to endure some tough breaks, they do not need fans adding to their grief.
Back in the days of the Southwest Conference when the Aggies faced opponents like the University of Houston, students joked about how the team only seemed to score in the fourth quarter.
Now as the Aggies face Big XII opponents like Nebraska, fans are annoyed is the game is not over in the first 10 minutes.
Fans need to cut the players some slack. There are elements of football more important than the score. The team tries to have fun. The fans could take a lesson.
The Aggie football team is one of the most graceful winners in college football. They should be with all the practice they have.
Fans do not see Slocum running up the score and embarrassing weaker opponents. He understands the other team has family in the stands too. He tries to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time.
Slocum has also stricken football's ugliest play from his book.
Toward the end of a game when a team is ahead in points and has possession of the ball, they usually try to waste the game clock and prevent the other team from making any last-minute points. When there are less than 45 seconds left in the game, many quarterbacks will kneel the ball -- hold the ball and touch a knee to the ground, ending the play but running the clock.
This play eliminates any possibility of an intercepted pass or fumble which might give the other team a shot at the endzone. It is a heart-breaking play to watch if you are rooting for the team with fewer points.
This is exactly why Aggies will not see Slocum's Aggie team kneel the ball. He knows everyone came to see some football -- not technical exploitation of rules.
Aggie fans need to keep a few things in mind. Aggies never hiss other Aggies. Cursing and ridiculing other Aggies is strongly discouraged as well. When a quarterback gets sacked, it does not help anyone when you question his parentage. A missed tackle on a wet field is not sufficient cause for shouting obscenities.
Save the horse laugh for when the referees make a questionable call. Here is a hint, not every call that goes against the maroon jerseys is questionable.
Remember, even if you are not enjoying the game, others around you might be.
Win or lose, they are still the Aggie Football Team. That means each player is still an Aggie and part of the spirit that can ne'er be told.
Dave Johnston is a senior mathematics major.