Tag Archives: Big 12

No legislative interference on this football matter, please

Texas House Bill 412 needs to go . . . nowhere!

What is it? It is a bill proposed by state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, that requires the University of Texas and Texas A&M University to play a football game sometime in November each year.

That’s right. Rep. Larson — an A&M alumnus — wants the Legislature to intervene in a decision that should rest entirely with the athletic directors of the respective universities.

I’ve already endorsed the so-called “end game.” I want the Longhorns and Aggies to resume their storied football rivalry, which ended in 2011 when A&M left the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference.

When the Aggies bolted, the series ended. Period.

But is the Legislature the right avenue to travel to bring this thing back? No. It’s the kind of feel-good legislation one sees on occasion. Legislators and members of Congress occasionally get all worked up when tragedy strikes; they seek a legislative remedy to prevent horrible events from recurring.

This kind of legislation sort of falls into that category.

I respect Rep. Larson’s desire to bring the rivalry back. I do not believe the Texas Legislature should waste a moment of its time debating it. Lawmakers have a lot of other matters to consider. You know, small stuff such as, oh, water policy, highway construction, education reform, tax-and-spend matters. The 2019 Legislature might even consider whether to rescind the authority it granted cities to install and deploy red-light cameras to catch traffic violators in the act of breaking the law; don’t go there, lawmakers.

Larson did make a cogent point, though. “It’s time for the folks in Austin and College Station to get in a room and make a deal to restore the rivalry,” he told the Texas Tribune.

You are correct, sir. They can — and should — hammer it out without interference from the Texas Legislature.

Missing a Thanksgiving tradition

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So help me, I don’t know why I am thinking of this.

But I just am.

It occurred to me today that I am missing an annual Thanksgiving event. It’s a sporting spectacle: the University of Texas-Texas A&M University football game.

The Aggies tossed the intense rivalry into the crapper when they bolted from the Big 12 and joined the Southeastern Conference a few years back. I heard something about UT’s football network driving the Aggies toward the SEC. I’m not very savvy about the business of college football, so I won’t comment on that.

But we’ve lived in Texas now for nearly 33 years. I’ve grown accustomed to many of this state’s traditions. The annual UT-A&M game on Thanksgiving Day was one of them.

It’s no longer part of the state’s celebration of this uniquely American holiday.

I don’t have any particular loyalties here.¬†Our sons didn’t attend either school. I know plenty of Texas Exes and Aggies.

I’ve learned, for instance, that there’s no such thing as a “former Aggie.” I also learned long ago that Aggies refer to their longtime rival as “texas university.”

I guess one might say — and I don’t mention this with any antipathy — that Aggies are a touch more obnoxious about the rivalry than their Longhorn friends.

However, it’s all grown a bit muted since the two schools no longer face off on Thanksgiving either in Austin or College Station.

Yeah, I miss it. I only can imagine how I would feel if I actually felt an allegiance to either school.

Rivalry Week coming up

College football has a name for the final week of a long season.

It’s called Rivalry Week. Traditional rival schools square off against each other on the football field. They’re usually in-state rivalries.

For those of us who grew up in Oregon, Rivalry Week takes on a particularly distasteful tag. It’s known there as the Civil War. Oregon vs. Oregon State.

Why distasteful? Well, for one thing I dislike the use the of the term “war” to describe a football game. I’ve had a ringside seat in a real war and a football game bears no resemblance to it, you know?

I even heard Tiger Woods once describe a round of golf, for crying out loud, as being “like war out there.”

You get my drift.

Well, Rivalry Week is going to present some interesting athletic matchups. The Oregon-Oregon State game, for example, will enable the Oregon Ducks to stay in the hunt for the coveted football playoff that will determine the national championship.

First things first, though. They have to beat OSU, then they have to defeat whoever wins the Pac-12 South title in the league championship game to be played at the San Francisco 49ers’ new field at Levi Stadium.

OK, I’m boring the daylights out of fans of the Big 12, the SEC, the Big 10 (or is it Big 13?) with all of this.

I’ll stick with my original premise.

I wish they wouldn’t call it “war.”

It’s just a game.