The Campaign For DA

11.01.2015

Mrs. LL and I Went To Aggieland


A couple of weeks ago, I received a gift from someone who knows how much I love my silly and stupid college football trips. I received two tickets to Aggieland: It's the South Carolina Gamecocks vs. The Aggies. The game time would later be set for 11:00 a.m. I've got an early morning road trip. Me to Mrs. LL: "You in.?" Mrs. LL: "You kidding me? Oh, yes!"

  • I tell her we leave at a particular time and yesterday we only leave 18 minutes late. My master plan has worked (we didn't have to leave at that particular time.)   I tell her she could sleep all the way down if she wanted to because of the early start. 
  • Things got weird quickly. She doesn't go to sleep. Now that's odd. But not as odd as a vehicle all over the road traveling at a snail's pace in front of us on I-35 after Burleson. I don't say anything and just point. She says, "Yep. I see it." It is 6:35 or so in the morning. Within a minute the guy makes it to the exit and Mrs. LL says, "There you go, buddy. Good job." And then he undershoots the exit and goes into the median which seperates I-35 from the service road. It was a slow roll. Was he drunk? Did he just fall asleep? Was it a medical condition? (Was it even a "he"?) Mrs. LL yells at me, "Go back!" I say, "Just call 911!" She does. We note the exit number to communicate it to dispatch. She hangs up and says, "Go back" again. OK, I will. What if it is a medical issue and we could get there before dispatch and do something? Let's go.  I overshoot the next exit and miss it and have to go down a couple of miles. I want to go over I-35 and head back up. She tells me to take the service road. I take the service road. As we get back there we see flashing lights of an emergency vehicle but the lights go off and the vehicle moves on. The guy is gone. Mrs. LL thinks she might have seen the vehicle at a convenience store we passed on the way. We go to it and it is not there.
  • We head to Aggieland again. That's a weird start.
  • She sleeps the entire way and I pull into a convenience store at College Station. We go in. Uh, it's Halloween and we see this in the checkout line at 10:00 a.m. That's a guy. With a beard. In a dress.  I think. Mrs. LL snaps that  picture and as she does I whisper, "Be cool." As we walk back to the car she says, "You think that guy cares if someone takes his picture?" Good point.
  • I just want to see a football game and experience Kyle Field. This has been an interesting morning. 
  • And we head to the stadium. I was stunned by the lack of traffic for what would be a crowd of 100,000. We park a long way away because that will give us a chance to see the campus. As we walk, we see the memorial for the Aggie Bonfire Tragedy and now we know what we'll stop by after the game.
  • I was at Kyle Field 20 years ago. With the renovations, it looks like a brand new stadium.
  • We get to our seats and they are on the first row at the 40 yard  line. Holy cow. That's not the best seat if you care about the best view of the game (I don't), but it is absolutely the best place in the world if you care about the experience. I am feet away from the South Carolina bench. I get to hear and watch the players and the coaches. I get to watch the media. I tell Mrs. LL this is my greatest football trip ever.
  • I'm so close that I can see the white board when the defensive unit regroups and the coach draws on it. If I were an Aggie secret agent, I could take a picture and immediately send it to the Aggie coaching staff. With as big a business as college football is (and as big of a business as betting is), how does that not happen every week?
  • Funniest/Oddest taunt ever: A young Aggie fan behind me yells at a South Carolina trainer, "Hey, nice cargo pants!"
  • There is a hot sideline reporter walking back and forth and she stops right under us. She is making  notes on a pad. I'm not saying that Mrs. LL covertly took a photo of her notes, but Mrs. LL took a photo of her notes. I haven't looked at them yet because it almost feels illegal. (It's not.)
  • I knew football was intense, but I had no idea the sideline was so intense. There are leaders who will cuss out the younger guys. The coaches will cuss out anyone.
  • Mrs. LL wants to take a "selfie" with me with the great view of the field in the background. I hate selfies and I remind her of that. A lady behind us hears us and asks, "You guys want your picture taken?" No problem. Done. She takes the pic, hands the phone back, smiles at me and says, "It's all about memories."  I smile and reply, "You're right. And you allowed me to keep my dignity by not being involved in a selfie in front of thousands of people." She laughs. 
  • The security was  amazing. There is always someone walking by and scanning the crowd. And it needed to be there. I could jump six feet down in a second and be on the field. Here's my chance to be Will Farrell from Old School and be a streaker! (The thought didn't actually cross my mind. I'm joking. But the vision of doing it and a horrified crowd seeing old me on the big screen does make me laugh.)
  • I had told Mrs. LL about the Aggie band, and I didn't think she understood. She is a huge band fan. At halftime she finally sees it. (I think she is still saying, "Wow.")
  • The Aggie Band and The Corp have a common mindset: Discipline and doing your job right. 
  • Football note: The Aggies started a freshman quarterback who everyone thinks will be a star. The offense was boring in first quarter. Then they went hurry up and took over the game. After two drives I turn to the guy next to me and tell him, "They look exactly like Baylor." And they did.
  • One of the greatest Aggie traditions is that crazy swaying the crowd does as they touch the backs of the person beside them. This happens between the third and fourth quarters. Mrs. LL and I have worn maroon and I tell her to get ready because it is a sight to see. We join in and sway with the crowd. The moment is fantastic.
  • After the game we walk towards the Bonfire Memorial.  I remind her I got lost on the Kansas campus a few weeks back and she says that wouldn't happen to her because she has a tremendous sense of direction. She momentarily gets lost but quickly figures the way back. Funny. 
  • We both notice the craziest number of bicycles in the history of ever. I bet there was one set of bike racks with over 100 bikes locked up on them. (However, I'm still confused about the bike in a tree we see as we were almost off campus.) 
  • I don't care who you are, go see that Memorial.  Everything about the design was done for a reason. The tributes to those kids are beyond moving. I will be honest: I tear up. No. I cry.  I'm not an Aggie, but even I realized I was standing on Aggie Holy Ground.