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...And That’s When I Decided Texas A&M is Pretty Okay

Welcoming an old ally to town for the first time

Downtown Athens retail shops... Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

For the first time in the seven years since the Aggies joined the SEC, it’s Texas A&M week! It feels a bit strange, but here we are y’all, playing a conference game against a team from Texas. In truth, it’s no less bizarre than playing a league game against Missouri every season, but we’ve had eight games with the Tigers to help us adjust.

The Dawgs have only faced Texas A&M five times. Three of those were losses to the Aggies in the early-fifties, one was a 42-0 blowout of them in Athens in the championship season of 1980 and the most recent was a 44-20 Bulldog victory in the 2009 Independence Bowl. In theory I should have fond memories of a 24-point win against a Big 12 foe, but the game happened in Shreveport, and nothing that happens in Shreveport can overcome the disappointment of all the things that lead a football season to Shreveport.

Maybe I’m in a good mood because of Georgia’s victory over Auburn, or maybe interacting with the Tiger fan base last week induced such vitriol that I don’t have any left to give, but I don’t have much bad to say about Texas A&M. My lack of negativity towards the Aggies also might have to do with the fact that I considered Texas A&M fans allies once upon a time.

You see my first job our of college was in the beautiful absolutely horrible city of Dallas, Texas. Any A&M fans who live there, I promise this isn’t personal, but Dallas is America’s worst major city. You are welcome to have other opinions, and it is okay if you do, you’ll just be wrong. Dallas is a giant field with a bunch of concrete and zero culture. Actually, that’s incorrect. Dallas does have a culture in so far as trying to look as rich as possible on $40,000/year can be considered culture. There was a guy who lived in my apartment complex in Dallas that wore a Rolex and drove a Porsche. His home furnishings consisted of a mattress on the floor. Dallas just seems to do that to people. After my time in Texas I lived in Southern California. Dallas is more Hollywood than Hollywood, but not in any of the fun ways.

Anyways, I moved there in 2012, and I was friends with a few other UGA grads as well as some LSU alums. We shared some good football talk, but around town and at work all I mostly heard about was the Big 12 schools. On the whole, Big 12 fans absolutely despise the SEC. If you ask them why they can give you some convoluted conspiracy theories about media favoritism, but the reality is that the Big 12 just hates the SEC for being better at football. Texas fans were the biggest offenders by far, constantly talking about how great they were while achieving little on the football field. During the 2012 season, Texas was supposedly “back” and their fans were eager to tell me about it. They went 9-4. It was annoying.

A&M fans were new to the SEC, but they helped quiet the Longhorn fans trash talk by going 11-2 and spitting out Heisman winner Johnny Manziel in their first year outside of the Big 12. A&M also beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa that Fall, and I fully support anyone doing that whenever they can. A&M beating Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl also helped us SEC fans living in Big 12 country. All the Aggies I met seemed like pretty down to Earth folks, and that’s when I decided Texas A&M is pretty okay.

Texas A&M is a school steeped in tradition, and they certainly care about football on a level as high as any other SEC program. If you don’t believe me just google Jimbo Fisher’s contract. Having them in Athens should be fun, and I hope I can make the trip to College Station when we finally play there in 2025.

I hope the Aggies feel welcomed this weekend. I’m obviously a bit biased, but I think Athens is hands down the best college town in the Southeastern Conference, if not America. If you run into an Aggie who looks a bit lost, be sure to point them to your favorite eating spots and watering holes. Maybe send them towards the 40 Watt or the Georgia Theatre if they’re looking for some evening entertainment. Let’s show them what the Classic City is all about.

If things go poorly I could certainly have some hate for Texas A&M come Sunday. For now, I’ll do as any good Southerner would, and welcome them into our home. We hope you enjoy your stay, please do not break our season.