scenes from the weekend: the aggies vs. the panthers

A few months ago, I was thrilled to be invited by the Texas A&M Foundation to speak at their annual conference for women, and as I was preparing for my talk, I realized that even though the university is my alma mater (class of '88),  it had been over 14 years since I'd been back at the campus.  When I remarked about this length of time, Alex said, "Yeah, Mom -- and you've never taken me to a football game before.  EVER."

I had no idea going to a football game was that important to her.

So anyway, while I was at the conference, I mentioned the length of time since I'd been to a game, and I asked my host, Angela, how easy it is these days to get tickets to a game.  I don't remember her exact words, but "damned near impossible" pretty much captures the spirit of her answer.  "But if you want tickets," she kindly offered, "I can help you."

"Really?" I said.  "Oh, if there's a way you can get me access to them, I would love it.  It doesn't have to be a big game or anything -- I just would like to take my daughter to a game to experience it."

"No problem," she smiled.  "Leave it to me."

And so, a few weeks ago, she called to tell me that she had tickets to the Texas A&M University vs. Prairie View A&M University game, if I'd like to bring Marcus and Alex.  This was a pretty minor game -- both universities are actually in the same university system -- but no matter, I was thrilled at her generosity.  (And it turns out it was an important game, nonetheless.)  So today, we drove the 90 miles north to watch the game.

It did not disappoint.  Our seats were incredible, the fans were friendly and warm, and the teams and their bands played and performed with such class. It was exactly the kind of first-football-game experience I would hope for my kid. 

Here are a couple of shots from the game.

Kyle Field is the name of the university's football stadium.  At capacity, it holds about 100,000 people, and is the fourth largest stadium in the United States -- which really, is just insane.

Kyle Field is the name of the university's football stadium.  At capacity, it holds about 100,000 people, and is the fourth largest stadium in the United States -- which really, is just insane.

The game begins.

The game begins.

While I love a good university football game, I really love a good university football halftime show.  The first band to perform during the halftime break was Prairie View A&M's Marching Storm.  Prairie View is a historically black university (read more about HBCUs here), and one thing that HBCUs tend to be famous for are their marching bands and performers.  The Marching Storm was fantastic.  In fact ...

While I love a good university football game, I really love a good university football halftime show.  The first band to perform during the halftime break was Prairie View A&M's Marching Storm.  Prairie View is a historically black university (read more about HBCUs here), and one thing that HBCUs tend to be famous for are their marching bands and performers.  The Marching Storm was fantastic.  In fact ...

... by the time the Storm had finished performing, the entire stadium was on their feet in applause.  A wonderful show.

... by the time the Storm had finished performing, the entire stadium was on their feet in applause.  A wonderful show.

Next up:  The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band.  So here's a fun fact:  Texas A&M University actually began as a military university, and while less than 10% of the current student body is a member of the Corps of Cadets, Texas A&M still manages to commission more officers into the armed forces in the nation every year, except for the United States Military Academies.  That said, every member of the band is a member of the corps, and the corp prides itself on its military precision. They're really fun to watch, especially in contrast to the way the Marching Storm broke it all the way down just minutes before.

Next up:  The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band.  So here's a fun fact:  Texas A&M University actually began as a military university, and while less than 10% of the current student body is a member of the Corps of Cadets, Texas A&M still manages to commission more officers into the armed forces in the nation every year, except for the United States Military Academies.  That said, every member of the band is a member of the corps, and the corp prides itself on its military precision. They're really fun to watch, especially in contrast to the way the Marching Storm broke it all the way down just minutes before.

A completely out-of-focus "us-ie" of the three of us.  No matter -- it's proof we were there, and sometimes focus is overrated, you know?

A completely out-of-focus "us-ie" of the three of us.  No matter -- it's proof we were there, and sometimes focus is overrated, you know?

The game actually ended up being a bit of a bloodbath -- the Aggies beat the Panthers, 67-0 (!!) -- but each team played with class, the fans enjoyed each other and to my everlasting shock, Alex actually said she's thinking about whether she'd want to attend A&M in the future (she probably won't -- while A&M has many great strengths, they don't generally lie in the kinds of subjects Alex is interested in, but it's lovely to know that she had such a good time, she's actually considering it).  So it was a fun day.

On that note, thank you so much, Angela -- we LOVED being there, and we owe you big.