Saturday, September 24, 2011

Epic Fail

About halfway through my post-game three mile walk, the song Half Heaven, Half Heartache by Gene Pitney started playing on the Walkman clipped to my belt. As I listened I thought, "Well, that sure sums up that piece of shit."

The Aggies played Oklahoma State at Kyle Field today. The community had been buzzing all week anticipating the game, since it would match two Top Ten teams, OSU at number 7 and Texas A&M at number 8. The game would be shown on network TV, with a crowd of about 90,000 expected to attend in person. Big time college football. The prognosticators predicted a high-scoring offensive shootout, and the oddsmakers settled on the Aggies as the favorite by about four points.

The first half was basically all TAMU, with the offense clicking and the defense controlling the game. I was starting to believe that maybe the Aggies were really Top Ten material after all.

The first indication that things weren't all lollipops and moonbeams came with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the Aggies leading 20-3 and kicking off. The way the defense had been functioning, I was sure that would be the score to begin the third quarter.

The kick sailed into the end zone for a touchback... but wait, there's a flag on the play. Against the kicking team, five yard penalty, re-kick. My immediate thought was, "Shit, that's the kind of sloppy mistake that's been biting the Aggies in the ass for a decade."

Sure enough, the second kick only reached the five, and the return man easily juked the coverage and outran everybody in a maroon shirt for a 95-yard touchdown. Motherfucker... that 17-point lead was just cut to ten points because of a stupid penalty.

But wait again. There's another flag on the play, this one against the Cowboys. Bring it back. Well, I thought, the mistakes are starting to even out and if they do, the Aggies should win.

That happy illusion lasted until the opening kickoff to begin the second half. From that moment on, Oklahoma State dominated the game offensively and defensively, and the Aggies shot themselves in the foot, the ass, and gave the better team a lot of help they probably didn't need to win. At 30-20, it was all over, although the Aggies did get a late TD and one last shot at overtime -- that flamed out with their fourth turnover of the half. A rub-it-in safety on the final play made the score 30-29, like the game had been a nail-biter. In reality though, the only thing keeping it close was an occasional flub by the Okies, such as their hotdogging receiver coasting untouched for an easy score, but instead fumbling the ball into the end zone for a touchback.

Shortly after the final gun, my oldest grandson, in 2nd grade and wise beyond his years, said, "We just wasted four hours." I wanted to grab him and hug him, but I didn't. I simply replied, "You got that right."

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Dedicated to Jim Ferguson. If you don't know who Jim Ferguson is, you (a) haven't seen The Missouri Breaks, or (b) have an inadequate ability to fully assimilate movie trivia.