I played basketball in junior high. Yup. I was on the “B” team, though. I have the height, but not the coordination. (Had I made “A” team, I would have probably went on to play in high school. But I didn’t, so I didn’t.)
As part of being on the team, our coach took us to several Lady Aggie Basketball games. It was SO much fun, and I remember watching in awe. The arena was almost empty, though. No one was interested, I guess, but we had fun! We met the players, and I had an autographed poster of the team on my wall for awhile.
Once I quit playing, I quit paying much attention. In college I became like everyone else… oblivious to the fact that we even had a women’s basketball team.
Over the last few years, though, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have become a shining jewel for the university. I’m suddenly a basketball fan… something that baffles my parents and my husband. I fill out brackets. I curse when they get busted. (Really, Kansas!? Really!?) And this year…
This year I might or might not have gotten tears in my eyes when the Lady Aggies made it to the Final Four for the first time in school history. I gathered with my two favorite Aggies on Sunday and SCREAMED at the top of my lungs when they advanced to the National Championship.
Today, I am decked out in Aggie gear (not that that is unusual) having a hard time thinking about anything except tonight’s game. Win or lose, the team has made school history and put my university into the national spotlight in an area that not even Aggies acknowledged just a few years ago.
I am SO PROUD of those girls… what an incredible ride they are on right now, and I hope they enjoy every single second.
Gig’em Aggies!!! Beat The Hell Outta Notre Dame!!! WHOOP!!
When I first moved to Nashville four years ago, I found myself seeking out friendships. I had never been very good at meeting people. Believe it or not, I can count on one hand the people I met and “befriended” in college… and I’d have fingers left over. I had just never learned how to assert myself and meet new people (a trait that I thankfully have developed over time) and as such, I became good at being a loner.
My husband came with a built in group of friends who, thankfully, all accepted me with open arms. However, I craved people who understood my love of Texas. Who were from where I was from. Who could understand a part of me that I could never explain. I wanted my Aggies.
So, I sent an email to the only contact I could find on the local A&M club web-site. I asked about opportunities to get together with other Aggies, and to my delight an email came shorty later. There would be a football game watching party coming up that I was encouraged to attend.
Texas A&M was playing Oklahoma, and my husband was out of town on the road. I wanted to go and somehow relive the days of standing at Kyle Field rooting on my Aggies. So, despite having no clue where I was going, and this being pre-GPS days, I headed out that Saturday evening armed with nothing more than a map from MapQuest. I wasn’t even guaranteed I’d be able to call my husband for directions, and I didn’t have anyone else’s number yet. Nonetheless, nervous as can be, I went.
It was the only party I made it to that year, but it was wonderful. I was surrounded by Aggies again. I was surrounded by people who knew where I was from. Who understood my passion for my school. We, ironically, ended up at the same location as the Oklahoma alumni group, which I, personally, found to make it even more fun. I don’t think anyone else would agree with me of that, but I sure enjoyed it.
This weekend, Texas A&M will face Oklahoma again, and due to that first game watching party, this game always holds a little place in my heart as a favorite.
Unfortunately, I have been very disappointed and frustrated with this year’s game watching parties. I missed one due to not feeling well, but I’ve been to all the rest. We’ve never had more than four people at a party. Oh don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy these people and I think they’d be the people I’d sit with even if we had a huge group attend. But, it gets disheartening to try to put a party together only to not have anyone show up.
Being deep in SEC territory, we have to work to find a location that will show our game without pushing us out mid-game for another game. (Its happened before.) Evening games means finding a venue that doesn’t have live music at night. We like to keep it family-friendly, which usually means venues that close early. We’ve really had to juggle to find locations that will work, and this week I really wanted to throw in the towel. I was just fed up and done with the parties due to the (perceived) lack of interest.
Then I remembered my first game watching party and how much it meant to me. And I thought to myself, “What if there is a new Aggie here who is where I was four years ago? What if our party could be their chance to reach out to people from home?”
So this weekend, we will gather again. Probably three of us will be there. But we will gather and we will enjoy the evening. I’ll be glad we got together. I always am. It doesn’t matter if its two Aggies or twenty, its a touch of back home for an evening. I appreciate it and love it.