Dear SEC, Welcome to Texas A&M


There are people who believe that college football is just a game. And to those people I say…well…I don’t say much because we don’t have anything in common.

After the game on Saturday, I got so many texts and emails from y’all congratulating me on the big win over Alabama and reminding me that I believed it could happen. But here’s the thing about being an Aggie, I always believe it can happen. That’s what Aggies do. We believe in each other even when everyone else says the odds are stacked against us.

And, sure, this has led to some heartbreak over the years. It was just as recently as last Thanksgiving when I had to console Caroline as she cried after the Aggies lost in the last minute to t.u. I stroked her hair and said, “Having great expectations and being disappointed is part of being an Aggie. We are loyal to our team. It’s what we do. It’s because we always believe the best is going to happen and sometimes it just doesn’t.”

But on Saturday it did.

It all came together in one of those perfect moments that people will talk about for years to come. We went into Bryant Denny Stadium against the #1 team in the nation and walked out of there with one of the biggest victories in Aggie football history.

At some point during my high school years, I decided I wanted to go to Texas A&M. We didn’t have any family ties or anything like that, it just seemed like a good choice for reasons I can’t even remember. Then I went to visit campus at the beginning of my senior year in high school and that sealed the deal. I’ll never forget watching an introductory film on the Spirit of Aggieland before taking a campus tour and getting chills at the legacy of spirit and heart and tradition.

My point is that I have loved Aggie football for over twenty years. During those years I’ve experienced some major football highs: Aaron Wallace holding up Andre Ware’s helmet as we shocked the University of Houston, destroying Ty Detmer and BYU in the Holiday Bowl, the 1998 Big XII Championship game when we beat Kansas State, the emotional win over the Longhorns after Bonfire fell in ’99, and beating #1 Oklahoma in 2002 at Kyle Field.

I have jumped up and down and cheered and yelled until I’ve lost my voice. I’ve said words you’ll never hear in Sunday School and probably let way too many of my Saturday evening moods be determined by how bad or good the Aggies played. There have been countless times that P has had to tell me to TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH, GLADYS.

Because there have also been some serious lows. Standing in the freezing cold, possibly hungover, at The Cotton Bowl in ’91 with six of my friends as we watched the Aggies lose 10-2 to Florida State and shared one hot dog since we’d spent all our money the night before celebrating New Year’s Eve in Dallas because college kids are smart. Then doing the same thing the next year, but watching us lose to Notre Dame. And the next year as we lost to Notre Dame again. And basically the entire Dennis Franchione era.

But my love for the Aggies has never wavered.

Because it’s about so much more than just football. Texas A&M has given me some of the best memories of my life. I arrived there as a scared eighteen-year-old way back in ye olden days of 1989 and left in 1994 (shout out for a victory lap and an extra football season) with memories I’ll have forever. To this day, all of my closest friends are the people I met at A&M. I met P there. And I began to turn my life around there, thanks to Breakaway Bible study. Being an Aggie has left an imprint on my life forever in all the best ways.

I mean, I went to see the group Digital Underground in concert at DeWare Field House. That alone was worth whatever my dad paid in tuition money. “Stop whatcha doin’, ’cause I’m about to ruin the image and the style that ya used to.” It was The Humpty Dance, y’all.

That’s why I love Aggies. And that’s why I love Aggie football. It’s been over twenty years of throwing cotton on the field and wearing cotton in my gold hoop earrings. It’s yelling until I’m hoarse and freaking out and getting tears in my eyes every time I hear the announcer say, “Now forming at the North End of Kyle Field, the nationally famous Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band” and the crowd goes wild. It’s getting a job at the ticket office as a student so I could get fifty yard line seats to every game. It’s reading all the message boards and tailgating and following every step of recruiting to see what high school players will decide to come play at A&M.

Like our school song says, “There’s a spirit that can ne’er be told”.

So all that to say, I was half-psychotic on Saturday during the game. (Actually, I was fully psychotic but I’m afraid you’ll judge me.) My hands were shaking in that way they do when I’m running on nothing but adrenaline. I could have lifted a school bus and thrown it down a city block. And I believed we could win, but I never imagined we’d score twenty points in the first quarter. It’s Alabama. Nick Saban would cut out a player’s liver if it meant he wouldn’t lose.

And, sure enough, they started to come back in the second quarter. I was concerned. I was mentally preparing myself for a potential heartbreak. I told Gulley I hoped Sumlin was giving the team a halftime speech reminiscent of the scene in Rocky IV when Rocky is fighting Ivan Drago and Duke says, “You see? You see? He’s not a machine, he’s a man, he’s a man. You made him bleed.”

Then maybe I had a moment where I thought it was odd that my brain still automatically references Rocky IV with that much ease.

By the third quarter, my stomach was in knots. I stood up. I sat down. I paced. We told the kids to quit eating their chips so loudly. We may have permanently scarred the dog. Gulley’s dad called at one point to tell us he got a cramp in his foot during the third quarter and was worried he was having a stroke from the stress.

And, frankly, we’d been worried about the same thing. The human body can only take so much.

When we missed the field goal in the fourth quarter, my heart sank. I prayed we weren’t about to see a miraculous Alabama comeback. And when it finally came down to fourth down and goal and A.J. McCarron threw that interception to Deshazor Everett, I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a good three seconds.

And I’m not even going to lie. Gulley and I jumped up and down until we wet our pants. That’s the downside of being a fanatic football fan when you’re a woman over forty who’s had a child. But it didn’t even matter.

Because, y’all, the Aggies beat the hell outta Alabama.

I’m also pretty sure I sustained a fairly significant rotator cuff injury from flailing my arms about wildly.

Totally worth it.

It was a golden day. There have been other victories, but after a year of hearing how the Aggies weren’t ready for the SEC and that the Aggies were going to be a lamb to the slaughter and how we were making a huge mistake, it felt like vindication.

But the thing is, Aggies aren’t surprised. We always believed it would happen. We knew we could compete in the best conference in college football. Granted, I don’t think we expected it to be this year, but Coach Sumlin and Johnny Manziel and the effort and heart of our entire team made it happen.

And, y’all, it is so much fun.

Which is why, immediately after we counted off the last ten seconds of the game, we loaded the kids up in my station wagon, grabbed Gulley’s Aggie flag and made several victory laps around the neighborhood honking the Aggie War Hymn.


We wanted them to always remember the night Aggie football opened the page on a new chapter. The night that a new era of Aggie football was on display nationwide.

And the night they saw their mamas lose their ever-lovin’ minds as they yelled “GIG’EM AGGIES” all through the neighborhood while Will kept asking, “Is this legal?”

Yes. Yes it is.


Also, a huge thank you to our Veterans. Thank you for your brave service and sacrifice. We owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.

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  1. says

    When I read on Facebook that Alabama had pulled out a win, I let out a war-hoop, just to honor y’all. West Virginia moved to the Big 12, and Lord have mercy, I think we shoulda kept our hind-ends back in the Big East because, hello, losing record!

    Oh, and when you said

    “And the night they saw their mamas lose their ever-lovin’ minds ”

    I knew you were my people.

    I lost my ever-lovin’ mind a lot. =)

  2. says

    That was an exciting win. My husband is a prof at Kansas State so we’re all on a football high as well. We moved “south” from Minnesota where football isn’t quite what it is here. In Manhattan, where people move in and out frequently because of the university and proximity to Fort Riley, K-State Football provides an instant community. I jumped on the band wagon right away and it’s been a lot of fun.

  3. Rikki says

    Any team that beats Alabama(except LSU…that’s almost blasphemy as a Hog fan) is officially one of my favorite teams! Welcome to the SEC, I knew the Aggies were a good fit for this conference!

  4. Leigh says

    Well, I freely admit I was one of those life long SEC folks who didn’t think the Aggies would be ready for prime time in the league for several years. I stand humbly corrected.

    And, I am glad my Gators played you early in the season.

    This win just proves once again how dang good the SEC is. We beat each other up week in and week out, and most years still manage to have a team or two in the national championship game. There are 5 SEC teams in the BCS top ten right now. And no offense to the K-State fan above, I would bet any of them could beat K State, Oregon or Notre Dame. No other teams in the country are as battle tested as the SEC teams.

    Mel, when I saw the pic of the kids on Twitter Saturday night I was reminded of when the Gators won their first NC in Jan ’97. My sister and I ran through my neighborhood with my Gator flag well after midnight. Didn’t have quite the meaning as y’all’s romp last night, this being Texas and all, but still a great memory.

    So, congrats to you and all my Aggie friends, but, GO GATORS!!!!!!!!

    • Tiffany says

      I would argue that both Kansas State and Oregon are significantly better than UL-Lafayette, which Florida needed a literal last second punt block and return to beat on Saturday.

  5. says

    I’m a staunch Sooners fan, but since we live in SA, I’ve chosen to root for A and M as well to keep my boys from cheering for UT. I thought about sending you a message that you should probably stop jumping up and down on your newly reupholstered couch! Glad for the win and for the dethroning of Bama! Oh, and Boomer Sooner!

  6. Tiffany says

    As a lifelong Duck fan who’s experienced the whole range of highs and lows and can more than relate, I find it purely delightful that, while Johnny Manziel may have decommitted from Oregon, he (please, dear Jesus) may have just paved the Ducks’ way to a national championship. You know, provided that our poor, sweet, walking M*A*S*H unit of a defense can get us through these next few games.

    I thought of you while I was watching the game, too. Not remotely in a creepy way, though. Qualifying the lack of creepiness may have just added to the creepy, but I’m leaving it anyway, because I promise it wasn’t supposed to be creepy.

    • Lindsay says

      So funny because I thought of you, too, Melanie, in a “not creepy stalker way” and then I made a “I’m thankful to the Aggies” post on Facebook because Ducks are number 2, baby! Long live college football!

  7. says

    Girl!! I screamed when we won! That was the most amazing game I’ve seen in a long while! I was at the upset over Nebraska in ’98, the Big 12 Championship Game over KSU & the Bonfire Game in ’99. They were all awesome wins. I would’ve given anything to be at this game. Loved your post. From the outside looking in…

  8. Lindsey says

    Congrats on the win! I also have to tell you that I started watching Nashville this weekend (I watched all 5 episodes in 24 hours). 1- I loved it and 2- The lead actress? totally what I think you sound like in real life. Plus, her hair? AWESOME.

  9. says

    My first thoughts were of you! I was like, Melanie is going NUTS right now! I sat and watched and thought, oh yeah. Undefeated and still they fall.

    I’m a UGA girl so I totally, totally, TOTALLY understand you. Our 19 month old can yell GO DAWGS! And there’s nothing like SEC football. It’s the best.

  10. Margaret says

    Well, from me Roll Tide. It was an exciting game. I have always thought that A&M could play well in the SEC. I just wish they had played well against someone else. It was a little quieter at our house.

  11. Honey says

    Once again, you were able to put into words what thousands of us were thinking! I love your description of what it means to be an Aggie. You nailed it! My heart is still beating fast and this town is full of joy and excitement!!! I love the picture of my 3 favorite little Aggies!!!!

  12. Lori H says

    We don’t know each other, but I was happy for you when I heard the score. I think my husband thought it was weird that I asked what the score was and said “yay!” when he said the Aggies won. :)

  13. Kaye says

    I was telling my husband that I read this woman’s blog who is a huge Aggie’s fan, as we were watching the game. My husband is a huge Alabama fan (not sure why as we were born and raised here in Iowa, but oh well). I said that I knew your blog post today would be about the game. Congrats to your team. If only my Hawkeyes were doing nearly as well!

  14. says

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! My husband and I are both Aggies and met each other our Freshman and Sophomore years at A&M. I couldn’t watch the game, made me a nervous wreck, so I let my husband stay home to watch while I took our oldest son to his last t-ball game of the season. Funny how there were mostly all moms there. We did get to see the last 8 minutes of the game. BEST PART! I’m so proud of our Aggies. This win seems to truly epitomes everything Texas A&M is and stands for. I’ve always been proud to be an Aggie and I am glad that now other people from across the US and the world can see what a world-class school A&M is!

  15. says

    I’ve never really followed football for reasons I really don’t know, but I was riveted…RIVETED by Saturday night’s game, and so very happy for you!

    I might or might not have learned enough from you and Sophie to now fool grown men when they walk by in the middle of a party and comment on said game. I inadvertently fooled them straight up into droning on and on about teams of which I know nothing, ha! For those men I just smile and nod and hope they move on quickly 😉

    Congratulations, Melanie! They flat-out deserved that win!

  16. Kelly B says

    I feel about Notre Dame, the way you feel about A&M! We too have had some hard times, this year is not one of them, thank the Lord above. All I can say is your post made me cry! I love your passion and never ending commitment!!! Congratulations on the win!!!!!!! May it continue, as long as it isn’t against ND! MOST importantly, I LOVE making the memories with the kids!!! TOTALLY worth the cost of therapy!!!!!! My son still has no idea why he loves ND so much, he just knows that it is right! SO keep those kids waving the flag and worrying about jail time!!!!

    • Timmarie says

      I feel the same way about ND. This post made me tear up quite a bit. I was rooting for your Aggies and was SO happy for your win. It’s a dream of mine to see Notre Dame take the field.

  17. says

    My husband, my three children, and their spouses all went to A & M. So I consider myself an Aggies too. I was texting all the kids and their spouses throughout the game. The last quarter I made my husband stand. It was so exciting and wonderful.

    We had received a lot of comments from our SEC friends how it was going to be a rude awakening for A &M to play with the “big guys” also.

    This was a game that college football is all about.

  18. Kim Johnson says

    I love reading your blog! I’m from North Carolina and a Tarheel fan, so this might be a dumb question, but what does Gig’em Aggies mean?

  19. aggiema (Michelle) says

    As a fellow Aggie, (I was leaving A&M as you arrived Class of 88) I loved this post. You hit so many things on the head. A&M changed my life forever (gave me my awesome Aggie husband and thus my future Aggie child) and am thankful to God for placing me there. It’s great to be a part of the Texas A&M family. Gig Em Aggies!

  20. Margge says

    Couldn’t have said it any better myself! Thank you for putting into words what is so hard to define! I grew up in a longhorn family but saw the error of my ways my senior year of high school. Once I hit the TAMU campus for the New Student orientation, I knew I had made the correct choice and never looked back! LOVE being an Aggie – even through the hard times!

  21. Lindsey says

    I was watching the A&M-Bama game sitting in the parking lot while tailgating after the Clemson game. It was a priceless moment when you realized thousands of people around you are all rooting for the same thing to happen, the upset. At the end of your game, you could hear all throughout the many parking lots still pretty full of tailgaters erupting in cheers each time something happened, especially that interception at the end.

  22. Tracey says

    My house is full of Aggies…my husband and I are ’79 and our kids and their spouses are ’07, ’09, ’10 and ’13 (whoop for a graduate in May)!. Circumstances had us all watching in different locations across Texas. Not one word passed between us…spoken or written…until that clock said 0:00. We weren’t going to be responsible for a jinx. This game was so important, so serious, so fun, so riveting that my husband and his deer lease posse stayed in town to watch it all and no one went out to hunt Saturday evening. For a lease of Aggie hunters…that’s commitment. Thanks for your perfect description of why we’re all Aggies.

  23. Sue H. says

    Whoop!!! – I too am “standing” beside you as a proud Aggie (class of ’89). So many great memories of Aggie football, but this was one of the best. Well said!

  24. Kayla says

    It was a great game, and an even more awesome win! I am not an Aggie, but since you are not in the Big 12 anymore, I can root for you. I may or may not have lost a little faith in that fourth quarter drive. But that interception–that kid deserves to be a hero on campus today!!!


  25. says

    I owned the soundtrack to Rocky IV and choreographed a dance to the song that plays when Rocky is training in Siberia.

    I am a self professed terrible excuse for an Aggie, and I haven’t followed college football for many years (all those years of disappointing losses were when I was there and I lost faith at some point. In fact, there were several games my sophomore year when I would skip going to the Aggie game and stay home to watch Michigan play on t.v. because it was so much more exciting than watching the Wrecking Crew inch their way down the field. Although I do confess a slight pounding of the heart when I heard recently that Bucky Richardson lives close by.) but I did watch on Saturday and I was excited to the point of exclaiming in a loud voice and I even lifted my fist in the air once. My kids and husband were confused by my show of enthusiasm. Then when it was over I tried to sing the Aggie War Hymn in a falsetto voice only I forgot the words and then was reminded how weird I think it is that the entire song is about Bevo, especially since we don’t play Texas anymore.

    Anyway, I guess I am the definition of a fair weather fan, but I enjoy that Johny Football. Don’t tell Bucky.

  26. Vicki B says

    My husband walked down the hall and said “You know that lady you like to read who goes nuts over that football team? Well you better check twitter because they just won.” I checked twitter and had a great hoot and holler that y’all got the win of your lives.

  27. Teresa W says

    I too immediately thought of you when I saw that the Aggies had beat Alabama. On any given Saturday…

  28. Jennifer says

    That was a fabulous game and this Florida alum who is stuck in Georgia was cheering wildly for a Texas team playing in Alabama. My poor children have had to hear their fair share of my color commentary, they refer to these lovely words as, “Mommy’s football words.” I love the, “Is this legal?” It was exactly what my son would have asked. Gig em Aggies and I say Manziel for Heisman!!

  29. says

    As a diehard LSU fan, I say “thank you” and “welcome to the SEC.” (Also, “you’re welcome,” because, obviously, we softened them up for you the week before!) Next we have to deal with the stinkin’ blasphemers who think this means no SEC team in the championship…seriously?

  30. says

    As a die-hard Auburn fan, I was yelling “Gig’Em Aggies!” as loudly as I could Saturday! My husband, a Bama fan, and I are probably starting our divorce proceedings this week, but it was worth it! Way to go Aggies! What a way to show the SEC you DO belong here!

    And you’re post was great. I’ve never been to Texas and I have no ties to A & M, but you make it sound like an amazing alma mater.

  31. Misty says

    I could not wait to get to work this morning so that I could read your post about this game. It was an awesome game. I am a Georgia fan and was glad to see someone finally beat Alabama. Way to go Aggies!!!

  32. says

    The mood was a little more somber in this BAMA household….
    That game is why we love college football… win or lose. It’s a great sport, no matter WHO you root for! We are one of those (apparently rare) families who were even happy for Auburn when they won the National Championship a few years ago! It’s not about “hating,” but about the thrill of the game!
    Congrats to your team! A well-deserved win!

  33. says

    As a K-State fan we have always felt the Aggies owed us since the loss of 98 so we also thank you for bringing down the number one team in the nation.

    KSU #1!!!

  34. Morgan says

    I immediately thought of you as I watched the closing minutes of the game Saturday. It is nice to know that at least one of the newcomers to the SEC can hang with the best of them. I still hold out hope that we will have a decent showing in our last two games, unfortunately my Tigers play your Aggies on the 24th. I even heard if we win the last two games we would be bowl eligible. Never would have thought it a possibility after the start we had. Best of luck on the remainder of your season!

    • Susan says

      Morgan, we won at Tennessee (4 overtimes, FOUR!!) last Saturday, so we only need one more win to be bowl eligible. Hopefully that happens this week against Syracuse, so we aren’t dependent of leaving College Station with a W. Although, we HAVE beat the Aggies there the last two years. . . .

      As far as aTm goes, though, I have two words—Johnny. Football.—WOW


      • Morgan says


        Oh believe me I watched all four of those overtimes and grew more and more nervous with each one. Thanks for correcting me on bowl eligibility. As long as we show up for ALL 4 quarters we will do fine, no matter who the team is. We CAN beat A & M, just hope we DO!

  35. Erin says

    See, you are a blogger and I am not because you can put into words what I can’t! My husband (’90) and I (’96) have been season ticket holders since ’98. I am always proud to bleed maroon, and was especially proud after Saturday! I’m very pleased with how this SEC gig is turning out. t.u. who?

  36. says

    Die hard Vol fan here (don’t laugh) (because SERIOUSLY DEREK DOOLEY??? MISSOURI??? WE LOST TO MISSOURI???) and let me say welcome to the SEC and honey…all of us love it when ‘Bama gets beat. So congrats.

  37. Sallie Baker says

    Okay….will have to congratulate A &M on their win, although I”m still mad that they ruined my Texas vs A & M Thanksgiving tradtion….!
    BUT I loved this for your children….what fun memories for them! They will tell all their Aggie classmates in 2022 about the fun they had riding around the neighborhood after the win in 2012!!

  38. Nancy says

    My husband and I are Tennessee grads, and our two children are Alabama grads. Therefore, we learned to say “Go Vols” and “Roll Tide” back in 2002 when our daughter was a freshman at Bama. When you all won Saturday, I thought to myself, “I don’t know if I want to read Big Mama on Monday.” However, I love what you wrote. I kept saying to myself, “My kids could have written the same thing about their experience at Alabama!” It warmed my mother’s heart. Maybe some of the feelings about always believing your team can pull it off comes from the shared history of Bear Bryant. Congrats to you and the Aggies! And, you DO belong in the SEC.

  39. Laura L. says

    Although the aggies did play a great game I definitely wouldn’t go as far to say that they beat the “hell out of Alabama”…

    • michelemybelle says

      It’s an Aggie tradition to say that we are going to “beat the hell outta” whoever we play otherwise known as BTHO. whether it’s a few points or 50 that’s what Aggies say. Our school started out with a bunch of farmers turned war veterans so that’s where it came from.

  40. Charla Vardeman says

    My first thought when I saw A&M beat Alabama was “Thank God someone beat them.” My second thought was how excited you must be!

  41. Denice says

    I was watching the game on Saturday and knew you were going nuts! I loved the picture of the kids. They are blessed to have enthusiastic mamas like you and Gulley.

    Just another reason why I love your blog. :)

  42. says

    The scene was much the same at our house. Screaming. Pacing. Jumping up & down. Dog hiding. Worrying that Saban would make a deal with the devil & pull out the win. But we did it!! HOLY COW, WE WON!! 2 days later it still makes me smile every time I think about it. I won’t even go into what I’d like to say to all those who said we couldn’t hang in the SEC. :) Gig’Em!

  43. Lacy says

    I LOVE this post. Being an Aggie is very hard and heart breaking a lot of times (as far as football is concerned). Saturday was NOT one of those days. And, by golly, we deserve it!
    My husband and I were freaking out, and our kiddos were like what the crap is wrong with our parents?
    Lets just not screw it up by losing to SHSU next week. :)
    Gig ‘Em!

  44. Janey says

    I am a life long Bama fan BUT the Aggie’s came to Tuscaloosa to fight on that field and win! Those boys could have be intimidated to be going up against the #! team in the nation but instead they kept their focus and played with determination and pride! Bama looked like their team walked on that field ready to play a high school team. When you go into battle never underestimate your opponent, arrogance comes with staying at the top too long. The bottom line is…this win meant everything to the Aggie Nation…to the Roll Tide Nation it would have been just another win. As my daughter, the Aggie Grad said…Dear SEC, Welcome to Texas A&M!

  45. Kim says

    I was at a watch party at a bar in DC with about 150 other Aggies, and girl, you can just imagine how crazy everyone went- screaming, jumping up and down, hugging. I’m certain we scared the (few) patrons who weren’t Aggies when we did the War Hymn after the win. It’s not the first time I’ve lost my voice doing that!

    You also captured just what it means to be an Aggie!

  46. Erin says

    As an insane diehard ND fan, my heartfelt thanks go out to the Aggies. Now, can some one PLEASE beat Oregon???

  47. Jen says

    Congrats on such an awesome win! I don’t know you personally although I feel as if I do from reading your blog… I was at Dot Mom this past September and saw John Croyle giving you such a hard time about coming to the SEC..sure hope you have contacted him since the win :)
    He sure was sure of the Tide…as all the Bammers were. I’m an Auburn girl myself so of course I enjoyed the Aggie win more than I should have!

  48. Stacy Doolittle says

    I’m an OU Sooner- born and bred and when I die I’ll be Sooner dead! (from our fight song) The A&M games played at Kyle Field were games we always marked on the schedule and dreaded because that danged 12th Man kicked our butts and ruined our dreams more than once (like you mentioned- 2002!). When I heard A&M was leaving the Big 12, I was a little sad but mostly relieved to be honest. My first thought was, “Good luck trying to win at College Station, SEC! Y’all have no idea!” Then I kept hearing talk about how the Big 12 style of offense wouldn’t work in the SEC, blah, blah, blah. I was so rooting for the Aggies to have a good season just to show everyone that a team coming out of the Big 12 absolutely could hang with anyone in the SEC. Anyway, to make a long story short… Way to go Aggies! And SEC- Take that! Get used to these kinda games happening every season!

  49. Amy Bramhall says

    AMEN!! I wear maroon evetry chance I get…win or loose! It is great to be an Aggie through highs and lows!

  50. Terry says

    Never in football history have so many people (who you don’t know) screamed and hollered for a team based upon knowing an Internet friend would be so happy!! My husband refers to you and Sophie as my imaginary friends. As die-hard Hog fans we know pain and suffering ……..we were there for the Great Shootout national championship game AR vs. Texas in 69. I still carry psychological damage. We are well acquainted with your Aggies too, Southwestern Conference was tough too. So thrilled to have the Aggies in the SEC. This was a game you will NEVER forget.

  51. Carolyn says

    As an LSU fan, I can honestly say that Saturday night there were many Tiger fans rooting for the Aggies!!!

  52. Betsy says

    I literally thought of you the entire game on Saturday. We are Buckeye fans, but I was rooting for A&M. What a great game, my stomach hurt most of the time from the pressure and I about changed the channel when Alabama threw for 51 yds on the 1st down but then stayed latched on b/c of the fumble. What a night!

  53. Kimberly/OKC says

    Omigoodness! I had to squeeze my eyes shut many times while reading this because my eyes were so blurry from tears. I am not an Aggie fan but I LOVE how much you are and this piece of writing is such a beautiful summary of life lived at it fullest and what it sometimes means to be a part of a state as great as Texas and to live in our country, the greatest country ever! STILL! I love Oklahoma more but if I had to move from here…me and the hubs always say, we’d move straight to TEXAS! Way to go, Mama, way to give your kids a memory they will NEVER forget…and way to be an example to love and live in the most extreme!!

  54. Beth Shumate says

    As a true Bama Fan I immediately thought I you when A & M dominated the first half. We live an hour from Tuscaloosa and even have a puppy named Saban. Congratulations from one huge college football fan to another but Roll Tide anyway!

  55. Amy says

    Love this post Melanie!!! Just wishing we had been friends while we were at A&M together. Class of ’95 here, but was dumb enough, read really wanted to get married fast, and graduated in Dec ’94. At least I didn’t miss out on football season.

  56. Amy says

    I’m not an Aggie but I saw the headline about the win and I thought of you! You don’t know me from Adam, but I said a little “yay!” for ya :)

  57. says

    Congratulations and welcome to the SEC! AFter my beloved Mississippi State failed to beat Alabama a few weeks ago I have been hoping that another team would be able to step up to the plate and know Bama down. LSU was close but Texas A&M did it. Living here in Birmingham, the heart of Crimson Tide fans I love it when they receive a bit of humble pie. It was such a great game and made even better by the fact that it was in Tuscaloosa. Congrats on the win and I hope the rest of the season goes well.

  58. says

    GIG’EM! At one point my 7 year old told me that the players and the coaches couldn’t hear me screaming at the TV so why did I keep doing it. Sad thing was he was screaming just as loud as me. WHOOP!

  59. Jenny says

    That post was perfect! You said everything I felt about being an Aggie. The only real ties I had to A&M was grandfather that went for 2 years but then left for WWII. He LOVED A&M and I guess he instilled it in me. I’m still on cloud 9 about the win. Like they say “I’ve seen ’em win, I’ve seen ’em lose, but I’ve never seen’em quit.” So proud to call myself a Fighting Texas Aggie Class of ’97.


  60. Amy in PA says

    Thought of you all throughout the game! And as Michigan fans – those whom Alabama served it to on a platter during the first game of the season – it was so delightful to see the Crimson Tide get taken down!! Enjoy the victory!!

  61. Denalyn says

    When I married my third generation Aggie husband I had no idea what it meant to be an Aggie. But after 10 yrs of the Aggie spirit in my home and pray our children find their way to the campus in years to come. We were jumping up and down and yelling like crazy with you on Saturday and still have not come down from the high!

  62. Kelly says

    Am I the only one who is upset that Texas A&M beat Alabama? I mean I HATE Alabama, and I was actually excited for the Aggies… but now, the SEC is out of the BCS Championship for the first time since 2005!!! That totally stinks.

    • says

      Well, I am a BAMA fan…and I do think it’s ironic that one of the new teams to the conference is the one that is most likely costing the SEC another try for the national championship…but I guess people would just rather see us beat which I understand. It was a great game and Johnny football is the real deal! Congrats to the Aggies even though we sure were disappointed in Tuscaloosa!

      • Nancy says

        Don’t give up on an SEC team going to the National Championship. If only one team ends up undefeated at the end of regular season, many sports writers say a one loss SEC team would be the other team to go. SEC, SEC, SEC!!!

  63. Jill says

    I was at the Auburn vs Georgia game on Saturday night. I am an Auburn fan, so it was not a very enjoyable night. However, they announced the final score of the Alabama vs Texas A & M game and for one shining moment the entire stadium of 85,000 people cheered as one!

  64. Christy says

    Congrats and welcome to the SEC. Y’all really played a great game. As an LSU tiger living in NW Houston and having Aggie friends we love to tease, I am really glad y’all won. If we could not do it glad y’all were able to. :) I too know about the crazy screaming when one’s team beats Bama. The LSU/Bama game last year (the regular season not the nat’l championship, which we are not allowed to speak of) I thought I pulled a muscle from jumping and cheering. :)

  65. Laurel says

    I can proudly (or maybe sadly) say that watching the Aggies win on Saturday evening was one of the happiest days of my life. Ok, maybe I was happier the day I got married and the days my daughters were born, but not much happier. 😉 Gig’em!

  66. tammy says

    I like ‘Bama, but was SO DARNED EXCITED about the Aggie win!!! Thought of you and Gulley immediately. Congratulations. I”m still smiling.

  67. Julie says

    My husband was flipping channels after the U of M game and I saw that the Aggies were up next and I told him “that’s going to be a good game, let’s watch it, Big Mama loves the Aggies”….he said “who is Big Mama”…….hahahahaha
    Mel, you have fans all over the place!

  68. says

    “There are people who believe that college football is just a game. And to those people I say…well…I don’t say much because we don’t have anything in common.” –hahaha. Sorry–I guess I see it as just a game :)

  69. Andy '78 says

    Excellent, well-written, and totally truthful blog!!! You hit the nail on the head when it comes to describing Aggie spirit! I too was an an adrenaline high for 24 hours after the game ended! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Andy ’78

  70. says

    Melanie, I am not a true Aggie but I married one 21 yrs ago, so I consider myself an Aggie by default. 😉 I have 2 T-sip brothers so you can imagine the teasing we have gotten for years. Then one brother married a very serious Longhorn (knows all the stats, etc.) who is from an extreme Longhorn family. My young family traveled for 6 hrs. from out-of-state one year to visit and we arrived a bit late. Dinner had already been put away… the Longhorn game had started. Our relationship has never been the same. :-)
    Anyway, I’m proud to be an Aggie by default. There are no other fans like the 12th man. Saturday was a blessed day for Aggies near and far. I was thankful for my sore throat, headache, and stomach ache!

  71. Sylvia says

    You just described what was going on at our house! Although a small child may or maynot have been slightly injured by an adult jumping up and down!
    This is our first year to have season tickets. At first I wished the game was at Kyle, but it’s so much sweeter that we brought it to them at their house!

  72. Meg says

    I thought of you when we were watching the highlights of that game! I said “Oh, that blog I read (meaning you, of course) will be so happy!!” and my husband pulled a face like what on earth does that even mean! I was very happy for you though!!!

  73. Alyson says

    Was so happy to hear you guys kicked ‘Bama’s butt! Loved the post. Too many funny parts to highlight. You had me laughing so hard.

  74. Whitney in Austin says

    From one Aggie to another, thank you for explaining all of that so eloquently. The heart and soul that is Texas A&M — there’s a spirit can ne’er be told. You just came darn close! WHOOP AND GIG ‘EM!!!!!!!!!!

  75. says

    As I watched that game, I knew that somewhere out in cyberspace, you were going wild. Congrats and welcome to the SEC (We’re UGA dawgs).

  76. says

    Thought of you Saturday night! Congrats… I am a UK fan (and SO glad it’s basketball season).
    However, we are looking to hire a new football coach….if you haven’t heard. Well, one candidate is Kliff Klingsbury…from A&M.
    I know nothing about him at all except for a picture someone posted on the twitter. Welllllll, all I can say is, I will be back watching football if he comes to town! 😉
    Oh, and in the picture he just happens to have forgotten to button a few buttons (not that I really noticed or anything).
    And, I am going to overlook the fact that he is “Kliff” not “Cliff”…I am hoping that is his parent’s doing. Then I can’t blame the guy.
    He would certainly fire up our sidelines…. and the female fan base.

  77. Sheryl in WA says

    Aw, Melanie! I’m laughing through my tears over here. I just love that you got in your car and did a victory lap with the kids! They are always gonna remember that crazy, stressful, wonderful night. Gig ’em!

  78. Gwen says

    Congrats on the win & welcome to the SEC! Anyone who beats Alabama is my team…unless they are playing Mississippi State. Yes, I know you beat us. LIke you, I’m faithful…

  79. Nikki H says

    My dad was a grad of ’41, and the first song my siblings and I learned started with, “We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we …” and ended with “Texas A M C” so you know he was an old timer. While I didn’t go there (stupid decision on my part), several nieces and nephews did, as did my daughter, the last grandchild of my father. We bleed maroon at this house. Saturday was a joyous day.

  80. says

    WHOOP!!! I’m a new follower! :) My hubby (’00) and I (’99) have both approved Johnny Football to be on both our “lists” since we are both equally in love with him. LOL I wore a brown tank top with masking taped “Johnny” and football stitches on the belly for Halloween I’m so obsessed–also approved by the hubby. :) HEISMANZIEL!!!

    I love how you described being a Fightin’ Texas Aggie. You hit ll the nails on the head and said it perfectly. I wish I’d done the victory lap on our 1.3 mile loop – awesome! It’s definitely our time. I have been thinking a good postgame status would be “Sumlin, Johnny, you had me at ‘Hello.'” :) Gig’em & God Bless!

  81. Brookles says

    As a KState Alum……..THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I even updated my status to “Gig ‘Em” and Oh.My.Word…the interception! My son was yelling at me to stop “whooping” because I was hurting his ears.
    It has been such a fun year to watch the Wildcats, wish I was still a student….oh to be at the games.
    A trip to Miami sure sounds fun. We Wildcats travel in droves…….
    Manhappiness is such a wonderful place to be and KState is such a wonderful family to be a part of. I would go back in a heartbeat of I could.

  82. Elizabeth says

    Bless your heart, and welcome to the SEC from an avid Auburn fan. I’m so happy to see someone with a love of not just winning, but of the game and the team and the spirit. Not all schools are that way. Here at Auburn we say ALL IN, and this season it’s been hard.

  83. Terri M. says

    Congrats Girl! As a lifelong Oklahoma State fan I know how you feel. Celebrate this victory long and well! It’s not often we get the huge win!

  84. Leslie Mackey says

    yay for y’all, BigMama! As a life long Arkansas fan (we are so down this year!), I can totally relate to your feelings of PRIDE and LOVE for your team! Love to see Saban and the Tide lose for a change! ha!
    Congrats to the Aggies — looks like your kiddos had a blast!

  85. Keely says

    On Saturday night, I told my husband, “I can’t wait to see what Big Mama writes on Monday!” Way to go Ags! That was an A.W.E.S.O.M.E. win!

  86. says

    My FIL was in the Corps, so I’m an Aggie by marriage. I’ll admit I thought the SEC would be really rough on the Aggies this season. But it has been fun to watch them succeed, and any time a #1 gets knocked off is exciting for college football. So fun!

  87. says

    Beautifully written. I understand and completely agree with every word!

    Gig’em Aggies and God bless Johhny Football! <3

    Laurie Harris
    Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 1994 :-)

  88. jlinker says

    As soon as I saw the score to the game, I looked at my wife and said, honey, Monday’s Big Mama Blog post is gonna be good… I was right….

  89. Sheila Weber says

    Hi there! Long time reader, first time commenter. As a die hard Auburn fan (War Eagle!) I welcome y’all to the SEC. Better late than never, I suppose. The Aggies have more than proven themselves, even before playing Alabama. I do have to admit, I was DUMBFOUNDED at the end of the game though. No offense, but even being Orange and Blue through and through, I had to side with Alabama, it being my home state and all. I’m sure you understand. :) I was blown away by Johnny Football and the rest of the Aggies…job well done. OK, job EXTRAORDINARILY well done. Now, I just hope we can keep the crystal football in the SEC…eek! Oh, and all the talk about A & M not belonging in the SEC? No worries about that…I can tell by your passion, and the rest of the fans passion that y’all will be right at home here :) But, you may have to explain “Gig ’em”…Is it like frog giggin??Did the Aggies have a fierce competition with TCU at some point? Just wondering…. Have a great week!

    • Andy '78 says

      @Sheila. Regarding the term “Gig ’em, Aggies!” That tradition originated at a Texas A&M Midnight Yell Practice about 80 years ago prior to a Southwest Conference football game against rival TCU. The speaker at that particular yell practice vowed that the Aggies would “gig” those TCU Horned Frogs (yes, like frog gigging) – and he used the thumbs up sign. The term stuck – and the first hand sign for a school in the Southwest Conference was born. The rest is history. Thanks for asking and GIG ‘EM, AGGIES!

    • tammy says

      “No offense, but even being Orange and Blue through and through, I had to side with Alabama”

      I think the world may well be coming to an end! 😉

  90. Mer says

    Love it! Wish I could’ve been with y’all! It felt like it used to, right??? We were having our own party over here!!! Gig’Em and WHOOP!!!

  91. Susan says

    I’m a UGA fan first and foremost, but I just LOVE SEC football, and that game was SEC football at it’s finest. My children have sort of learned to just stay out of my way on Saturdays because I tend to jump up and down and yell at the tv. Well, except for the two year old, who my husband, the UF fan, has taught to say, “Go Gators” any time she sees football on tv. If she weren’t so dang cute saying it, I might just have to knock her out!

  92. Francie says

    I’ve been waiting to read this as I knew you would be over the moon! One of the best and worst things about college football is that anything can happen. That is part of what keeps us coming back. You could take your post and cut and paste in specifics from other schools, but that fan spirit is something we all share so I loved hearing what you had to say about it.

  93. Callie says

    I WAS THERE!!!! It was miraculous. Being in the bama student section limited my ability to express my enthusiasm (shoutout to all the awesome, welcoming, and respectful Bama fans and students I met this weekend) which meant my 21 year old insides were having some sort of heart attack. Best game of my life. Still so dang proud.

  94. sheetal jain says

    U GO GIRL !! Such a fantastic ac of how much the game and the team have meant to u over the well written. While I live in India and dont know too much of the game, I lived it all reading your ac of it. Loved it.
    I have my sister living in the US..and do plan a trip in the summer with my girls..would love to talk to u if poss then!:)
    Keep writing and keep everyone smiling:)

  95. Spiritmom says

    Love the post, and LOVE your 5th year being called a victory lap. My Dad is still bitter about paying for that extra year:)

  96. says

    I was SO HAPPY for you as I watched the game on Saturday! I understand the psychosis: it’s how I feel about the Packers. Loved this post, all of the wonderful reasons why football matters. Enjoy victory week :)

  97. Lynn says

    Hi there! I loved this post! I am married to an Aggie and I have heard of the Aggie spirit for years. Our son is hoping to go to A&M in a few years also!

    I have what may be a silly question….I love all of the traditions at A&M but have never heard of the cotton one. Can you explain it to me? I have been trying to look it up but can’t find anything about it!

    Thanks so much! We are going to the A&M game this coming weekend – can’t wait! :)

    • Kimberly/OKC says

      Could it be the same reason that Nebraska always used to throw out oranges at the first touchdown? (grew up in NE, don’t know if they still do it cuz now I am a Sooner thru and thru) It meant “We’re going to the Orange Bowl!” which meant we were on our way to win this whole season and play for the national title…it had kind of an intimidation factor. Maybe it meant for A&M that they are going to the Cotton Bowl…?

  98. Kimberly/OKC says

    Well, I hope all is well with you today! And you know what? YEAH! Take the day off blogging! That post DESERVES to be up for at LEAST two days!!! Awesome!!!

  99. Margaret says

    i just saw that for $95 I could get a horn that plays the Bama fight song. I’m sure there is an or something like that in case you need to install one in your car. That is if you don’t already have one!!!

  100. Christy Mc says

    As a Life Long University of Texas—(HOOK EM’HORNS!) Fan, along with a hubby who’s a Boomer Sooner, Saturday night was the first time that we had ever rooted for A&M, and it sure was a blast! Your boys played AWESOME! I thought about you during the game, and figured you wouldn’t be able to talk for a week! Congrats, and Whoop!

  101. Sue S says

    My husband and I watched every minute of the game and thought of you! I was freaking out at the end thinking after being in the lead the whole game, Bama would win at the last minute. I may frighten you to tell you I checked your Twitter feed during the commercials. I was just SO excited for you!!
    And I loved the post about loyalty. As a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket fan, I am dismayed how many people only support the team during the good times.
    My husband and I were AMAZED at the composure and grit of Johnny Manziel! To be so young and in such an important game in.their.stadium!! Wow! I feel sure he will win a Heisman very soon. God has given him a GIFT!
    (I had a new grandson born yesterday, so I am a little late commenting.)

  102. Beth says

    Girl, I don’t know you but I cried through the entire article. I am so proud of my Aggies I could burst. I was at all those Cotton Bowls with you….freezing!….and the home games….crying when the band enters…and mad our team lost. You spoke to my heart! I love the Aggies and though I like in Oklahoma, our kids are dyed in the wool Aggie fans. It was a great night, a great win, for a great university!!!
    Gig ’em. Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 1992~

  103. says

    I think that I have finally come down off of my Aggie Game Win high and the dog has finally come out of hiding. My kids, however, have not stopped teasing me about all of the yelling at the tv. Luckily, I was with my fellow Aggie friend, and she was also yelling with me. You would have thought that those two interceptions were the only interceptions in college football THIS YEAR!
    We usually make it to baseball games and basketball games. This year, soccer is ending this weekend and we can finally make it to a football game…the last home game of the year. I can’t wait for the boys to see it.

  104. Taylor says

    Holy crap, this is my favorite post ever of yours!!! I was not at a tv while the game was on, but was constantly checking the score on my phone and I jumped up and down and screamed when it was over! So happy for your Aggies and welcome to the SEC!!!!!!!!

  105. Toni Clay says

    At some point in the last five minutes of the game, I think I spoke in tongues. And I’m Baptist. We don’t DO that. Usually. I also has the temporary palsy. Crazy. Awesome crazy.
    Terrific post.
    Class of ’94

  106. Lisa B says

    Auburn fan here – you beat us which, if you’ve watched us play, you know isn’t hard to do this year. But seeing you beat Alabama was the best thing that’s happened for AU fans so far this year. ( I just ended two sentences with “this year.” Is that wrong?) And I thought about you when the game was over.

  107. Amy says

    This post made me cry…big, fat Aggie tears! I loved every word. I watched the first half at a sports bar & grill in Savannah, Ga with my 6 month old in tow – my husband (most devoted Aggie fan I’ve ever met, even though he went to the Air Force Academy) missed the entire thing because he was in a simulator training learning a new plane. He was beside himself. I came back to our hotel room to watch the second half and I’m glad I did because my hollering was getting out of control. To make the win even sweeter, my precious Charley Cate laughed hysterically when I made her do BTHO Bama over and over after the game.

    Anyway, thanks for the best post ever. For Ags, it will always be one of those, “Do you remember where you were when…?” moments.

  108. Gene Hall says

    Who would have believed that Texas A&M would be the team to shock the college football world by being competitive in the first year of SEC action…and toppled the unbeatable Tide. Not only that, Sumlin and Company will usher in a new era of offense. Now everyone is scrambling to keep up with the AGGIES. Wow….

  109. says

    Guess what – my husband was at that game with a friend who is an Alabama alum. My honey wore his A&M shirt and hat and sat with the Alabama fans. He had a blast! He said that the fans were talking about how over estimated Manziel is and, “Why is he getting called Johnny Football!” Paul said the story sure changed over the course of that game and the Alabama fans were cheering him on by the end!

  110. Bethany says

    One of the first things I said after y’all won was, “ooooh, Big Mama is so excited! I just know it!”…. My husband asked who the heck Big Mama was! :-)

    We were cheering on our Dawgs in Auburn when y’all won. We were in the middle of Auburn fans, and this guy stands up and yells, “Hey, Bama just lost!” The crowd went wild. I mean bananas! They cheered louder for y’all beating Bama than they cheered for their Tigers during the game. Of course they didn’t get much of a chance to cheer! :-)

  111. Susan says

    So you went on a tour of Aggieland and it was only the FILM that got you? You didn’t notice, umm, the super good looking seniors in their awesome boots clunking around campus? That didn’t turn your head?

  112. Ashli says

    I just got done watching the game for the 3rd time today. It is magical:) I live in Austin, Texas and have had to endure tu arrogance for many years. I was at the grocery store today in my A&M shirt and had a gentleman tell me he is a new Aggie fan! My how the “tide” has turned. My husband thinks I am obsessed but i am going to enjoy every minute of every second of this. Thank you for putting into words my thoughts and Gig em !

  113. says

    I finally had a chance to read your post and I got goosebumps all over again. I watched the game with my husband, a Baylor Bear, and my mother-in-law, a Red Raider, and they thought my pacing, yelling, sweating palms were a bit much. I kept texting my family that was at the game to get some support. In honor of our win, I am wearing maroon for month! Also, I love that you mentioned Breakaway. I love the ministry and have vivid memories attending on Tuesday nights. Thanks for putting into words what ever Ag was feeling Saturday night and even still! Thanks and Gig’em

  114. says

    I feel the EXACT same way but about Alabama football. I loved reading your post. The game was so insane! My kids thought we were crazy too! But, you guys totally outplayed us the whole game. Even though, up until the end, I thought we could somehow pull it off and come back and win. But…that’s just ingrained in me!! Looking forward to seeing you guys each year!!!!! SEC!!

  115. Maggie says

    This Oregon Duck fan would just like to say THANK YOU! And seriously…this is my favorite paragraph:

    “And I’m not even going to lie. Gulley and I jumped up and down until we wet our pants. That’s the downside of being a fanatic football fan when you’re a woman over forty who’s had a child. But it didn’t even matter.”

  116. says

    I am a bit behind in my blog reading, which is why I’m just now getting to this, but I have never been a bigger A & M fan as I was the day they been Bama. Because see, that moved my Irish up to #3 in the BCS. And I think the momentum the Aggies created spread to Baylor and Standord, because they knocked off the next two teams and now, Notre Dame is #1. For the first time in 19 years. And as long as they beat USC (I have faith, I do, I do have faith) this week, they’ll be playing in the National Championship. So thanks to your Aggies for starting the process of knocking down undefeated teams to leave ND as the only undefeated team left. We owe you one.