1. Park at the mall and ride the shuttle. It's free, there are a ton of shuttles, and they are packed with folks. We got to Kyle Field in about ten minutes, and more importantly, back to the mall and out of town unbelievably quickly. Kudos to everyone on this deal.
2. Aggies are the friendliest fans in the world. They have to be. Now, I was wearing full SMU gear, bright blue and red in a SEA of maroon. I heard more "howdy"s than I can count. One guy in the student center patted me on the shoulder and said, "Welcome to Aggieland." This was almost certainly because they were feeling sorry for me. They knew SMU's chances were close to zero-- I did too, for that matter. I had said to David as we left Dallas that I felt like the animals to be sacrificed before the Day of Atonement.
3. After we left College Station I was pulled over on Highway 30 for speeding-- 68 in a 60. The officer looked about 19 or younger. I thought I was talking to one of my children. It felt really awkward saying "No sir" to such a young guy who asked if I was in a hurry. He asked if we had been to the game:
"How did it go?"
"Well I'm an SMU guy, so pretty bad."
"What was the score? I haven't seen it yet."
"You're on your way back to Dallas?"
"Yes sir." (Awkward again.)
After a few minutes he came back with a warning. Whew. Police in Grimes County are generous and compassionate. Would I have received a ticket if the game was close? Or what if SMU had won?
4. Thankful for a pit stop in Corsicana around 12:30. I was absolutely exhausted. A Starbucks Frappuccino, the absolutely sub-zero temps in the gas station, and a brief walk around the pumps got us home successfully and safely around 1:30 a.m.
5. As I Tweeted this morning, 6:00 AM came awfully early today.
6. Highlight of the trip: As we were walking to the Alumni Tent for dinner, we passed an SMU cheerleader who noticed my shirt. She smiled at me and gave me the SMU sign. Like the guy on Peruna's right in this picture:
I turned to David and said, "That's the first time in my life a cheerleader has acknowledged my existence." You're welcome.
7. I WAS ON TV.
Here are some football thoughts:
1. Gosh were there penalties. SMU totaled 16 penalties for 111 yards; A&M had 13 for 114 yards. They were deadly-- especially for SMU in the first half. Several drives stalled or ruined. This also made the first half last TWO HOURS.
2. Gilbert looked great. 37/62 passing for 310 yards. The % is not good, but he was decisive and locked in. Lots of drops by receivers.
3. A&M missed three extra points. Never seen that. I credit SMU somehow, but I'll admit it's fishy.
4. Manziel may be a knucklehead, but he is a beast. If you know anything about college football this is not news.
5. Two excellent bands. I respected how the A&M fans, accustomed to band excellence, respected the Mustang Band. I loved sitting immediately behind the Best Dressed Band in the Land.
6. Out of the 86,000+ fans there, under 1000 were for the Ponies. But hey, we were pretty loud. Louder than at Ford Field, actually. One woman was screaming, "HOLD "EM!!!" with literally under a minute left and the score 42-13. Rock on.
Pony up, yall.