Hey, hey! It’s Saturday! Almost time for the Texas Tech-A&M football game! The angriest, angstiest game in the country! Everyone start boozing now so you’ll have no idea who you’re punching in the second quarter! Gosh darn, is there any prominent instance of poor sportsmanship that I haven’t gotten to yet?
Y’all thought I wouldn’t get around to talking about the most infamous Tech-Aggie game of all?
November 3, 2001. Tech shut out the Aggies 12-0… but this happened afterwards.
Fast summary: Tech fans stormed the field, tore down one of the end zone goalposts, and chucked it into the Aggie stands. Much hollering and hitting followed.
You ain’t gonna hear me defend very much that went on there. Tech fans, I’m telling you this fer true: there are only TWO good reasons for you to ever run onto the field.
* First, if the running back gets injured, and Coach Leach looks up into the stands, points at you, and says, “I need a new running back fast — get down onto the field and get ready to catch the game-winning pass!” then you should feel perfectly free to run onto the field, catch the pass, and collect your smoochies from cheerleaders.
* Second, if you are being chased by angry bears, no one will blame you if you run onto the field to get away.
But those are the only times it’s allowed. No, you may not chuck the goalposts anywhere. No, you may not fight with the Governor’s Chief of Staff. They have Mad Secret Gubernatorial-Stooge Ninjitsu Skillz, and they’re mean drunks besides. You should feel free to stay in the stands and enjoy the game. You should feel free to holler and cheer and get your guns up. You should feel free to enjoy some nachos, a coke, and one of those nasty concession-stand pickles. You should feel free to go to the restroom if you gotta visit Captain Leakey… but for the sake of all that is holy, don’t touch anything you see in there! You should feel free to go home after the game, high-five your fellow fans, send congratulatory e-mails to Michael Crabtree, and enjoy a nice glass of milk before bed.
You should feel free to be polite to the Aggies, because they want us to be thugs. As my momma always says, if you’re nice to those who hate you, it heaps coals of burning fire on their heads. (That’s a figurative expression — please don’t heap real coals of burning fire on anyone’s heads.)
But no, you are not allowed to endanger yourself and others. You are not allowed to fling stuff at the other team or their fans. You are not allowed to run amok like a bunch of brain-dead mumbling nimrods. The Aggies get mad when you steal their schtick.
Okay, by now, I do believe I’ve successfully inoculated myself against any charges that I’m encouraging bad behavior, yes? So let’s get back to razzing the Aggies. ‘Cause there’s a lot of talk about the goalposts and Tech fans, and not a lot of talk about Aggie fans. Because the Aggies didn’t really do themselves proud either. There were a lot of Aggie fans throwing their fists around — the governor’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Mike McKinney, said a Tech fan slugged him in the head… but it turned out that another Aggie was the person who hit him. Neither side had clean hands in this one.
But let’s take another quick look at the esteemed Dr. McKinney. Yes, he sustained a nasty wound in the brawl, and needed eight stitches. But his righteous outrage started to look a bit funky a few days after the game.
In initial interviews after Saturday’s game, McKinney said he was assaulted by an unidentified Tech student.
In offense reports from the Tech Police Department released to The Avalanche-Journal on Wednesday through the district attorney’s office, the student who hit McKinney, Reginald Wallace, said he was trying to prevent fighting when McKinney shoved him and hit him with binoculars.
The A&M student told Tech police that he got angry and punched McKinney in the eye.
Wallace, 23, could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
In a sworn statement, student Nicklos Beihl said he tried to break up a fight between two men, identified in the police reports as McKinney and Wallace.
“After the separation of the two men, (McKinney) proceeded to make threats to the police and other stadium workers that they will hear about this later because of some ‘high’ governmental position that he held,” Beihl told police.
In a sworn statement, witness Andrea Luhm said she witnessed the fight between McKinney and the A&M student.
“When all calmed down, (McKinney) made clear that he worked for the government and that he was going to press charges,” her statement said.
(All emphasis above is mine.)
So there was one angry, belligerent thug in the Aggie stands — who cares, right? Well, the Aggies cared. They cared a lot. They took one look at Dr. Mike McKinney, using his position in the governor’s office to threaten cops and bystanders, hitting other Aggie fans with a pair of freakin’ binoculars… and they made him the chancellor of the A&M System.
Dr. Mike McKinney, Texas A&M Chancellor/Crazy Binocular Man
And that’s why I have a hard time taking the Aggies seriously when they start whining about Texas Tech and sportsmanship.
Let’s have another Dirk West cartoon before we go, oy?
Awright, let’s play some football. Go Tech!