Ole Miss Recap
The old adage, “There’s a fine line between winning and losing,” appears to be an underlying theme to this season, especially this past weekend in Oxford. This youthful Aggie squad experienced something that is invaluable to a team’s character. They found a way to win, rather than a way to lose. It’s something that cannot be taught, explained or coached. It can only be experienced. Once it happens, like everything else, it can become a habit.
True to Form
As is the “Aggie way,” as soon as the game was over the majority of what I read via social media was rather negative. Don’t get me wrong; there was the occasional positive blurb, but I apparently run in hard-core, Aggie circles. My brethren were picking apart an SEC road victory as if we had lost a close game.
I joined in briefly, as it is customary to complain after an A&M game. It is almost one of those lesser-known Aggie traditions. We suffer from what is commonly known as “Battered Aggie-Syndrome.” And then I paused. Why are we constantly a glass half-empty fan base? It’s a rhetorical question for most; we’ve been conditioned that way. A&M doesn’t win close games on the road, or least we didn’t use to do so.
2013 Aggies vs. Others
The 2011 A&M squad was not much different from this year’s team. They entered the season highly ranked. The fan base worked itself up into a frenzy—much like a child on Christmas Eve. But unlike the current Aggie squads coached by Sumlin, the 2011 team found a way to lose, rather than a way to win.
Not to pick at old wounds, but the 2011 squad lost five games by a touchdown or less (for those with short memories). Keep in mind, every starter on that defense was either a Junior or Senior. It certainly wasn’t an issue of experience. Over the last 30 years, we could find a plethora of examples where we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
2013 is a different age and a different season. Things have been noticeably different since Sumlin & Company have taken over—and it’s not just the tangible changes, but an overall attitude. One might call it “swagger.”
From top to bottom, Coach Sumlin has instilled confidence within the program. Admittedly, I’m now overly optimistic when it comes to A&M football, and Coach Sumlin is the reason for my optimism. He gets it. He understands every aspect of the college game better than any coach I have seen in my lifetime. Recruiting, portraying the school’s image, relating to 17-year-old recruits, addressing the media, understanding the importance of constant motivation, etc. are all areas in which he excels.
My wife constantly tells me I talk too much. I could have made my point in two sentences, but I digress. I want each one of you reading this to try something different from now on—believe we will win. Believe it, knowing full well that most games may be closer than we like (at least this year). And when we do win, remember the glass is half full. Do something different; enjoy it without complaint. I know we have the luxury of Johnny Football. He believes that we will win every game, but more importantly, so do his teammates.
Two pieces of wisdom my Dad shared with me that have always held true; never complain when you win a game or when you make money. As Aggies, we need only concern ourselves with the first.
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