An end to an era for Texas A&M football, but not the end of a dream
Back before Texas A&M football played Alabama—in a time where I felt far more confident in this 2023 squad, even though Weigman had already gone down with injury—I wrote an article about what a Texas A&M win over Alabama would mean. In that article, I was extremely overwrought, because sometimes a guy just needs to be!
This is another one of those times, by the way. Just a heads up.
In that vein, I quoted Percy Bysshe Shelly’s “Ozymandias” throughout the article. For those of you unfamiliar or unable to remember back to high school English (or perhaps the one time you googled the name of a Breaking Bad episode), this is a verse about how man’s power, renown, and influence are entirely evanescent. Vanishing. They are and shall be as dust before the winds of time. I will reproduce the poem below because 1) I like it and 2) it’s better than just me explaining it.
"I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal, these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”"
My use of this poem, of course, was to reflect the thesis of the article: that a win by Texas A&M football would be a definitive blow to Alabama’s dynasty. I acknowledged then as I do now that such a proposition had been propounded by myriad authors on myriad occasions before that point—yet this game felt different. Alabama had fallen back to earth, or maybe the rest of the sport was beginning to catch up, and they for the first time in a long time had suffered an early-season loss. Their weaknesses matched up well with the strengths of this Texas A&M football team; Jimbo was doubtless about to make it two straight wins over Alabama at Kyle Field, with a great argument that it should have been three straight overall.
The fact is almost too ironic—as to be consummately cliched, even—that I unknowingly stood athwart the headwaters of what would become an unstoppable tide; a steep decline ending in something that, at that moment, felt unthinkable. Seeking to prophesy doom over my enemy, the words I spoke became the grim fate of that which I myself held dear instead.
I told you this would be overwrought.