Road trip: One final visit to College Station
Who knows what the future will bring, but it’s possible I’ve made my final trip to College Station, Texas.
When I was a kid in the ’70s, the Southwest Conference seemed awfully exotic. SMU playing in the Cotton Bowl. Baylor games in Waco and Texas Tech games in Lubbock, places that seemed as much a part of the Wild West as Dodge City and Tombstone. The curious case of Arkansas being in a league it had no business being in.
And a place called College Station. Sounds like a place you’d have to arrive at by train. Like the town in High Noon. Get off the train, stand on the platform and there’s a big university with the cool name of Texas A&M.
The Sooners nor the Cowboys played in College Station in the ’70s, so in my mind, College Station lived only on the pages of the Dallas sports section.
Soon enough, of course, I experienced College Station myself. Been down there most every football season for 15 years. Bunch of OU games. Bunch of OSU games.
Great place to watch a football game. Not a great place to visit. I’m going to miss football games in College Station. I’m not going to miss getting to College Station.
College Station sits next to Bryan. Both cities are around 100,000 in population, so the metro is over 200,000. You can fly into Bryan/College Station’s regional airport, and we’ve done so in the past, on American Eagle. But it’s hard to get a good room rate in College Station, so that’s problematic.
We’ve flown into Austin quite a bit and drove the two hours over. I flew into Houston once and drove the 90 minutes up. In recent years, we just drive, usually spending the night in Waco, only this time we stayed in Dallas and drove almost three hours on Saturday.
None of it’s good. Some leagues are tough travel leagues. The Big 12 is. So is the SEC. Auburn, Ala., and Starkville, Miss., and Athens, Ga., can be hard to get to. Fly, then drive. Big 12′s the same way. Columbia. College Station. Waco. Stillwater. Manhattan.
I know College Station has to have some good places to eat. I just haven’t found any. I ran into Kyle Keller on Saturday at the game. Keller was on Eddie Sutton’s OSU staff and now is part of Billy Kennedy’s new staff at Texas A&M. Keller was telling me how much he likes College Station, how much money is around the campus, and I can believe both. It’s probably a good place to live.
But I’ve really found only two things that draw me to the place. A&M football games, which are big-time cool, thanks to the band and the traditions and the usually great games. The other is the George Bush (the first) presidential library. I toured it several years back and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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