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Berry Tramel: No gig 'em in these local Aggies

by Berry Tramel Published: August 25, 2011

Rhonda Goolsby received good home training. I asked the Texas A&M graduate, a member of the Oklahoma City A&M Club, a leading question about the Longhorns.

Gave her a chance to bash the Bevos. To rip the haughty ‘Horns. To thumb her nose at the archrival the Aggies soon will leave in their dust.

Goolsby declined. “I don't want to say anything about bad about another school,” she said.

Oh great. A fan base known for all kinds of kooky traditions and saber-rattling and self-delusions, and I've landed smack dab in the middle of common sense. Sane Aggies. Who knew?

But that's what I found in Bricktown on Thursday night, where the A&M club met for its monthly mixer. Nobody talking nonsense. Nobody talking revolution. Nobody jumping off cliffs on the off chance that some Longhorns might jump, too.

Sharp, mostly young, fans a little excited about the prospect of moving to the Southeastern Conference but also a little wistful of leaving the Big 12 behind.

“Anytime it's new, there's some unknown there,” said Kyle Johnson, who grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, but now lives in Edmond. “But it's a very good opportunity. May be a way to differentiate ourselves.”

That, it would do. A&M on Thursday officially notified the Big 12, via letter, that it will explore its options on conference affiliation. Which means, of course, that the Aggies have three feet out the conference door, and only the Texas Legislature could pull the Aggies back.

I think it's a mistake, but heck, I could be wrong. Who am I to tell Aggies living in the Longhorns' shadow for lo these many generations that escape is a bonehead move?

“It's frustrating,” said A&M grad Evan O'Connell, who grew up in Abilene, Texas, and now lives in Purcell. “Even though they're supposed to be awful (this season), you still see Mack Brown and his assistants on ESPN. OU's ranked No. 1 and we're in the top 10. Can we get a reality check?”

The Longhorn Network is the dynamite for the latest blowup. But really, A&M's frustration with Texas arrogance goes back decades.

We can relate, can't we? Outside of the Ags, who better than Oklahomans know how insufferable the Longhorns can be?

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