Monday, April 21, 2008

A Really Tough Problem

After reading my last post, Kristy told me that I probably needed to write something "a little perkier". After re-reading the post myself, I figured that she was probably right. However, I am home sick and the three of us (Kristy, Sophie and me) are sharing a really nasty cold. So, cheerful thoughts are hard to come by right now. Having written that, my current random thought is definitely more light-hearted and is a dilemma that I have encountered in the last 6-9 months. It does require some explaining for those outside of Arkansas.

If you grow up or live in Arkansas, the Razorbacks are your team. The state does not have any major league franchises, and the only professional teams are two AA baseball teams (Arkansas Travelers and Northwest Arkansas Naturals), an Arena Football League 2 football team (Arkansas Twisters), and an NBA Developmental League team (Arkansas Rimrockers -- did not play a 2007-2008 season). In case you weren't keeping track, those teams have players that are at least 2 steps from the bigs in every sport. That is precisely why the Hogs are the only game in the state of Arkansas for football, basketball, and baseball.

Most residents of Arkansas are what Texas Aggies would deride as "T-shirt fans" because they have no real ties with school (i.e., they didn't attend the University of Arkansas and maybe have never been on the campus), but they will buy t-shirts, hats, hog-noses, bumper stickers, etc.

Why worry about t-shirt fans? Well, for Aggies, it is because they are usually the most vocal, obnoxious Texas Longhorn fans that you will find on the planet. (Actually, no, that award should probably go to the Texas Tech fans.) If you are a Texas Aggie fan, it is generally because you have some link to the school, but if you root for the 'horns it is likely that you jumped on the bandwagon because they were good at some point and you wanted to cheer for a good team. I think this is probably true in lots of places (Oklahoma/Oklahoma State; Michigan/Michigan State; Alabama/Auburn) where a state divides its loyalty. So, Aggies have a general disdain for the entire universe of t-shirt fans regardless of university.

Anyway, I had no problem with being a t-shirt fan before I went to Texas A&M because my undergraduate school (Hendrix College) wasn't a "big time" athletic program (or even small time athletic program for that matter). After spending five years in College Station and developing a passion for Aggie athletics, it felt a little odd to cheer wholeheartedly for the Razorbacks. Don't get me wrong. I never cheered for them to lose, but it didn't upset me if they lost. My dad and brother couldn't understand my "conversion," and they were shocked when I didn't always see the officiating or the rest of the world through the same cardinal-colored glasses. (Actually, I think they considered kicking me out of the family.)

Well, last September, I became an adjunct faculty member in the University of Arkansas's Center for Microelectronics & Photonics (I know, irony), and last February, I was appointed the Assistant Director of the Center. I have recently become a "full-time" Hog fan because I am bombarded with Razorback news and notes. I don't even feel like I am a t-shirt fan because I have ties to the school.

Now, here is the dilemma. Just recently, the Aggies and Razorbacks signed a 10-year deal to play football every year in the Dallas Cowboys new stadium (aka, Jerry's World). So, here is where you can help me. What should I do when my two favorite teams play next fall (and every year after)? Should I "woo pig" or should I "gig 'em"?

A. Be happy that one of my favorite teams will win.
B. Be down that one of my favorite teams will lose.
C. Pick the better team each year and cheer for them.
D. Go camping and find out who won later.


Kritter Krit said...

Perky! Woo hoo!! =)

You know you'll be cheering for the Aggies on the inside, even if you somehow manage to squeak out a "woo pig" for those around you.

You bleed maroon, honey. You know it. Might as well just plaster your office at the UofA with Aggie paraphernalia and call it a day.

P.S Sophie will vote "go camping" on your poll. You know she's been begging to "sleep" in a tent.

Robert (Bob) English said...

I agree with Kristy...just be the'll gets lots of attention (not that you're looking for it). But you could be the one Aggie fan at U of A (holy crap, Dr. Dunn would have had a field day with you. Wait, is that right? Dr. Dunn? Physics prof at Hendrix, right?). I think you and I both took Physics I and/or II together, didn't we?

Anyway, I digress. Back to the point I was making. I like the Aggies as well being an Aggie too, however, when they play UT I'm a little confused over whom I should root for because I work at UTMB now, which in IN the UT system, albeit not in Austin, but in Galveston. Deep down, I still root for the Ags, but I think I root for the Ags for a different...the fact that they're usually the underdog.

I love underdogs.

Robert (Bob) English said...

I forgot to add that Dr. Dunn made an Aggie joke at the beginning of EVERY freakin' class....I never even had a hunch at the time that I'd goto TAMU for grad school, as you probably didn't either.

Cable said...

Pull for the Ags!

Raise the IQ of those around you. Wearing shoes optional.

Josh & Margo said...


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