Thursday, August 29, 2013

What "it" is.

It starts with a couple of "wild and crazy guys."

A couple of wild and crazy guys on ESPN.
And so we begin yet another football season.  This one is filled with Johnny Football, the SEC, and way too many home games.  I already miss that man, crazy though he may be.  He's so dedicated to his tailgating.  It sounds so heroic to most Aggies, but to those of us average humans, it sounds a little less heroic than, hmm, let's say being dedicated to, "feeding the poor", "advancing world peace", "teaching underprivileged kids", you know . . . all the other stuff we could focus our time on.  Nonetheless, what Chuck and Tim do at this tailgate is worthwhile and important.  No!  I'm really not kidding. I promise I'm not saying this tongue-in-cheek.  I mean this in all seriousness, and let me tell you why.  It's only taken me 15 years to figure it out.

The Cotton Bowl 2012
Chuck and Tim each have a wife (aka Theresa (above) and Stephanie, respectively).  Chuck and Tim each have three beautiful young children.  Tim has three girls, and Chuck has one girl and two boys.  The oldest child of the six is 9 years old (Luke).  The youngest of the six is 1 year old (Bess).  I promise that none of our children is headed for any sort of football career.  I'm not sure any of them will even ever play football as a passtime.  However, these kids gleen something extremely important from the outrageous "display" that Chuck and Tim put on at every Aggie home game (aka "The Aggie Tailgate" or "TAT").  (Umm, yeah, I just came up with TAT and I can only say that I really wish it had been TIT.  Much easier to remember.  Too bad for me.) 

You may ask, "What is it, Theresa?"  Well, thank you for asking; let me tell you.  It is an unparallelled dedication to a sport, an event, a comraderie (that sometimes makes me want to barf), the repeated preparation of food ranging in quality from mediocre to oustanding for their dedicated weekly guests as well as for the friends they haven't met yet, a perseverence in what must be temperature on Mars, the belief that they can sway the outcome of the game with the volume of their voices, an unwaivering loyalty to a group of people (known and unknown), and the absolute certainty that they are part of something bigger.  These guys "get it".  They just do.  I'm not ashamed to admit that, although I actually attended TAMU for a year before marrying the big bohunk, I don't get it.  I truly don't.  I admire it.  I appreciate it.  I love that he has it.  But, I don't get it.  It seems so over the top . . . so ridiculous . . . so fanatical. 

And yet . . . when I'm there . . . I feel a part of it, included in a group of good people, cheering for a cause.  And I realize . . . finally . . . that this feeling -- this very small spark of loyalty that I'm feeling -- is actually something very amazing and so much bigger than each of us.  Because, let me tell you, that this same spark of loyalty which translates into a showing of big-man-macho support, is actually the same thing that causes us to stand when the national anthem is played at a baseball game.  It is the same thing that causes us to pull our cars aside when a funeral procession passes.  It is what makes us happy for our friends when they are promoted at work and what causes us to empathize with them when they experience hardship.  It is the same thing that bubbles in our chest when we watch a wounded soldier return home from war.  It is the same thing that caused us to plaster our homes, billboards, businesses, and schools with American flags in the wake of September 11th. It is the same thing that causes our eyes to burn with tears when we watch a 96-year old man say goodbye to his wife of 75 years.

"It" is loyalty and love.

Chuck and Tim have "it".  And they are passing "it" on to our children.  How incredibly amazing it is to show that loyalty and love exist outside of your home, your church, and your family.  Chuck and Tim extend "it" to all who attend their tailgate, and even to those who don't. (Have you seen their sound system?)  The simple act may seem, well, just that . . . simple.  But the truth of the matter is that they care. They love. They hold loyalty foremost in every facet of their lives. I have absolutely no doubt that Chuck (and Tim) will be there for me in my most desperate times (Heaven forbid), and that I will need only call once.  They are my heros. 

And so, while this may be the one and ONLY time I admit this publicly, Chuck and Tim are making a difference with their TAT.  The TAT is important not just to those who attend, but also to those who observe it.  It isn't just about beer, football, and food.  No. There is something more.  I hope you each have a chance to experience it at some point in your life as I and my children have.

And on all those ocassions that I express my displeasure with Chuck's absence or roll my eyes when someone compliments my half of the personal property known as "The Army Truck", please remind me (LOUDLY) of "it", because "it" is what life is all about.  You can see examples of "it" below:

Evie, Theresa & George on the Fire Truck

Luke, George, Evie, & Daylan on the Fire Truck

The Army Truck
The back of the Army Truck

The beer taps on the Army Truck

The cooker.
Where the beer used to be stored before kegs.  Now you can find juice for the kids in there.

Baby Aggie

Blind Aggie

Happy Aggie
Drunk Aggie - Tailgate Entertainer

Traditional Aggie

Football Aggie

Aggie Love

Tailgate Aggie 
Timmy Aggie (because he's a breed unto himself).

Aggie Tickets

Thanks to Chuck and Tim for reminding me, Stephanie, and our collective children, each and every year for several weekends in a row, what "it" is all about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love it.... Em