Saw ’em off
Nov 24, 2008, 6:55 pm by Paul Stiverson
I’m all for traditions, and I’m all for strong rivalries, but there should be a limit to the degree of the rivalry. I am, of course, referring to the rivalry with t.u., which has gotten a bit out of hand. It seems like Aggies are more enthusiastic about denigrating Longhorns than lauding our wonderful school. Take, for instance, the War Hymn which—as I hope my readers know—has two verses, the first of which actually talks about A&M. Of course, ask your typical Aggie and they will only know the second verse which focuses exclusively on the University of Texas.
Take also “Saw ’em off”, it isn’t uncommon to see vehicles decked out with a Saw ’em off decal with nary a mention of A&M. The same is true with t-shirts around campus. Hell, look at the South-gate Aggieland Outfitters, they have an exterior wall painted with sawed-off horns, and Bevo standing out front.
It’s time we stop defining ourselves by hating somebody else, and start defining ourselves on how awesome we are. However, if folks still insist on still wearing Saw ’em off gear then they should demand that they use a real apostrophe in place of the insufferable single open-quote, this abuse of our language lends credence to the claims that Aggies are dumb.
john grego Says:
Nov 24, 2008
i couldn't agree more. i'm tired of a&m students putting down t.u. instead of building up our own school. i recently, within the last 6 months, read the full version of the war hymn, though i knew that there was a second verse, for the first time and wished we sang it instead of the current version. so heres the real first verse...
All hail to dear old Texas A&M,
Rally around Maroon and White,
Good luck to the dear old Texas Aggies,
They are the boys who show the fight.
That good old Aggie spirit thrills us.
And makes us yell and yell and yell; --
So let's fight for dear old Texas A&M,
We're goin' to beat you all to --
Real stuff! Texas A&M!
trey hooper Says:
Nov 25, 2008
My dad found this on Tex-ags and emailed it to me. It being fairly relevant to the said topic, I thought i'd share. Sorry... It is quite worth it, but well worth the read I promise.
i have friends -- good friends -- who went to t.u. some are huge supporters, some are bandwagoners, but all are, generally speaking, good people. fifty-one weeks out of the year i look forward to hearing from them and wish them nothing but the best. this is week number 52.
i choose to go to texas a&m university in the fall of 1994, but i became an aggie on december 2, 1989.
earlier that year my mother married a man who was only 14 year my senior and younger, at the time, than i am right now. he inherited two kids -- a 13-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl -- and his life, as he knew it, ceased to exist. at 13, i wasn't going to take anything off this chump. he and i had been great friends while they dated -- he showed me his playboy collection, drove me around in his iroc-z and let me play his records at whatever volume i chose -- but once they got married, i was nothing but a thorn in his side. i was used to being the "man" of the house, and this "boy" wasn't going to come in and change that.
i grew up hearing stories about darryl royal and earl campbell and being told i would be the next great longhorn fullback, catching passes out of the backfield for touchdowns against ou and a&m. i had matching burnt orange sweatshirts and sweatpants that i'd wear every thanksgiving in the backyard replay of the game we'd watched on the television over turkey and dressing. the aggies were winning lots of games at the time, but every year i knew ut would pull out the win; after all, we were just better than the poor aggies were.
then the marriage. this man not only came into my house and acted like he had some say in things, he was an aggie, class of 1985; he'd been out of school for less time than i have now. in 1988 he took my mother on a date to see the aggies come into austin and beat david mcwilliams' longhorns 28-24 -- and he brought me the official program (we were still friends). he hadn't missed a t-day game in more than 10 years. he wouldn't miss a t-day game. so in 1989 he bought four tickets for his new family, we jumped in the suburban (i took a friend because my sister had something else and couldn't go) and headed to college station.
the entire trip from corpus christi (where we were living at the time) was filled with him telling stories about texas a&m: bonfire, the yell leaders, the dixie chicken, the aggie war hymn, the spirit of aggieland, the msc, muster, and on and on. i thought it was all ridiculous. i told him that *the* university of texas was going to beat the crap out of his beloved aggies and i was going to laugh all the way home (we weren't friends anymore). when we pulled up to our parking spot on the empty field behind duncan dining hall, i noticed there was a big pile of burnt logs still smoldering not far from the car. that was bonfire, he said. i couldn't believe it. the burnt pile of charred wood and ashes was huge. i couldn't imagine how large the stack of wood had been before it had been burnt. i started feeling something inside that i couldn't explain . . . some spark of that smoldering fire had hit me in the right place.
we ate the cold fried chicken we brought with us, our own little tailgate party beside the remains of bonfire, and walked around campus for a while. he pointed out the quad -- gay, i said. he pointed out the dorm he lived in when he was in school -- the same dorm i would live in a few short years later. we walked by the academic building, saw albritton tower . . . all the sites on campus. then we walked into the msc.
"take your hat off," he said, and he told us why. there was that feeling again, just a little stronger. we walked by the medals of honor as he told the story of how more aggie officers were more numerous than those from any other college, including the service academies, in world war ii. maybe it's heartburn -- that chicken tasted a little funny -- but it's definitely more noticeable now.
then came the game. i don't remember as much of it as i should, probably because i was caught up in the moment, but i do remember we were about 15 rows up in section 102. i remember the spirit of aggieland, how moving it was to hear so many people sing the lyrics to a song that obviously meant so much to them. that couldn't be what i was feeling . . . could it?
i also remember cheering as loud as i could whenever the longhorns did something right and making comments about how stupid the little towels everyone around me was waving were. that was the first quarter. by the second quarter i was really confused. i wanted to cheer for the longhorns -- /my/ longhorns! -- but i felt somehow drawn to the aggies . . . so many people yelling so loud, applauding every big hit, holding their collective breath with every offensive play, seemingly caring more about the outcome of this game than anything else in life.
then came the halftime show. first the aggie band came out, and no one left his seat. then came the fish drill team. i had heard about them, of course -- how they won national championships despite the fact that every other team in the competition was filled with upperclassmen who had worked together for years -- but the story didn't do the performance justice. i think that was the straw that broke the camel's back -- i was an aggie. i spent the rest of the game yelling for the ags, waiving the 12th man towel i had pilfered from my mom, and learning the words to the war hymn so that i could sing it with the rest of the aggies.
/we/ won that day, 21-10, and the four of us walked with the rest of the crowd to the dixie chicken to celebrate the triumph. i'll never forget the girl who brought me a lone star -- which my mother, not wanting to embarrass me, let me drink -- saying we should all drink to sending the 'sips back to austin with their tails between their legs. that still ranks as one of the ten greatest days of my life.
college football sure is a funny thing.
i remember hearing in fish camp that people don't come to texas a&m and become aggies, they come to texas a&m and find the aggie that's always been inside them. some, even aggies, may laugh at that sentiment, but i believe it with all my heart. i don't hate the 'sips because they went to a different college than i did. individually, in fact, i don't hate them at all. but i'm an aggie and they are the anti-aggies. everything i stand for, they stand in opposition to. our school started as a way to train average, everyday men into something a little better than average. the rich kids went to t.u. and thought they were better than the farmers over in college station in every way; a&m was just a place where the under-classes were thrown a bone. but, as is often true in history, the common man showed his uncommon strength and overcame his “place” in life, and we aggies of today are the beneficiaries.
sul ross, general rudder and all of the great aggie leaders of the past did not believe in the superiority of the chosen few. they believed that hard work, dedication and the indomitable strength of the human spirit could face every adversity, overcome every challenge. they knew that to be an aggie meant being part of something greater than one’s self. individual dedication may wax and wane, but the collective strength can always be counted on. that’s what being an aggie is all about -- becoming part of the unified whole, while never forsaking the strength of the individual.
the t-sippers laugh at our traditions. they mock our military history. they degrade the spirit we each share, the strength we find in unity. they call us sheep (or worse) because we believe that being a part of something greater than ourselves is worthwhile and honorable. despite all their liberal ideals and all the lip service they pay to individuality, they hate us because they don’t understand us. they take every opportunity to point out their superiority -- in sports, academics and life in general -- and remind us of our “place” in the world. our achievements are explained away; our successes marginalized. they are better than we are, plain and simple, and we should be happy they condescend to mix with us long enough to play a football game. this year, the ‘sips have, once again, taken their lofty perch above us simpletons, are looking down at us and laughing. the world has been made right again.
i’m an aggie because of the spirit of aggieland that lives inside of me. that spirit was awakened at a college football game in december of 1989, and it will not be silenced. what i have learned through the years is that this is not just “a college football game.” it is a battle of ideals that began more than 100 years ago and still rages on today. we are the aggies. we are sully, general rudder, maj. horace carswell, lt. thomas fowler, sgt. william harrell, lt. lloyd hughes, sgt. george keathley, lt. turney leonard, lt. eli whiteley, joel hunt, jack pardee, kevin murray, bucky richardson, dat nguyen, dan campbell, miranda adams, christopher breen, michael ebanks, jeremy frampton, jaime hand, christopher heard, tim kerlee, lucas kimmel, brian mcclain, chad powell, jerry self, nathan west and every other aggie who has had the privilege to be associated with texas a&m university. we are common men and women who seek nothing more than the opportunity to prove our value. the aggies are we.
college football sure is a funny thing.
friday morning’s game has not yet been played. we all realize the task our team faces in trying to upset a powerful t.u. squad intent on winning the national championship. it’s clear to us all that it will be difficult to outscore them. but we are the aggies, and we’ve certainly overcome greater obstacles in the past. will we win? only god can know. /can/ we win? without question. if time runs out and the score goes against us, the ‘sips will have done what everyone expected of them and so will we. but the aggies became the aggies by exceeding expectations when it mattered most. this game is not point-du-hoc, it is not corregidor -- those things were far more important -- but it does share one attribute with those previous aggie successes . . . no one thinks we can do what is required to overcome the obstacles before us.
i am not an aggie because of 22 men who wear maroon helmets and numbers on their backs. but because i am an aggie, and each of them is too, i believe in the strength of unity. as we approach this game with our hated rival -- and the enemy to all that we stand for -- i hope we can unite once more and believe in ourselves, in the ideals we hold so dear. most, if not all, of us will not have the opportunity to have a direct effect on the outcome of the game. some of you reading this (if anyone has made it this far) will think it’s futile and ridiculous to think we can have any affect on the outcome of the game whatsoever . . . and you may be right. but for the next few days, lets put aside our differences and do whatever we can -- attend the game and yell, pass words of encouragement on to the players and coaches, sit on the couch and think positive thoughts, whatever -- to help the aggies beat the ‘sips.
one of the greatest gifts i ever received was a ticket to a college football game 16 years ago. that small piece of paper had more of an impact on the rest of my life than almost anything else i can point to. the man who gave it to me has become, over these 16 years, the father i never had. the spirit it introduced me to has led me through challenges i never thought i could overcome. the community i became a part of that day has always done more for me than i could ever repay. for all these gifts, the only thing i can offer is undying loyalty, unfailing support and unflinching belief in the power of the aggie spirit. regardless of the outcome of friday's game, being a part of the aggie family is enough for me.
i am a part of something greater than myself. i am a fightin’ texas aggie.
gig ‘em, beat the hell outta t.u.!
[sorry about the rambling novel; i tend to get worked up.]
Nov 25, 2008
The longhorn (albeit with sawed off horns) is as much a symbol of A&M as it is of t.u. When I see it, I think of A&M. I usually forget it has anything to do with t.u.
With that said, beat the hell!
Nov 27, 2008
Saw 'em off, like many of the other manifestations of our rivalry with other schools is just a fad. Like the calvin taking a wiz on an A&M emblem, or the classically overplayed e-ATM-e signs that all the drunk college students bring to our games. I remember seeing that when I was 10 and at the time my father commented that he remebered them doing that in his day, which was '76.
I don't think there is anything wrong with the level of animosty as it is now. Back in the day brawls used to break out (one we had with baylor left some of our students dead and the corps incredibly pissed off), we would brand the cow, or the sips would try to firebomb bonfire. Things have become much more civil (except for tech). In fact when we went to baylor this past weekend we had a great time arguing with some of the bears, smack was talked, sheepf***er jokes were made and everyone laughed.
The problem as i see it, is people, on either side, who take it way to seriously, or who are quick to get offended. In the end its just good fun and i enjoy it.
For those of you interested I could almost swear that both verses of the war hymn used to be sung in the late 80s early 90s, but I could be mistaken. I'm sure it'll work its way back into popularity and people will go back to pissing and moaning that "we never sang both verses back when I was in school!"
The stars have aligned perfectly, we were saved the embarrassment of tech being Big XII or *blegh* national champions, and now with a good showing tomorrow and an OU victory in stillwater we can avoid t.u. having shots at both of those championships too.
Nov 28, 2008
wellpppp, that was horrid.
Feb 11, 2010
may i use your saw em off picture for a facebook page?
its to make fun of longhorn kids
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