Life Lessons for a Winning Team

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Football season brings unparalleled excitement when fall arrives, because we expect a winning team. Absolutely, new and returning Texas Aggies alike are excited about the Jimbo Fisher era of Aggie football, which began officially Aug. 30. Chelsea and I saw the Class of ’22 and all the other classes entering fabulous Kyle Field for the first game. Their excitement is contagious for our entire community.

There’s a rite of passage and an acknowledgment of an important part of Aggie tradition as earlier in the day on the Zone Plaza outside Kyle Field, Aggies paid their final respects to Reveille VIII. Her final resting place is always on the north end of Kyle Field. We should always remember those who came before us from whom we learned.

Especially for Aggie former students and local residents, though, is there such a great opportunity to reflect on football seasons of the past, while dreaming of great things to come. Like the season of Spring, there’s something cleansing, renewing, and important to focus on the future. Miss Reveille IX made her debut on Kyle Field with her handler, Mascot Corporal Mia Miller. We can always appreciate the changes at Texas A&M, as they are always made in hopes of making “great” into “greater.”

The first game of a season is instructional and helpful because only until you’re in the midst of a contest do you see where you can improve and where you can celebrate. One person can make a difference, with the support of his or her team. Junior Trayveon Williams logged 240 yards of offense, rushing with exciting speed. You learn to look for the holes and how you can break through the crowd to set yourself apart from the others to be the winning team.

The best lesson from the first football game, or any football game is: It takes a team to define a winner. And, for all of the times that we saw Trayveon Williams running for over 200 yards in this game, there were 10 other guys on the team, each doing their parts to execute the plays, create the holes, defend against the defenders, and then let Trayveon do his thing. It took everyone working together to create those amazing rushing statistics.

“No one person is as smart as all of us” is one of my favorite quotes. We’re only as strong as the weakest player on the team, and it’s up to each of us to support all of us, in business, in life, and in Aggie football, you build a program over a period of time. You can’t change things overnight, but you can really reinforce what people are doing right and help keep teaching them to overcome what they’re potentially missing.

For many who grew up in small towns or attended smaller schools, there’s so much inside the arguably best football stadium in the SEC to notice, remember, and cherish. Those on first dates with fellow students, the Aggie tradition of kissing your date after a touchdown was popular last Thursday night. With final score 59-7, likely many first dates quickly became promises of a second and a third. So, many will have a special reason to remember Northwestern State fondly.

Ahead this season we see some great opponents coming for us week after week. #2-ranked Clemson (SEC) comes to town this weekend. One week later, University of Louisiana-Monroe (Sun Belt) visits, followed by traveling to Tuscaloosa to face #1-ranked Alabama (SEC). The following weekend we travel to AT&T Stadium in Arlington to play Arkansas (SEC), then face the University of Kentucky (SEC) at home the next week. There’s no week off before traveling to Columbia, South Carolina to face the University of South Carolina (SEC).

With only one off week to rest, we travel back east to Starkville, Mississippi to face Mississippi State (SEC). The Aggies are asked to heal and head back east to Auburn, Alabama to play Auburn (SEC) before coming home to face Old Miss and finally we stay home to face the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) of Conference USA.  Finally, for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the big challenge of LSU (SEC) completes the season. The SEC Championship is set for Sat., Dec. 1 in Atlanta.

If you’re an Aggie, you may already have tickets for the SEC Championship, right? After all, you plan to win, always. And that’s a great life lesson to learn: plan ahead for victory.  Another lesson to learn is to realize that only when you believe in the opportunity and expect it to come true can it come true.

Attitude is everything. Aggies are used to winning. They’re working hard, they prepare daily, weekly, they’ve given their all during training season. They are poised for victory. We as fans are poised for victory. Life lesson to learn: Be gracious in victory and show mercy when you can.

Well, I’ll hazard a guess that no team in their first week of football who faced an opponent not from their conference paid no attention to the “mercy” rule last week. Not when you have scores in the 50s and 60s has mercy been involved. If your fourteenth-string running back isn’t playing quarterback in the second half, you are not showing mercy. But it’s college football, so you know what to expect—it’s another lesson, just like “there’s no crying in baseball,” so “in football you show no mercy,” or you try to stop scoring after 70 points.

Seriously, this weekend we will all see more life lessons during our contest with Clemson. Last week we saw “targeting” in more than one game in person and on television. The refs made their determinations and took action according to the rules players must follow.

This coming weekend we will see two teams who’ve prepared for serious battle. One with a reputation to maintain, one with a reputation to make. Life’s challenges are not always easy, but you can win when preparation meets opportunity. Attitude means a lot. With the loyal Aggie fan base filling the stands (staying for all four quarters), it will be a fantastic game and we always expect to be the winning team.

Here’s to the Aggies and here’s to life. May we always live and learn and appreciate the lessons along the way. Having the right attitude means always having a winning team. Gig ‘em!