As some of you may know, this Sunday marked Texas A&M and Mizzou’s entrance into the NCAA Southeastern Conference. This is big deal in many ways, from more prestige for both schools, to a more equitable sharing of varsity sports profits, to all sorts of sports/higher education-related politics I don’t even fully understand. But that’s not really why I care about this move.
If you know me, you might know I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world. Yes, I enjoy a good Mavs game, will take you up on a night at the Rangers Stadium (though I would never take time out to watch a baseball game on TV; blech), and will deck myself out in black & gold or maroon & white every Saturday all fall. But in general, I’m not a sports fanatic. I’ll go to sporting events or watch them as a social activity with friends, but I don’t really have a stake in who wins. I don’t follow any professional teams*, and I only really care if the Aggies or Tigers win. Don’t ask me anything about other teams; chances are I don’t know. And honestly, at this point, I’m doing good even to remember the main football players for A&M and Mizzou. I’ve lost all sense of who plays on their basketball teams. National Championship? If it’s not Tigers or Aggies, it’s really not of interest to me. Super Bowl? I’m there for the food, the commercials, the halftime show, and to watch the Brynsvold Twins watch the game. (They’re the real entertainment.) I don’t even care about the BCS vs. a playoff system. Unless A&M/Mizzou gets screwed. Don’t mess with my two teams. Top 25 ranking? No Tigers, no Aggies? I’m not checking it.
So then you might be wondering why Saturday at midnight my Twitter feed exploded with SEC insanity. Well, it’s because this means more to me than sports. This is two of my favorite places in the entire world united together. I love it.
Mizzou and A&M are my homes. I met my best friends there. I grew up there. They are the last 5 years of my life, and those have been some formative years, let me tell you. So the fact that they’re both here together, newbies in the SEC, warms my heart.
It’s like Colorado LT. Colorado has brought so many different groups of my friends and mixed them all up. My sister and a friend from high school met my Mizzou friends. My Mizzou friends made Aggie friends, and then I met them in Texas. And now my Aggie friends are back in Colorado meeting more Mizzou friends. ALL MY WORLDS ARE COLLIDING, AND IT’S AWESOME.
So the SEC just seems to be a continuation. My favorite places on earth continuing to exist together and collide. Plus it doesn’t hurt that I don’t have to keep up with two conferences to watch my two favorite teams. And it guarantees a yearly “WHAT COLOR DO I WEAR MY TEAMS ARE PLAYING EACH OTHER AND I’M TORN” moment. And an excuse for my Mizzou friends to come watch a game in Texas or me to follow the Aggies up to Missouri.
So I guess it does kind of have to do with sports. Whatever.
*This is not to say I’m a bandwagonner. If I have to pledge allegiance to sports teams, I’ve picked them: Dallas Mavericks for basketball (leftover from the days when I did actually follow them. I miss Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzski’s bromance.), Texas Rangers for baseball, Dallas Stars for hockey? (I’ve never watched hockey in my life), Team USA for the Olympics (duh), and Italy for other international sports-related endeavors. Because, you know, it’s the only country outside the US I’ve been to. That’s legit, right?