Commentary: UT and A&M meeting again would be like a reunion

Published on Sunday, 2 July 2017 22:51 - Written by PHIL HICKS,

I returned Sunday from a reunion over the weekend in the Metroplex.

It wasn’t family reunion, but it felt like one.

We had a gathering of former and current Tyler Morning Telegraph employees, a publication of some form or fashion that began with the The Tyler Courier-Times in 1877.

There were newspaper folks from as far away as Charlotte, North Carolina, Cookeville, Tennessee, St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri. There was another who flew back from Chicago after attending a Tom Petty concert. And there were others from all over Texas.

Many are still in the newspaper business, some work for web sites, magazines or are in public relations or working for the federal government, some are retired and some are teaching.

It was fun reminiscing and catching up. It was like a homecoming.

It just felt right.

Just like when I was writing last week about renewing the Texas vs. Texas A&M football rivalry. It just feels right.

I got several responses. It is different than the past when letters would arrive. I still get letters, but now the messages are mostly by email, Facebook, twitter, any of the social media devices.

I got close to 100 responses and some 75 percent were in favor of cranking up the old rivalry.

Can 118 years of games just be forgotten?

That’s how many times Texas and Texas A&M have played football.

You know it’s going to happen. It’s like watching a Rangers game - the Rangers pitchers are going to issue walks and the Rangers hitters are going to strikeout. And, of course, the bullpen will blow another game. You see it coming each day.

So why not just go ahead and play.

Alabama and Auburn finally got together. They did not play football for years (1908 until 1948) and finally Alabama agreed to meet in Birmingham (from 1948 to 1988, basically a Crimson Tide home game). Eventually Auburn forced a true home-and-home series beginning in 1989.

In basketball, Kentucky and Louisville did not play each other from 1959 until 1983. Finally, the pressure from state officials took over and the Bluegrass brothers have met every year since.

Passionate games are what make collegiate athletics.

I suggested the state reps do something about this, just as the Kentucky folks did. Maybe it wouldn’t take a law, just a little pressure. Hey, government interferes in our life in some form each day.

The financial windfall would be tremendous for both schools; they could help their academic departments instead of spending money for $10,000 lockers and waterfalls in workout areas.

As we approach our 241st birthday (if my math is right) on Tuesday, it is great we can still have the right to express our opinions on any subject.

Here are just some of the responds about the Texas and Texas A&M football game:


Love it! Texas needs this!!

LaQuita Graham


Phil, This rivalry needs to be reinstated. I went to many of those games A&M vs. Texas on Thanksgiving Day. That rivalry was as great as Michigan/Ohio State, USC/UCLA, Duke/North Carolina (basketball).

Reginald Williams


Do it now! These are state-supported schools that behave like wealthy private schools. Reel ’em back in!

Tony M. Floyd



Your column on asking the state legislature to consider voting on renewing the rivalry is way off base. This is football, a sport; it has no place taking up time in Austin. I use to live and die on which way this game went. But the legislature has important work to do. This is not one of them. Please leave politics out of sports. Let sports be sports - fun and entertaining. Let’s not taint it by bringing in politics and wasting money and time in Austin.


Ted Schoenberg



...these mental midgets elected to office have far more important things than to worry about two schools playing a silly game of football!

People have their priorities all (messed) up!

What a monumental waste of time!

FYI ... I attended one of these two schools and could not care less if they play ever again, play every year or play in some bowl game.

Keep govt out of athletic scheduling! That’s why schools have ADs!