By W.K. Stratton
Every yr in the course of the Thanksgiving vacations, the 2 groups meet for whatever that has develop into even more than simply a video game. It’s a blood feud that represents a huge cultural divide within the nation. It’s urban opposed to nation, a rural agricultural institution opposed to an city college. And but each side come from an analogous kin, warring cousins who roll up their sleeves annually within the yard to settle the query of who’s quantity one—at least for the time being.
In Backyard Brawl, W. okay. Stratton takes you thru this contention and its historical past, protecting the years while the sport used to be postponed as the enthusiasts have been simply too violent, the branding of UT’s cherished steer, Bevo, via a renegade Aggie, the abduction of A&M’s loved Reveille through boisterous UT scholars, the robbery of UT’s cannon, previous Smokey, and its unceremonious dumping into the murky waters of Austin’s city Lake, and the fistfights that broke out whilst celebrating UT enthusiasts rushed A&M’s approximately sacred Kyle box after Texas received the last-ever Southwest convention name at the Aggies’ domestic turf.
Stratton additionally relates the more severe part of the competition, relatively the way in which either faculties got here jointly after culture became to tragedy in 1999, whilst the A&M bonfire cave in killed twelve scholars. And in a touching epilogue, he captures the angst that hit the varsity Station campus whilst officers made up our minds to cancel the go back of the bonfire in 2002.
Stratton drew a bead at the 2001 season and either groups via their schedules top as much as the massive conflict in collage Station. Taking you inside of a well known Aggie Yell perform and introducing you to fervid but frequently zany orange-blooded Texas enthusiasts via their difficult tailgating rituals, he creates revealing snap shots of the 2 groups, together with head coaches R. C. Slocum and Mack Brown, either one of whom are legends of their personal time, destined for the corridor of popularity.
Backyard Brawl is a desirable exam of the best conflict in collage soccer, destined to develop into a vintage for college students of the game.
From the exchange Paperback edition.
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Backyard Brawl: Inside the Blood Feud Between Texas and Texas A&M by W.K. Stratton