To start, I'll state that I was lucky enough to go to Texas during the Vince Young era (you may now let your jealousy commence). Both of my Texas A&M games at DKR were played on T+1: November 26, 2004 and November 24, 2006. And yes, it sucked immensely that my last game as a college senior was a gut-wrenching loss--but I digress.
The point is, with both of those games played on Friday morning, I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family in Houston before making the drive back out to Austin the next morning. Had those games been played on Thanksgiving night, I sincerely doubt I would have attended.
Not for lack of want to, mind you. But in my family, the older generation cares little for college football. Oh sure, they'll wear the burnt orange shirt we bought them from time to time, but as proud parents, not diehard football fans. Asking them to skip out on Thanksgiving to scurry back to Austin? That would have been curiouser and curiouser to them.
Most of my own generation are Longhorn alums, it's been easy enough to watch the Longhorns play the Aggies on Thanksgiving night after settling down with a plate stuffed full of turkey and trimmings. But I don't scour the interwebs for below market tickets like I do for Texas-OU weekend. In fact, those two games above represent the only two Texas A&M games I've ever attended.
I wonder how many out of town students missed out on the Texas A&M experience, or how many Texas Exes spread around the state declined a chance to return to Austin, due to other obligations on Thanksgiving night. Or worse: what if you missed the game entirely because you're part of one of those families that eschew watching TV on Thanksgiving night, or has that crazy uncle that just must watch every NFL game?
No doubt: many Austinites, College Stationites, and your standard, diehard, generational, "I bleed Burnt Orange [or Aggie Maroon]" families probably planned their Thanksgivings around attending or watching the Big Game. But with that tradition having fallen by the wayside, I genuinely wonder: are Longhorns fans more in favor of just playing the Thanksgiving weekend game against TCU on Friday or Saturday?
ESPN probably loves the ability to counter-program a blue blood football program against the NFL Network's primetime game and that cuddly Home Alone 2 reair on FOX. The tradition-laced Texas administration must equally love the cachet and exposure of being the only college game worth watching on the most sought after primetime night of the week. And heck, if the Longhorns once upon a time played bottom-of-the-barrel Baylor on Thanksgiving, it's not like TCU is a left field replacement for A&M. TCU's side must be even more thrilled, getting a chance to replace Texas A&M on the sliding scale of eminence of Texas colleges.
I guess those are all mighty fine macro reasons to play on Thanksgiving night. But I wonder if the common Longhorn fan disagrees and finds the new era of Aggie-less Thanksgiving now a minor inconvenience to watch.
I'm interested to read your thoughts.
What's Your Stance on Texas-TCU on Thanksgiving?
In-Person Diehard: I attend each game, every game at DKR (127 votes)
Special Game: I'll try to be in attendance (104 votes)
Eyes Glued to the TV: Anytime the Horns are on, consider me busy (491 votes)
Background Noise: The game will be on, but I'll be occupied at times (35 votes)
Rather Inconvenient: Thanksgiving is a hot mess for me, can't they play on Friday instead? (77 votes)
834 total votes