How Music (and Johnny Football) Bring UT and A&M Fans Together

Categories: Commentary
For decades, music has been used to enforce the rivalry between the University of Texas and Texas A&M. On Saturdays in the fall, Longhorn fans proudly sing, "Give 'em hell, give 'em hell, make 'em eat shit!" while Aggies denounce the UT song: "they sing so well - sounds like hell! So goodbye to Texas University!"

The two teams played 118 football games from 1894 until 2011, when A&M left for the SEC. The series ended with 76 wins for UT and 37 for A&M, with five ties. And while I think we'll all miss the timeless rivalry, we sports experts here at DC9 at Night say enough. It's time for Texans to get over it. And so it is with great expectation that we turn to an unlikely ambassador for unity within the Lone Star State: A&M quarterback and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who's doing it with a little help from music.

While football games can be divisive, Texans of all stripes can agree on music. After all, there are no losers at a great show -- only people who stayed home.

So, even as a Longhorn, I can't possibly bash Manziel and his former Aggie teammate Ryan Swope for appearing in Dallas-born-and-bred (and A&M alumnus) country singer Granger Smith's new "Silverado Bench Seat" music video.

But it's not just a mutual love of country music that can connect the schools. After causing a stir earlier this year by throwing up the 'hook 'em horns' hand sign in various pictures (including the one above, at a concert, you'll note), Johnny Manziel defended himself by emphasizing that UT and A&M don't even play anymore. He pointed out that many of his close friends play for the Longhorns and he grew up a Texas fan. There's no reason why Texans of all allegiances can't be proud of Manziel.

But such deep rifts cannot be filled with words alone. We'll need a little of the healing power of music for that: Listen to Texas singer-songwriter Bill Pekar's interschool love song, "Colors Are All the Same."

The love story between a lifelong Horn and a lifelong Aggie emphasizes the song's chorus: "You can gig em, you can hook em. / But one thing'll never change, / when your eyes are closed and you're in the dark, / the colors are all the same."

So every time y'all Longhorns start getting upset with some Aggies, or vice-versa, remember that the bonds that connect Texans, whether it's football or country music, are far stronger than any forces of disunity.

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