Lucky Enough To See A Pooch Punt

The sixth home game of the season saw Vanderbilt rock up to College Station.

After waking from my slumber, it was time to watch college football commence at 11.21am.

After sleepwalking in the general direction of my tailgate and yawning at least seven hundred times, I was ready to roll.

I observed some cool tailgating traditions.

Firstly, the ‘throw something onto a wooden board game’. I’m not quite sure what it was, but it intrigued me. In the space of about 200 yards, I saw this game being played at least a dozen times.

In a society where the Xbox and PlayStation exists, I’m actually quite impressed that these old fashioned traditional games still occur. Or perhaps because it was so early, people’s eyes couldn’t take the strain of playing NCAA Football or Call of Duty on widescreen. Who knows.

As I entered Kyle Field, I knew I was going to be sat in roughly the same spot as I was for the Alabama game.

For Bama, I was about three rows behind their marching band. I was dreading a similar outcome. Luckily for me, Vandy’s band didn’t travel. God bless that decision, and not having to hear the same dreaded tune every time they recorded a first down/anything positive.

It wasn’t all cookies and cream though. I was still sat amongst a horde of Vanderbilt supporters. Perhaps a marching band would have drowned out some of the rubbish that I had to endure.

Within the first few moments of the game, a portly chap bellowed into my ear ‘If you can’t get into Texas, you go to A&M!’.

I quickly retorted that ‘If you can’t get into A&M, you go to Vanderbilt’. He muffled some academic statistics at me, but right on time, A&M scored their first touchdown. I could no longer hear him as the 12th Man ringed out. He never repeated that chant again. I had won the battle, but had I won the war?

Well, yes. All they could bring to the table was pom-poms on sticks. Terrifying.

Likewise, every time they would score a touchdown/force a turnover, they would do what every other travelling team has done to us this year. Persist with taunting via the #CashinOut gesture. I think that they failed to realize that they were often about thirty points behind, but don’t let that get in the way of an opportunity to abuse a far better football program.

Oh and an alumni that doesn’t get to call Skip Bayless ‘one of their own’.

Interestingly, I would later get a ‘pom-pom stick’ joisted into my back. Was it intentional? I guess I’ll never know. I’ve lived through far worse at soccer matches though. I shrugged it off and continued to wave my towel to restrict their view.

After that, I didn’t hear a peep out of them for the rest of the game. Although just before, a Vandy fan had asked if the Aggies were sponsored by ‘ATM machines’ because of their logo. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was the single worst example of trash talking I’d ever heard. You could sense that after the words left his mouth, even he was ashamed of it. D-. Must do better, son.

It was at this game that I realized why you see so few obese people at Kyle Field and in College Station in general. Watching games is exhausting. And if it is for me, just imagine what it’s like for the students who have to do all the yells? An Aggie Football game is probably equivalent to a couple of hours down the gym, and that’s not even taking into account the intensity of the sun…

The game brought about something I’d never seen before. A ‘pooch punt’.

I’m still not entirely sure why Vandy did it, or even what one actually is, but it was hilarious. The QB just ballooned the ball up into the air for pretty much no reason. Well, as far as I could tell anyway. It didn’t seem to give them any advantage. It gave us all a good laugh though.

It took balls. It kind of reminded me of when at a restaurant, a waiter comes around with a plate of food that you haven’t ordered and asks if you did. 99 people out 100 say no.

But there is always one who will push the boundaries. On that day, it was Vanderbilt’s offensive coordinator.

And yes, my food has been robbed by some scrounger before. Hard Rock Cafe in Barcelona last year, if you must know.

Anyway, A&M won the game and everything was suddenly right in the world again. The Auburn nightmare luckily did not repeat itself.

However, later that night, I wasn’t celebrating much.

I’d nipped out for a bottle of water at a local shop, when something peculiar happened.

Two men ran past me. They were running for their lives. The gust of wind from their slipstream almost made me topple over.

I soon realized why. Five seconds after they ran by me, the heavens opened. It was like someone had dumped a bucket of water over my head.

Worse was still to come. I could hear some thunder rumbling.

I weaved through puddles and what I perceived to be forked lightning (but probably wasn’t) like a drunk and fatter version of Trey Williams.

Eventually, I got to safety. Yes,  I may have been soaking wet. But A&M won and I wasn’t as depressed as I was the Saturday before. Success.

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