In Texas, disparaging Texas A&M fandom is nothing new. From the perspective of outsiders, Aggie devotion borders on fanatical obsession. All non-Aggies have suffered the occasional barrage of “whoops,” and many have silently acquiesced as captive audience members to a “war hymn” chorus. It can sometimes feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a cult.
But, in a hypercritical, increasingly post-patriotic society marked by rampant cynicism and radical individualism, where authority is rejected and institutions are blindly opposed, there is much to appreciate about Aggie fandom. It may be that non-Aggies find Aggie fandom tiresome and obnoxious precisely because we struggle to believe that any institution is worthy of our loyalty. In that respect, Aggie fandom represents a bygone sentiment for many of us.
To a certain degree, I believe Aggie solidarity is godly. Yes, godly. Although blind and belligerent loyalty can sometimes betray the inherent good of loyalty (e.g., xenophobia and ethnocentrism), it cannot be denied that Aggies make excellent alumni. This institutional advantage cannot be explained apart from the unity and solidarity Aggies enjoy. Together, they have a public and corporate identity. They belong to one another, which is more than can be said for many in our society.
So it’s no surprise that Christian Aggies make for loyal, committed, and self-sacrificing church members. Praise God for Texas A&M, and praise God for every loyal fan, no matter the team, as they stand together in opposition to our anti-institutional age. Perhaps the fans of this world will teach our society to recover some solidarity. Perhaps we will learn to criticize institutions without defaming them, lest we destroy the very basis of our shared experience and life together. More likely, though, our society will relearn this from the Church, the only institution on earth offering blood-bought belonging and Spirit-sealed solidarity.
So knock yourself out, Aggie fan. We'll see you Sunday morning.