I don’t pretend to be smart enough to be the athletic director of a major university, nor do I have the business utility to be able to pull off decisions of that magnitude*(*- I lied…Most AD’s are idiots, including Bill Byrne). That small disclaimer out of the way, there’s something here we need to discuss, Ags, and that’s why I called this meeting of our board. We need to discuss the merits of argument from our illustrious AD, Bill Byrne* (* – Not illustrious; he’s probably more suited for a career in local-level elected politics, but probably not more than one term).
Rumors abound that within the next few years, Texas A&M will undertake a possibly ~$100m upgrade project for the upgrades at Kyle Field, not to mention the troughs we currently have to piss in. Luckily, the bathrooms at the top have the benefit of gravity to pull the piss waste to the ground where it is pumped across the back side of Snook, underground into pipes, and then run over to the downtown section of Austin for drainage. ~$100m to get up to code, and the rumors bounce around these days that we can’t afford anywhere close to that since Bill Byrne ran $16m short on his capital fundraising campaign to pay for the buildings on campus, including the bubbledome similar to the Dallas Cowboys’ structure that was recently blown out of the sky in Valley Ranch where Stephen McGee saved two burning babies from drowning in the collapse.
Other rumors are that we are running $30m in the red currently, and any other increase in budget (oh, like let’s say travelling to Palo Alto, California, for a conference volleyball game) pushes us into a realm of overextending ourselves like a junior car salesman in his first year of having a real job and a real house. Byrne has been a phantom AD so far, driving the football team lower than it was and then thrusting up smaller sports so that he reaches financial benchmarks that push his rumored yearly salary in the $600k range.
An athletic director who only cares about the less important sports (anything other than football is less important) mainly because that’s how he gets paid has his priorities so out of whack that the next step for him is a sex change so he won’t feel so bad for sitting down when he pees. Our football program and those who surround it like the Corps Fish who surrounded Kyle Field after the 1995 game against t.u., have done the Aggie Nation a huge disservice. They’ve told us that we were not going to be on television because we didn’t sell out the stadium.
Get that straight…Byrne stated on his worthless weekly blog (that someone writes for him) that we had the option of FCS or PPV and he chose not to exercise his ability to have us shown there. Recruiting, he said, isn’t affected by PPV sales since they don’t buy PPV shows. Let’s get something clear, Bill:
TALKING DOWN TO YOUR FANBASE BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY ARE TOO STUPID WILL ONLY WORK FOR SO LONG
For over seven years we’ve had this fat flub bitch and preach to us about how to be good Aggies and what we are supposed to believe like we are all members of the Watermark Church. The problem is that he has a select group of money Ags who really don’t want us to be good as much as they want us to be theirs and theirs alone. That’s who Byrne responds to…not the common piss ant A&M fan like us who spends all his waking moments thinking about A&M and spending all his money and time and energy on his passion. Just that guy is all.
So, if Byrne gets paid when lesser sports do well, and he is insulated by B.M.A.’s who have more money than sense/sperm, then we have a guy in charge who can say anything he fucking feels like saying with no repercussions. Keep in mind, as well, that he either knew fully well that Fran’s super secret newsletter was out there (since Miles Marks, the head of the 12th Man Foundation who was sending Byrne’s department millions of dollars on markers with a 0% APR, was at the top of the list of Mike McKenzie’s recipients) or he was too stupid to see that the guy who was his ghost writer for his Weekly Wednesday and ran the PR and Marketing departments for the AD was making a little hitchy on the side. Either way, we are dealing with an individual who is dishonest or too stupid to know the difference and just went along with it b/c Franchione’s Gestapo told him it was a good idea.
That’s not the elephant (push) in the room. The fact is that as of right now, Texas A&M is the only team of 120 FBS teams to not be on tv once in the first three games, and that includes some teams who had bye weeks and have only played one game so far. It’s mind-boggling to think a top 10 team in enrollment, game attendance (despite the shitty product over the last decade), and top 10 overall in budget would schedule teams so bad that fans from Texas and Texas Tech are talking shit about A&M playing pushover non-conference games.
Last week, A&M played in front of ~77k fans to a relatively not-so-unknown Louisiana Tech Bulldog team that posed quite a 1st half scare before the Ags remembered that they have to hold onto the ball when it’s their turn to play and then blew out the game starting with the first drive of the 2nd half. Other than that, the Ags will play a team that has had a football program about as long as Obama has been blowing off congressional votes to pave the road for future hope, and we started out with a team that I completely forgot who they were as of this moment right now. Not a great way to start the season.
Now,listen…I get it. The Big XII can be a tough schedule, especially when Texas, OU, and Nebraska are all playing championship-worthy ball and OSU, Tech, and Mizzou aren’t too far behind. Throw in Baylor and a rogue band of illiterates up in Manhattan, Kansas, and you have a tough road to hoe. Or ho, depending on what you do on the road. So, I understand wanting to play shitty teams to buffer the schedule for the harder stuff in hopes that you can at least get a bowl invitation. The problem is, when your marketing department is as good as the marketing department for the Travel to Yemen Tours, you may not get a great amount of reception from your audience. Therefore, I propose five simple things to get a few things going that will a) look good b)get people talking about the team and c) give the football games a way to be on tv.
- On these shitty early games that you KNOW you aren’t going to sellout, donate a bunch of tickets to local schools and churches. You have a very large 5A school a pretty good sized 4A school and another 5A school in your backyard as well as a large private school and about a million different youth groups thru churches or athletic groups or whatever that would LOVE to be able to see a live Aggie game. Plus, you get to have a community outreach that makes you look good (which, let’s be honest…that’s the most important thing to Bill Byrne past making money for himself). Take 10k tickets that you know aren’t going to sell and tell them a week in advance that they have to present a valid student ID from their school to get into the game with no exceptions so you don’t have creepy scalpers taking advantage of the program. It takes up seats that were going to empty anyway, gives you more people to drink (guh) Pepsi and eat bad nachos, but most importantly it looks like the game is almost a sellout. You can push that to the lamebrain BMA’s who will be kicking into the kitty for your south endzone expansion.
- PUT THE GAWDAMN MOTHER FUGGING ASSHOLE RIPPING GAMES ON PPV. If there is an opportunity to get them on tv in ANY way, you do it. Not having games on tv doesn’t drive more people to the games; it just gives us a reason to bitch about how terrible Dave South is on the radio. There are people around the state who just can’t make it in, not to mention the thousands around the world who aren’t anywhere around the state. They want to support the team as well, and if you put the teams on tv we can do that. People will show up to your games when they can, Bill. However, if you want more than just the usual suspects to get interested, you’ve got to get more people to pay attention. Recruits may not buy PPV, but their friends’ Aggie dads may and you can bet your ass that Brent Venables in OU will point out that we haven’t been on tv yet to his recruits.
- Costs aren’t prohibitive for game coverage, and even if they were it’s negligible since you are providing a medium for exposure. It’s either even or a swing of a few thousand dollars up or down. That sort of exposure deals in soft costs. I’d be much more apt to donate more money if I knew that I’d be able to see each and every game on tv. This isn’t 1970 when you only had one college game a week on. It’s 2010. You can watch a guy catch fish on five different channels, get a channel that has nothing but a bunch of dopey women talking about Oprah, and an entire channel covering only a dead Catholic nun who had a show 20 years ago before she died, but we can’t figure out a way to get one damn game on the tv? Make the games available and it will pay off for all of us.
- Throw on the switch, Bill. We know you can do it because half of us watched the game last week when someone “accidentally” aired the video board feed live on the internet. Also, Dave South and Dave Elmendorf aren’t nearly as brutal to listen to when there’s video to correspond with their references of “that guy” and “Here we go” over and over. Turbeville is still hard to take, but that’s another story. Don’t lie to us. You know how many people you had logged on for the 2nd half and know that those people were just happenstance because they saw a link on one of their favorite message boards. If you get four times that many on a regular basis and charge them all $10/game, your overhead is low, it doesn’t affect the conference tv deal, and you reach out with some goodwill to people who really don’t like you. Note to Bill Byrne: People really don’t like you. Donations will go up the day you quit or get fired for something they dig up on you just like they did with Murano and Franchione, so if you want to do A&M a favor just quit so we can get busy paying for all this shit you bought on a credit card. We’ll still pay your salary (obviously).
- Go back to the marketing deparment and fire anyone who isn’t ok going door to door at retail businesses outside of Northgate to get A&M shit sold. We wrote last year about the overwhelming amount of t.u. gear over A&M stuff in retail stores across the state. That hasn’t changed much in a year, but there are some improvements. It needs to be full on WAR. Every gas station, every Wal Mart, every place where random schlubbs go and pick up random schlubb stuff, they need to be able to buy something with A&M on it.
A&M isn’t just for Aggies…we need fans and future Aggies, too, and we can’t get them by just being invisible.