Don’t think the powers to be at Texas A&M aren’t aware of the embarrassing loss on Saturday. HSJ was lucky enough to have a representative at a very exclusive meeting on Sunday afternoon. The attendees were among the most powerful Aggies around the state. While I wasn’t allowed to tape the meeting, I was able to take notes. To the best of my knowledge, here is what transpired in a room somewhere in Rudder Tower.
First of all, Mike Sherman came in and walked around the room and shook hands with everyone and jovially issued greetings and well wishes. He never sat down. After circling the room, he went straight to the podium.
“First of all, I believe this team is close. We didn’t make the plays today, and that’s my fault. We didn’t play well today. We don’t have a lot of depth and we played a lot of freshmen. We dropped some passes. We were playing the number 22 ranked team in the nation, and I thought we competed on defense early. The players didn’t give up. We’ll get better. We need a few more recruiting classes under our belt to really get this thing going in the right direction. All of you are welcome to come by my office at any time for a cup of coffee or something stronger to discuss this in more detail. Right now, I’m going to go break down some game film.”
With that, Sherman headed for the door, but not before shaking a few more hands on the way out.
We were left the following in the room: Gene Stallings, RC Slocum, Don Adam, Mike McKinney, Bill Byrne, R. Bowen Loftin, Lowry Mayes, and two other men. The men never introduced themselves, but before Sherman had taken the podium, they had been arguing over which team was better, the Cowboys or the Texans. It was obvious one was from the Houston area and one was from the Metroplex. Furthermore, it was apparent that each represented a group of Aggies.
Here’s how the conversation went:
Gene Stallings: Did anyone watch that Mississippi vs Alabama game last night?
Dallas: I don’t think that’s important right now. Does anyone know the score of the Cowboys game?
Houston: Oh, shut up. The Texans are better than the Cowboys.
Dallas: Right, but I seem to remember Wade and company going down to Houston and beating the hell out of Kubiak a few weeks ago. I’m glad we didn’t hire him when you Houston guys were touting him as the next savior of A&M football.
Houston: We have The Tank in there now, so we finally got our coach in place. He’s a great guy.
Mike Mckinney: Sherman is the man. Hey, there are a few political moves I’m interested in making. Can I just restructure the entire university system’s power structure to make sure I have a hand in even more stuff?
Rick Perry: Again? I guess it doesn’t matter. Hey, is there a way we can lose to Baylor? Drayton McLane wants Baylor to beat us. I need to keep him happy.
Don Adam: I’m leaving. You people are idiots.
Lowry Mayes: Ditto. You guys stay in your closet here. I’m off to make some money.
Rick Perry: I’m not in the closet. That man was my taylor. I was getting a new suit.
Gene Stallings: I’m not too concerned about Auburn. Nick has been watching some film of them already, and he says we should handle them.
Houston: Dallas, bring your buddies down to Houston for the Rangers and Astros. We’ll have a blast.
Rick Perry: Can I come? I’d love to see Drayton.
Dallas: You guys need to come up to Arlington as well. We’ll treat you right. Our suite is awesome.
Bill Byrne: I was invited to Deloss Dodd’s house for the Texas game. I think I can get some of you guys in there as well.
RC Slocum: Aren’t we here to talk about our football team?
Bill Byrne: Yes, we are. What do you think, RC?
RC Slocum: I think that half of the teams lose every week. You have to remember that we’re playing in the Big 12, which is a power conference. I’m not sure this team is too far off. I don’t think you could get a better man than Mike Sherman to coach the team. Except, of course, me. You know I was offered the Arizona Cardinal job but turned it down? I think my coaching days are behind me, but I’m sure Bill Snyder thought the same thing. Heck, if Bill can take another swing at it, maybe I could step in as well.
Bill Byrne: I’ll be at a birthday party in Montana for the next ten days.
Dallas: Hey, some of the Bass family invited me to go to a TCU game. Can we schedule TCU? I’d like to hang out with them more often.
Rick Perry: We need to schedule TCU. I really need to hang out with the Bass family more often.
Houston: Agreed. And maybe SMU.
RC Slocum: I think we’re better off not scheduling old Southwest Conference schools. You see, they use their games against us as a recruiting tool against us. It just doesn’t make since. We should schedule Louisiana teams. I still have some family out that way and I love to invite them here to watch their teams play.
Bill Byrne: Guys, I need to take off. Deloss Dodds might call me. I really kicked his ass in the Lone Star Showdown two years ago. Ha ha.
Gene Stallings: Bear Bryant always said that if you outwork someone on Sunday through Friday, you had a chance to beat them on Saturday.
Mike McKinney: What does that mean? If someone said that to me, I’d beat his ass. You all saw me beat up that Texas Tech fan. The real way to get ahead today is to have someone give you some kind of advantage. It’s all about who you know.
R. Bowen Loftin: Mike, don’t get in any more fights. You’ve already used your get out of jail free card.
Rick Perry: That’s absolutely right, Mike. Do any of you know someone that wants to donate money to my campaign?
RC Slocum: Right. Do any of you know the procedure I need to go through to fire my secretary and hire a new one?
Mike McKinney: Don’t worry, RC. I’ll do it. I can just eliminate her position then recreate it. That way, we don’t have to go through all the paperwork, and you can just hire someone else.
RC Slocum: Thanks, Mike.
Dallas: Is this meeting over? I need to get back up to Dallas. We’re having a Ranger game watching party at the Energy Club tomorrow. Someone said we could get Toby Harrah to come by and watch the game with us.
Houston: I need to get back to Houston. We’re having a fundraiser this week for Rick. Rick, while you’re in Houston you can come to the Rockets game with me and some of the other Houston boys. You’ll love our suite.
Rick Perry: Will Mark Cuban be there?
Dallas: No, he’ll be up in Dallas. We don’t really like to hang out with him. You see, his wife is an Aggie, and he really likes A&M, but we don’t want him meddling around in A&M stuff. Seriously, he has so much money, if he became a booster, he would have the power to do anything. He really is an Aggie fan, but we just shut him out of our scene in Dallas. He’d be like Don Adam.
Houston: Yeah, who invited Don to this meeting?
Rick Perry: I don’t care about shutting him out of Aggie athletics, just make sure he knows where he can send checks to me. I’ll make that man happy.
Mike McKinney: Okay, gentlemen, I think this was a productive meeting. According to Mike and RC, everything is fine. Maybe we can get together during basketball season and have another meeting.
Dallas: Yes, that would be great. You guys should come up to Dallas and go to the Arkansas basketball game. We’ll get a suite. The football game was great. We spent some time with Jerry Jones before the game.
And with that, they all stood up, shook hands, and left the room. Everything seems to be working just fine.