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Saturday, September 20, 2008
Nothing like a trip to tradition-steeped Kyle Field

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- I made my favorite trip in the Big 12 this morning, something I get excited about even after making it more than a hundred times during my career.

The journey along Texas State Highway 21 from San Antonio always takes me through small towns like Dime Box and Manheim. I've been driving by the same soccer field in Bastrop for more than 20 years. Some of the kids who were playing in games when I first started my career are likely watching their own kids play today.

And there's something special about heading into Kyle Field for a game. This place reeks of tradition, from the statue of E. King Gill outside the stadium to some of the older former Aggies students tailgating in the areas around the stadium in the same locations for generations.

It's fitting today that former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum is being inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. He was coaching the Aggies' "Wrecking Crew" defense under Jackie Sherrill when I first started coming over here.

The Aggies' sports marketing department has capitalized on those warm, fuzzy feelings with their latest catchphrase, splashing "This Is Home" across the campus and even on the ribbon scoreboards inside the stadium.

Sure, the Aggies have started slowly and there's been a lot of grumbling early in Coach Mike Sherman's tenure. But for once, I can't really disagree with them, at least on their promotions, anyway.