DALLAS, Texas (105.3 THE FAN) – Over the past few days there has been a lot of discussion about Kyle Field.
No, not the renovation price tag of $450 million or the fact the refurbished stadium will have the biggest capacity in the state of Texas at 102,500 when it is ready to go in fall 2015 (those are old talking points), but rather if the venue should be called Kyle Field: The House That Johnny Built.
The Johnny in question, of course, being 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and recent NFL first-round draft pick Johnny Manziel.
At first, I thought this was a bit – especially when I heard it was proposed by A&M Board of Regents member Jim Schwertner, who is a Texas Tech graduate. But no, apparently it was a real suggestion.
Now, as an A&M guy I thought this was a terrible suggestion straight away – but I wanted to check in with my fellow Aggies to see if they agreed.
And they didn’t disappoint:
“Bull$&!#! There are a lot more Aggies than just Johnny ‘Cash’ Manziel.”
“You and I both know that is the stupidest idea ever. Johnny may have brought in more money to get [the project] going faster, but he didn’t build anything.”
“Boo. Just Kyle Field, please and thank you.”
“Dumbest thing I’ve heard. And if any of your other friends from A&M say it’s a good idea, I hope you kick them in the shin the next time you see them.”
“It’s not my favorite idea … I mean, wasn’t most of Kyle Field there before Manziel?”
“For the record, we LOVE Johnny, but that is a bad move. A&M has so much tradition. There were guys before Johnny and there will be guys after him.”
All six of my A&M alumni friends make excellent points, especially those last two.
Kyle Field rounded into form as a stadium in 1927, but the Aggies have been playing on the property since 1904 (back when it looked like a literal field). There have been plenty of great teams patrolling those hallowed grounds, like the squad that won an AP National Championship in 1939 … we can add on the retroactive national titles they received from the 1919 and 1927 seasons if you like. There have also been a myriad of fantastic players in College Station throughout the years, such as 1957 Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow.
That all being said, Manziel’s contributions to the legacy of A&M football can’t be ignored.
“I wouldn’t mind if there was a statue of him out front,” one of my Aggie buddies suggested.
Now, that’s not a bad idea.
After all, Manziel became the first freshman in history to win a Heisman Trophy and re-wrote the SEC offensive record books in his two seasons playing for the Aggies. More importantly though, he created acceptance for A&M in the toughest college football conference in America and shutdown all the naysayers who proclaimed the Aggies would fail and be humbled in the SEC.
Instead, A&M has established itself as the best college football team in Texas and is positioned to be a recruiting powerhouse for the foreseeable future.
So, surely a statue of Manziel would be appropriate.
Then again, considering all the hype and endorsement dollars A&M has generated for Manziel, along with the fact he now has a multi-million dollar contract coming his way after being taken No. 22 in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, maybe the Aggies’ home stadium should change its name.
How about, as one fan texter (at 43733) suggested, Kyle Field: The House that Built Johnny.
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