Rivalaries make sports world

By Lynn Moncus

Although I rarely pay much attention to sports, I decided to watch the Aggie-Lobo game last week because of the rivalry and because other programs were either repeats or weren’t very interesting. Actually, I planned to dip in and out in order to avoid too much boredom but got hooked when the Aggies seemed to know a little about the game.

All went well until just about the time the third quarter was getting under way, and then the television station lost its signal; thus, the screen went blank until they could find some other program to put on instead.

That was okay because I felt sure I could hear the end of the game on the radio. As usual, that station just quit broadcasting the game at 9 p.m., and left me gasping as they did much of last year because they can’t seem to keep any game on after that hour.

Of course, I wasn’t surprised to hear the final score during the 10:00 news, and learned that the Lobos won one more time. At least, they didn’t skunk the Aggies, and that was a good thing.

I can hear some of the remarks my Lobo friends are making because they tend to feel rather superior since they are from “The University.” I just smile when we talk because I am right proud to have most of my degrees from “The Cow College” and rarely pay much attention to that other place.

We had two main rivals when I was an undergraduate: UNM and UTEP. We could sometimes hold our own in basketball but usually had more trouble figuring out what to do with the football.

All these years later, that rivalry still remains and even causes me to pay attention to scores and to cheer just a little in the event we win.

Most of us learned much about rivalry during our school years here in the county when we had so many county teams competing against each other, especially in basketball.

We even learned a lot when most communities had basketball teams and played wonderful games on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.

The competition was great and remained so until most communities and schools just sort of disappeared when so much consolidation came into being.

Now, those of us who want to discuss that competition have to delve into the past in order to get a lively conversation going. We can still generate some excitement by recalling some of the games and their results.

We still remain territorial when it comes to discussing the various communities and sympathize with those who weren’t fortunate enough to live in ours.

We might have been mere specks on the map, but we had our boundaries and knew who belonged over the magic line and who was within that line. We can have great conversations as we discuss the past and often say we can now get along okay with those from elsewhere, but we still have slightly closed minds at times.

At various reunions, we spend much time talking about those active communities and schools of the past and realize we have not changed our thoughts even if we have been sort of forced to change our actions because so few schools exist to keep much of that rivalry alive.

Fortunately, the Aggies and Lobos are still alive and well, thus giving each of us a chance to enjoy our ongoing competition. I’ll just whistle the Aggie fight song and wait for the next game. The rest of the time, those of us who are natives of this county will continue to remember the lively times and just enjoy such memories.