Longhorns, Aggies unite for common goal: Reinstate the rivalry

Abby Hopkins

Justin Tucker’s 2011 kick secured a win for UT, marking the last memory of the intrastate rivalry between UT and Texas A&M. Eight years later, both sides are fighting for the
game’s revival.

The campaign, Reinstate the Rivalry, began in 2017 and is gaining momentum with support from current and former students, as well as school presidents and state representatives.

UT alumnus Micky Wolf, who graduated in 2018, kickstarted the campaign as student body vice president. The rivalry game brings back Thanksgiving memories with his grandpa, Larry Golman, who he said gave him his “Longhorn blood” as a 1953 alumnus.

“There’s nothing really like the University of Texas and Texas A&M competing,” Golman said. “That rivalry and that feeling between the schools and camaraderie is just a tremendous thing for the universities, their students, alumni and the whole state of Texas.”

Current students are also voicing their support. 97 percent of UT students voted in favor of the game in 2017, and 89 percent of A&M students voted in favor last week. Finance sophomore Jake Greenberg has taken charge of the campaign as officer of Longhorn Athletics Agency.

“There’s a real buzz around the state about this game being back,” Greenberg said. “It’s just working out the details. When this game is finally played, it will really bring the state together and unite us around something we all love, which is football, family and Thanksgiving.”

Greenberg grew up a Longhorn but said the campaign has brought the two schools together.

“Most of us haven’t met each other, but we’re all united by this common passion to reinstate the rivalry, and something that’s been really amazing is how this movement has really formed,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg has worked with Chipper Adams, a third-generation Aggie and campaign head for A&M. Adams said the game is important because of its history and impact on both schools’ traditions.

“One of the things that we say around here a lot, is if something happens twice, it’s tradition, but it’s happened 118 times,” Adams said. “We’re missing out on this key part of that (Thanksgiving) experience in Texas.”

The support is not only from current and former students. Both university presidents, Greg Fenves and Michael Young, voiced support. Gov. Greg Abbott also stated his willingness to work with State Rep. Lyle Larson, who has actively sought action for the reinstatement.

Greenberg and Adams met with Larson on Monday Feb. 25 to discuss their next steps and plans to build off the momentum of the votes and widespread conversation.

“Larson views the legislation, not as a means to an end, but as a way to draw attention, and it did,” Greenberg said.

From here, Greenberg said they are working with designers for T-shirts, meeting with Larson about logistics and working with important stakeholders on both sides.

“I think this movement and this game are important because it unites the best that the state has to offer,” Greenberg said. “Even though this game is competitive and there have been some moments in the history that are tumultuous, this game and what it represents is so much more.”