Is it really surprising that a school whose quarterback is dating one of the stars of Duck Dynasty formed such an objectionable opinion of the surfer-esque, punk-rock listening, semi-rogue, offensive coordinator at TCU?
The answer is a resounding no.
Context, with anything, is key. And maybe we should start there.
Was it Doug Meacham's intention to piss off A&M? No.
Are you still behind? Let's rewind.
Last week, the criminally underrated David Ubben wrote a lovely piece on the (maybe) next quarterback of TCU and Meacham and Sonny Cumbie's second act following their reinvention of not only Trevone Boykin, but the TCU offense as a whole.
"It's kind of unfair," TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham said. "You're a young kid, you roll into a school where the Heisman Trophy winner is a guy that misses meetings and does whatever he wants to, and in your mind, you think, 'Well, that's just how you're supposed to do it.' So, I don't think that helped him a whole lot."
First off, no matter where you go to school, let's try and pretend that Meacham is wrong. You can't because he isn't. And honestly, we are all to blame. Yes, even you drinking your coffee to try and pass your breakfast so you can finish this article in the bathroom away from you coworkers.
We're all to blame because as soon as Johnny Football was no longer A&M's quarterback at the start of the 2014, his successor had to immediately be given a nickname; that nickname, of course, being Kenny Trill.
If you were born outside of Texas or you're just over 40, the word trill, which is now part of the cultural linguistic identity of Generation Y--and hopefully Z--originated in Texas prisons where it eventually found it's home in Port Arthur and became incorporated in Bun B and Pimp C's landmark hip-hop creation, UGK. From there, it spread like wildfire throughout the Houston scene and it's now a key element of not only hip-hop culture, but twenty-something culture as a whole.
So it was fitting a quarterback succeeding the Billy the Kid that was Johnny Manziel needed a nickname too.
After he thrashed South Carolina and shot out like a makeshift bottle rocket in the college football zeitgeist, Hill's hype was real.
Like Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a novel, which recapped beautifully by James McAvoy in X-Men: First Class is about that "in each of us, there are two natures at war." Not good and evil, but our own ability to fight off our animal instincts.
Now of course this is a stretch to say it was animalistic of Hill to basically act like a college kid and wind up wreaked in a College Station fountain one evening.
But Meacham was right: the culture certainly didn't help.
Sure, it was on Hill to make that decision, but it goes beyond just that one night. It was about thinking it was fine to miss team meetings, show up late, or whatever inconveniences he may have caused the 2014 Texas A&M football team for half of the season. While you can point back to an early arrest he had before his tenure even began--which also mirrored Manziel--it was when he became Kenny Trill that he was truly consumed by all the negative aspects Sumlin's culture has seemed to have on quarterbacks. Most noticeably, the pressure we as football fans put on these kids--we declare them Gods one week, only to outcast them the next; clearly the negatives caught up with him.
@Mark_Schlabach Yeah, Meacham, too bad he didn't have a role model like Casey Pachall from the get-go.— Decade Plan (@DecadePlan) August 5, 2016
@Mark_Schlabach This is a weird take given TCU's history with drugs in the recent past.— JD (@aggie_hood) August 5, 2016
To those tweets, I just blow an Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, kiss.
We'll have tons of chances to talk about it, but Kenny Hill was never bad at Texas A&M. But the way he went out, a complete mouth punch by A&M, and his infamous after hours escapade seemed to burn out the Trill bottle rocket just as fast as it launched.
To bring it back to Meacham, Boykin has been the only true starter he's coached. Message board heroes are quick to bring up Casey Pachall, but Pachall left when Meacham and Cumbie arrived. Pachall also got all the help he needed and successfully completed rehab. Despite not living up to fan's expectations, Pachall, who also had a mantra that was a little more underground than Kenny Trill or Johnny Football, now has a job and a family.
Since Pachall left TCU, the Aggies' starters have been Johnny Manziel, Kenny Hill, Kyle Allen, and Kyler Murray. We know Manziel's saga, and Murray and Allen now play for different schools. It's not every day that schools lose two prized five-star quarterbacks.
The message board heroes also use the ever-brilliant glass house metaphor and are quick to bring up Trevone Boykin's escapade in San Antonio. Which, despite there being more to the story, is an understandable but flawed counterpoint. Boykin's was an isolated incident that existed separate from the culture. It's like going out drinking before you graduate college; these are kids, about to become real adults, playing their last game from a school in a city with a Riverwalk that's built for drinking. You're not going to be playing PS4 two nights before a football game.
And lest we forget what Kyle Allen said:
"I think the culture was a big part of it, and I think that stems from Johnny's era there -- the way that they let Johnny and [others] act there," said Allen, the No. 1-rated pro-style quarterback in the 247Sports Composite for 2014. "They [could] do that and still win games because they had Johnny ... and five offensive linemen playing in the NFL right now."
Culture. Culture. Culture.
Message board fans everywhere are always trying to make enemies. Texas A&M seems to find theirs weekly. Only a week removed from the disastrous women's clinic saga, the Aggies focused their hate on Doug Meacham. This week? Who knows who it'll be. Maybe myself. Maybe Sumlin's pool boy again.
While I found some of it strange, the Aggies still have a wonderful culture with passionate fans. Texas A&M fans deserve more; one would even say a Trill King like Tom Herman, to take the wheel from the jamokes currently driving the College Station clown car.
Personally, I think A&M deserves better.
Oh, and they should play Texas again.
And oh, long live Doug Meacham.