Naming Rights


Posted on May 14th, by Rob Scichili in All. 2 comments

You’ll have to excuse us Aggies. We really are our own worst enemies. Nothing good seems to happen when we open our mouths, especially when it comes to our Board of Regents. Heck, as an Aggie, I shouldn’t be anywhere near a keyboard with the freedom to write this column (but I kinda own a percentage of this digital publication, so I got that going for me).

10252065_10152378521129556_1549560422000526969_nAnyhow, Monday’s press conference at Texas A&M was simply supposed to update the media on the progress of the huge renovation of Kyle Field. They did just that; it’s on time and on budget. Super. Then A&M Regent Jim Schwertner spoke and decided to announce this beauty of an idea – to one day append the name of Kyle Field to include “the House that Johnny Built,” in reference to all that Johnny Manziel did for the program over the last two years.

There’s a word for this; several actually come to mind. Ridiculous. Dumb. Even misguided (that would be getting off light). How about this one – embarrassing. Or better yet – no. It’s the worst idea since, well, a few weeks ago when another A&M regent suggested 12 empty seats at the new Kyle to honor the 12th Man.

Sigh. Yes, we Aggies can’t seem to stay out of our own way.

“The House that Johnny Built”? Really? He gets all the credit? Manziel was indeed a huge part of the Aggies’ marvelous debut season in the SEC in 2012, but even that one campaign is not the sole reason that thousands of Aggies committed $450 million to this last August. Heck, “built” isn’t even the right word. “The House that Johnny Renovated”? Still awful.

But if Mr. Schwertner wants to credit accomplishments on the field, especially in Mr. Football’s Heisman season of 2012, let’s look at the entire roster, please.

Never mind the great tightrope catch that Mike Evans made at Ole Miss on a 3rd and 19 from their own 2-yard line, giving the Aggies a fighting chance in an eventual last-minute win. Forget Ryan Swope’s clutch catches over the middle at Alabama, getting leveled while still holding onto the ball.

A.J. McCarron is your 2012 Heisman winner if Dustin Harris doesn’t stop the Bama QB cold two yards away from the end zone on third down late in that same game, not to mention Deshazor Everett’s pick on the next play. And then there’s the “bob” play on the ensuing punt formation suggested by Sean Porter and executed by Ben Malena, sealing the upset at Tuscaloosa.

If any of those players don’t step up, Johnny Manziel doesn’t win the 2012 Heisman Trophy. And we haven’t even talked about Kevin Sumlin’s leadership of the bunch that led to an 11-2 debut in the SEC and some serious momentum for the program.

And what about all of the players, all-time, that put in long hours of hard work representing their university? Bucky Richardson, Dat Nguyen, Von Miller, Johnny Holland and John David Crow, among others, would like to have a word with you.

Maybe the Manziels are paying Mr. Schwertner under the table since they trademarked the phrase, “The House that Johnny Built,” a few months ago. Then there’s the fact that he is actually a Texas Tech grad. If this is actually a devious insider plot to embarrass the Aggies in the media, then well played, Raiders.

12th-manjpg-cb21ca337a9d7d28We invented the Aggie joke; it’s good to laugh at yourself. This is par for the course, I’m afraid. Again, we Ags just have a tendency to speak before we think. Regardless, the new Kyle Field is coming together quite nicely and will be quite impressive. And whether Mr. Schwertner was serious or not, a name change like this will never happen.

Besides, Kyle Field already has an appended name – “Home of the 12th Man.” Which reminds me – Seahawks, your annual $5,000 check is due.

Rob Scichili


Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, MLB.com, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.





2 thoughts on “Naming Rights

  1. Excellent. I’m not an Aggie but I know the traditions, teams, academics, and alumni are the real backbone for Texas A&M University!

  2. I enjoyed a weekend at Kyle Field back in Oct 2007 agt. Kansas. From midnight yell to the walk by Bottlecap Alley pregame. Maroon out game and I had a blast. The fans, staff, and alums were great to me as I learned the traditions.

    Prior to that day I used to have some sharp musguided thoughts on Aggie life. Never again will I make reference to money problems or how the helmet reads ATM (joke). Gig em, and onwward.

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