The End of an Era

In a fun way of announcing my departure from GigEm247, let’s take a look back at the top five most memorable days since GigEm247 launched in August of 2010.

There's not even anything about him in this article, but hey, this is my farewell and Johnny Football needs to be included.

#5 – Dropping the Banhammer – December 2011

When Kevin Sumlin was hired at Texas A&M, early indications were that Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi would be A&M’s target as DC. Several of our sources were indicating that from the get-go, so we posted about it on GigEm247.

Taylor was in San Antonio for the Army All-American game and got word that Derrick Griffin was committing to the Aggies before his basketball game that Friday Night, so I got on the road down to Rosenberg. Then, madness ensued.

Red Cedar, the Michigan State message board on 247Sports and one of the largest fan message boards anywhere on the internet, invaded GigEm247 posting everything from respectful opinions on why Narduzzi wouldn’t be leaving to tasteless jokes about A&M. In the end, we set a record for most people banned in one single day (I personally banned over 15 just while I was driving to Terry), and there’s still probably not a fan base with more bans on this site than Michigan State.

#4 – In the beginning… - August 2010

This one isn’t one particular day, so it might be cheating, but I’ll always remember the absolute grind when we started this site. Some of you guys were with us in the beginning and remember, but we’d be lucky to have a thread with 100 views and ten replies. It seems like so long ago now, but I remember being jacked when we first broke the 100 subscriber plateau.

For the first month or so the site wasn’t anything more than a message board, the article pages weren’t even up and running yet, so you’d write something and it was basically sending it out into the void. Now I could put a cooking recipe on the site and it would get 1,000 page views in a couple hours.

#3 – Big 12 Media Day – July 2011

This wasn’t a particularly memorable day on the site, but it was the most surreal event I’d ever been to. There are some great things about Big 12 Media Day, for one, it isn’t the absolute circus that SEC media day is and you actually get the chance to talk to players one-on-one. I had some fun conversations with Robert Griffin III, Justin Blackmon and others.

But the crazy part was at the end of the day where they had this “special presentation” from the Big 12 where Dan Beebe walked out on stage to the music of, and I’m not kidding, “The Natural” and answered scripted questions from some guy in an interview format. He emphasized time and time again how the Big 12 was a newly united and harmonious conference. Keep in mind this is in mid-July 2011, where anyone close to A&M already know the SEC train was out of the station.

#2 – Texas A&M over Alabama – November 2012

This was, quite simply, the biggest win in the last 15 years of Texas A&M football, and being there for it was something special. For one, going on the roadtrip with my friends from college was awesome, we left College Station Thursday and stayed in a casino in Shreveport that night before finishing the trip the next day.

It was also my first credentialed away football game. I had been in the press box for the bowl games, home games, and the neutral site game in Shreveport against Louisiana Tech, but what a game to be sitting up there. The Alabama pressbox is open air so you could hear the fans, and my seat was right on the 40 yard line right above the first deck. From there, I could hear the A&M fans in the upper deck chanting “Joh-nny! Joh-nny!” after the touchdown to Malcolm Kennedy.

#1 – Signing Day 2011 – February 2011

Of course, when people look back on the 2011 class, they’re always going to think of some quarterback from my alma mater at Tivy High School, but I’m always going to remember the wildest National Signing Day story of all time.

For Taylor and I, the day began before the sun was even up as I had to pick him up and go down to Brenham to cover Brandon Alexander’s announcement. He had committed to the Aggies the night before, but hadn’t gone on the record with anyone about it yet, so we set out for that at about 6 AM.

Then, we went to the announcement at the Bright Complex thinking that, for the most part, our day was basically over. Afterwards we’re driving back to Hamm’s house when he gets the phone call from Floyd Raven.

Now, we’re scrambling at Hamm’s house to figure out what’s going on because we’d already seen Ole Miss confirm his LOI earlier in the day. Now Raven is saying his mom sent that one in and he’s going to send one in to Texas A&M.

If that’s not enough going on, Texas was having rolling blackouts statewide that day because of how cold it had been all week. So right as we get back to Taylor’s house and start typing, his power goes out. Then we go to my house, and the power went out. We ended up at a friend’s all day pounding 5 Hour Energys and Gatorade (which compromise 45% of Hamm’s blood) doing interviews at his kitchen table.

By the time the day was over that day, it was time for a few cold ones.

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