Texas A&M Fans Need to Battle Verizon

Dear Texas A&M alumni and fans:

Plain and simple: if you subscribe to Verizon FiOS and do not drop it immediately, you are a traitor. For years, you have heard the jokes from your University of Texas rivals about your intelligence. (How many Aggies does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, but he gets three hours credit.)

Now, if you keep writing a check to Verizon, your Texas enemies may have a point in questioning your aptitude. As you may know, Verizon will begin offering the Longhorn Network - that 24/7 kiss-up to UT - on Thursday.

It's one thing to get knocked down in a fight, it's another to just lay there and let your wallet be taken. That's exactly what Verizon is doing to you.

By sticking with Verizon, you are not only giving UT a massive advantage, but sending money to the 'Horns, too. You are subsidizing a rival that has a 75-37-5 winning record against you on the gridiron since 1894.

That financial assistance, of course, doesn't just take place when subscribing to Verizon. But, with any other carrier that does or will offer the Longhorn Network (LHN).



You Aggies should cancel any of them, too.

ESPN is operating the LHN and expected to feed UT well over $10 million annually. Where does ESPN get the cash? From Verizon and other distributors.

An argument could be made that Aggies should go on strike against ESPN. But, that would be like giving up barbeque. It's unsustainable.

Deified Aggie player and coach Gene Stallings -- your MacArthur, your Churchill - offered a rallying cry on Dallas radio recently. Asked if he'd pay more to get LHN, he said: "No. Can't make it any plainer than that."

Aggies need help, though. This call to boycott also goes out to you fans of Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State, University of Houston, SMU, TCU and Rice. UT has knocked you all around pretty good on the football field over the years.

You Oklahoma Sooners have done well lately against the 'Horns, but of course why funnel money to them? Heck, why would any fan of Alabama, Florida, Oregon or any naitonal power stay with an LHN distributor.

The Longhorn Network offers UT a notable trump card in recruiting. The venerable Stallings laid it out, saying Texas coach Mack Brown is a friend, but that "he himself said if somebody else had come up with this (network) idea, it would probably make him mad too."

Why wouldn't a top prospect want to go to a school where he could get exposure 24/7?

UT planned to offer some high school games on LHN this year. What would stop it from carrying games with a top quarterback it wanted to bring to Austin next fall?

UT's fellow teams in the Big 12 voted to prevent it from carrying the high school games, so that's on hold this year. But how long is the swaggering Texas likely to answer to them?

To be sure, Verizon does not have a lot of customers in Texas compared to other distributors. The main battle the Aggies will need to wage is with the likes of AT&T, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV.

They should start flooding them with calls threatening to drop their service if they add the Longhorn Network. And, then cut the cord if they do.

The Aggies will need help from a slew of other Texas haters to have an impact, but a pattern of cancellations can prompt a response. And then -- presuming their contracts have an out -- a Time Warner Cable might be faced with the conundrum that vexes so many young people in the state of Texas: side with UT or go with someone else.

Largely because of its LHN envy, Texas A&M is looking to leave UT behind and move to the SEC. But, that won't come for months. Aggies can extract revenge now by refusing to continue sending money to UT through a middle man: a pay-TV distributor.

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