More honors for Aggie football were announced right before the Fourth of July. Two members of the Aggies ‘Dream Team” were named to the Diamond Anniversary Sun Bowl All Star team.
As you might expect the MVP of the Aggies Sun Bowl appearances, Dr. Charley Johnson was one; the other was a backfield mate, Bob Gaiters. Both had great college and pro careers and both were versatile athletes. The Sun Bowl Association took the opportunity to name the best of the best that had competed in the game and Merlin Olsen was also picked to the squad, even though his Aggies lost to Dr. Charles’s Aggies in the 1960 game.
There will be more honors announced for Aggie football legends in a month or two with the revealing of the new inductees into the local Ring of Honor. News of that will have to wait for now, let’s go back and think about what the Sun Bowl recognition means to those men and NMSU’s football history.
National stories about this team will be read by millions, alums and distant fans will be reminded of what it is like to have gridiron glory and hopefully bring them back to the Aggie campfire as a dues paying member.
Add to the Sun Bowl honor, another Aggie, Pervis Atkins is on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame. Atkins was a phenomenal running back and receiver, who also kicked field goals and extra points. He had a pro career and is another in the legacy of success that the Aggies will be rekindling soon.
The achievements of so many in Aggieland have been fuel for national praise in many sports. Look at golf and there is a crowd of pros, both women and men that have made their mark. A former Aggie played in the first WNBA season with the Cleveland Rockers. That is Anita Maxwell, the only female athlete to have her jersey retired at the school. Men’s hoops is a given when you talk about national acclaim.
What is ole Pete gittin at here? The fact that the best way to get the real fan spirit is to study a little history about your team. Don’t get stuck with the folks who can’t see beyond the end of their nose. Dig in to the rich history of Aggie sports. You’ll read about the Charley Johnsons, Anita Maxwells and Sam Laceys, but you’ll also learn about the thousand of other great athletes that have worn the Crimson and White. I guess this is a summer school lesson from ole Pete. It’s an assignment you’ll want to apply for extra credit work after you get started.