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Dr RC
Alabama A&M Fan
The Money Pit
Member since Aug 2011
42418 posts

An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
I'm only going to link the intro b/c I don't think a few out of context quotes will do the narrative justice. There are comments from RC Slocum, Mack Brown, Randy McCown, Brian Gamble, Shane Lechler and more. Greatest/saddest/most emotional game I ever attended all rolled into one. Reading this caused a lot of emotions to come flooding back to me so for those who also read it be prepared to tear up multiple times.

quote:

It is often described as the most important victory in Texas A&M football history, though there was no championship trophy involved or even significant bragging rights.

This game meant something different. On Nov. 26, 1999, the Aggies played the Texas Longhorns for the 106th time, but the pageantry and vitriol of one of college football’s greatest rivalries took a back seat. The A&M campus was in deep mourning. Eight days prior, the 90th edition of the Aggie Bonfire collapsed.

The towering log stack, which students built each year and then burned the night before the Texas game to represent the “burning desire to beat the hell outta t.u.,” stood at 40 feet on its way to a completion height of 55 feet. The structure held an estimated 5,000 logs at the time of its collapse. Eleven students and one former student were killed: Miranda Denise Adams, Christopher David Breen, Michael Stephen Ebanks, Jeremy Richard Frampton, Jamie Lynn Hand, Christopher Lee Heard, Timothy Doran Kerlee Jr., Lucas John Kimmel, Bryan Allan McClain, Chad Anthony Powell, Jerry Don Self and Nathan Scott West. Twenty-seven Aggies were injured.

The unthinkable tragedy devastated the campus and the Bryan-College Station community. Football was the last thing on anyone’s mind. But after a week of sorrow and loss among the Aggie family, the game went on at Kyle Field. It was an emotional scene, from pregame tributes to moving halftime performances by both university bands. And in the end, with many who witnessed it in tears, the Aggies were victorious over the highly ranked Longhorns.

As the 20th anniversary of the Bonfire collapse approaches, here is a look back at some of those moments from those who were there in November 1999.


LINK

Image: https://thehowdyhouse.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/image0011.jpg



Also, for those who might want to see it again, here is a link to the full game.

LINK
This post was edited on 11/8 at 8:51 pm


Roger Klarvin
Texas A&M Fan
Central Texas
Member since Nov 2012
41702 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
That game was emotionally significant, but completely irrelevant in terms of program success.


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AgBQ00
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Aug 2014
1640 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
Read it earlier and it is well done. Loved reading Toombs comments. Even in print you could tell the impact that week had on him and the intense desire he felt to do well that game.


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WestCoastAg
UCLA Fan
President, Braden Mann Fan Club
Member since Oct 2012
115063 posts
 Online 

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
Didnt the AD make a documentary for the game?is there a link to that floating around?


AgBQ00
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Aug 2014
1640 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
It is called Burning Desire. They play it on FSSW this time of year. Not sure if it is scheduled to run this year.


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Wolfhound45
LSU Fan
Tampa
Member since Nov 2009
70018 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
Dammit, don't post something like this

RIP to those you lost Aggies. May they ever burn bright in the hearts of those they left behind.


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30
CGSC Lobotomy
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Sep 2011
51969 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
Isn't the anniversary not for another 10 days?


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finestfirst79
Texas A&M Fan
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Member since Nov 2012
11414 posts
 Online 

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
Damn, man. That was a tough read. But thanks for posting, anyway.


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10
Ollieoxenfree99
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Aug 2018
5719 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
Did anyone see the 20/20 special about it?

I watched one of the two and Tim Kerlee's parents' interviews were heart wrenching. I did not know he came to and was coherent and his parents had to tell him he wasn't going to live.


Ollieoxenfree99
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Aug 2018
5719 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
And I really wish things would have gone better for Toombs. I miss watching him play.


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30
KaiserSoze99
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Aug 2011
24746 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
If it had fallen the year before, I would have probably died on bonfire.

I was at that game. Jamar Toooooooobms' effort was inspiring.


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30
pioneerbasketball
Arkansas Fan
Team Bunchie
Member since Oct 2005
95776 posts
 Online 

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
was dat playing during this time?


TbirdSpur2010
Texas A&M Fan
THE ALAMO CITY
Member since Dec 2010
129787 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
It's worth reading the whole thing. Thanks for posting.


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AgBQ00
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Aug 2014
1640 posts

re: An oral history of the 1999 Bonfire Game
Dat's last season was the previous year.


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