[Intersection Podcast] Episode 012: The Fumble

Hosted by Bobby Rettew, MA

It was the most controversial call during the second week of college football play in the 2018 season. College Station, Texas is the home to the Texas A&M Aggies, home of the 12th man, and they were hosting the second ranked Clemson Tigers for a classic Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference match-up.

A critical play as the Aggies were mounting a comeback in-front of the home crowd, a run to the corner near the end zone where the ball was stripped propelling it in the air. Was it out-of-bounds or did it fly over the pylon indicating a touchback. The decision by the officials…critical. Yet, television replay could not provide an adequate view to confirm or deny the call on the field.

Meet Lizzie Allen, a senior at Texas A&M and a student photojournalist on the field during the game. She just so happened to be in the right place at the right time, followed her instincts, and captured the perfect image of the ball flying. There is the many intersections inside this story, one that you will just have to listen to understand. I will just say one thing…I love my Clemson Tigers.

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Bobby Rettew: Intersection is brought to you by Social Health Institute. Exploring new and innovative ways for hospitals and healthcare organizations to develop and enhance their social media and digital marketing strategies. Learn more at socialhealthinstitute.com.

Lizzie Allen: I don’t want to say it was luck, but part of me just happened to be at the right place at the right time, even though I wanted a certain angle I lucked out getting a totally different shot than what I was expecting.

Bobby Rettew: Welcome to Intersection. I am Bobby Rettew, storyteller.

Lizzie Allen: Well, you know, Kyle Field’s never been known for the quietest place in College Station, and it’s probably the second time I’ve ever been on the sidelines for an Aggie game, the first time being the Alabama game of last year, which wasn’t a quiet game to be on the sidelines. The Clemson game is probably the loudest I’ve ever heard Kyle Field get at my time at Texas A&M.

The best way to put it is just imagine sound coming everywhere. Loud Aggies screaming, and in my mind I’m thinking, okay this is where the Aggs get a touchdown. I have to get this shot, I have to get this touchdown that may change the game for the Aggies. My focus was the Aggs are gonna make it, this is gonna be a touchdown.

And then you see, I can’t remember the player’s name, I know he’s number one. To see him running and heading to the corner I was at, near the field goal, I knew this was my chance to get that shot and get that touchdown. You see that Clemson player right behind him coming right at the edge of his heels, and that tackle goes down and it’s so close to the touchdown line, everyone’s going crazy. I thought this is it, this is the touchdown. And then it’s not a touchdown, it’s about a yard from the freakin’ touchdown line. In my head I was like, crap, this picture’s not going to be anything. And I look at it and I’m like, okay, this is a cool picture. It’s not changing the game, but we are on, this could be our chance to make a touchdown, then the refs call it as a touchback and everyone’s reviewing and, I’m not going to lie to you, I stopped taking pictures after that play because I was like, this is it. I’m too committed to this game and what the Aggies are gonna do, I can’t be calm enough right now to continue taking photos.

I honestly did not think anything of that photo, until one of my friends was looking at it and he goes, you should post this picture on Facebook. This was kind of a really important part of the game. I was like, I know, but the Aggies didn’t really win. Does it really matter. He’s like, of course it matters! So I posted it, and he told me to put it public so people could share it. It just kind of blew up.

Video Replay: Davis with another catch, he’s got a first down, can Davis stay on his feet? Headed to the corner, the ball flew out. It looked like it went out of bounds, instead of through the end zone, which would be a touchback and Clemson’s football.

They’re saying it was a fumble through the end zone, and a touchback.

Bobby Rettew: It was the most controversial call during the second week of college football play in the 2018 season. College Station, Texas, is the home of the Texas A&M Aggies, home of the twelfth man, and they were hosting the second ranked Clemson Tigers for a classic ACC and SEC matchup.

A critical play as the Aggies were mounting a comeback in front of a home crowd. A run to the corner near the end zone, where the ball was stripped, propelling it into the air. Was it out of bounds, or did it fly over the pylon indicating touchback? The decision by the officials, critical. Very critical.

Yet, television replay could not provide an adequate view to confirm or deny the call on the field. So it stood.

Meet Lizzie Allen, a senior at Texas A&M and a student photojournalist on the field during the game. She just so happened to be in the right place at the right time, followed her instincts, and captured the perfect image of a ball flying.

There are many intersections inside this story. One that you’ll just have to listen to to understand. I’m just going to say one thing, gooooo Tigers!

Lizzie Allen: So my name’s Athlyn Allen, but everyone calls me Lizzie, because I have a twin sister and our twin names are Lizzie and Lanie. That’s a whole long story. I’m an agricultural communications major and journalism major at Texas A&M University. I’m a senior at A&M, and I’m actually a fourth generation Aggie. It’s kind of always been my destiny to end up at A&M. I’m not allowed to say I was brainwashed, but I really was.

Bobby Rettew: So, okay. Could you have gone anywhere else? Could you have gone to Texas? Could you have gone to Texas Tech? Could you have gone to Rice? I mean, tell me why Texas A&M.

Lizzie Allen: That’s actually a really fun story. I actually toured LSU, Starkville, so Mississippi State. I toured Ohio State. I’ve been to the University of Texas in Austin multiple times, and then also Rice University, I’ve been on their campus. Just being there and taking a tour and seeing, oh this is what this college does, this is the majors and different things like that.

Growing up and going to Aggie games, I can remember ever since I could walk I was at an Aggie tailgate or an Aggie football game. Even though my parents told me, you can go anywhere, it’s your life we’re not going to put pressure on you, when everyone in your family has an Aggie ring, it’s hard not to … just growing up in that culture and that atmosphere, it’s hard not wanting to go to A&M, since you were already so immersed in the traditions. Your family are full of Aggies. I knew I was going to A&M, even through I toured all those colleges, I knew I was going to Texas A&M.

Bobby Rettew: Do you know the similarities between A&M and Clemson? What’s fascinating about both of them is that they’re both land-grant institutions. Both have a corps, obviously y’all have a bigger corps, because it’s a part of who you are today. Both Clemson and Texas A&M were two of the top three feeders to World War II for cadets, did you know that?

Lizzie Allen: I didn’t know that.

Bobby Rettew: Yeah. So both land-grand institutions, and what’s surprising to me is that we have not played more, because we’re so similar in schools. Obviously Texas A&M is a lot bigger than Clemson is.

Lizzie Allen: I remember growing my, my mom, she owned all maroon. But she did happen to own this one Clemson jersey. I can’t remember if it’s because she went to a Clemson game, or when the Aggies played Clemson sometime in the 80s and she enjoyed the Clemson fans so much that she went out and she got a Clemson sweatshirt. I’m pretty sure she still has it.

Bobby Rettew: That is awesome.

Lizzie Allen: Yeah, she’s always been a big fan of Clemson. She was really excited this year that we got to play y’all. In fact, her and I were talking about going to the Clemson game at Clemson next year.

Bobby Rettew: I think that would be awesome. I think that would be so much fun.

You also mentioned the rings. I don’t know how the Texas A&M rings are, but the Clemson ring has almost never changed since it was created back in the early 1900s. It’s very very similar, so it’s a very distinguishable ring. Tell me about the Texas A&M ring. Is it something similar in that concept?

Lizzie Allen: Yeah. A&M’s, I know A&M the original design from, I want to say … I know there have been two designs. But the design we have no is probably the design we’ve had for the past 100 years. The earlier design was literally just an early, basic design. An the Aggie ring now, same thing, the design hasn’t really changed much. There’s not a lot of options. You can either get it gold or you can get it antiqued gold. It’s kind of the same, in Texas, if you have an Aggie ring everyone kind of notices that. As an Aggie, you wear your Aggie ring because … I’m getting my ring Friday so talking about the Aggie ring is just getting me more excited. I’m kinda speechless thinking, I get my ring this Friday.

Bobby Rettew: That is awesome. I remember, I graduated in 1997 and when I got my Clemson ring it was a big deal. It felt so big on my hand. To this day, 20 some odd years later, I still wear it everyday. It’s a part, its gone everywhere with me. I even think, as a journalist I traveled all over the world and I can tell you everywhere I have gone, someone has walked up to me and said, “You’re a Clemson man.” And I’m like, absolutely, and they show me their ring. That’s what I love about these types of institutions, the tradition is so rich.

Lizzie Allen: As you were describing that story, I promise you every Aggie who has an Aggie ring has experienced that same thing. It’s amazing how that one little connection can bring you closer to someone that you’ve met maybe five seconds.

Bobby Rettew: That’s so cool. So tell me, have you always been a photographer?

Lizzie Allen: Actually no. So, I actually started really … I guess the best way to put it, about a year ago. I guess it was a year ago, in July, I was looking. I guess it was two years ago. I was looking for a study abroad to do and one of my professors was like, hey you should go to Namibia and do the agricultural leadership and education development study abroad that also does a class in agricultural photography.

I was like, okay, I’ll think about it. And then, in July 2017, off I was on a plane to Namibia with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and a camera on my back kinda wondering what the heck I was doing. I actually learned photography in Namibia, I took photography class there and everything. I kind of regret not being better at photography then, because I look at some of my photos from back then and I was in, like, five feet from a rhino and here I am not knowing how to work this camera, trying to learn on the spot to get all these photos that do no justice for this great country.

Bobby Rettew: So, you know it’s funny how I think some of the best photographers were never, really got formal training. They learned, they taught, they’re self taught. I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was, I think about six years old. I still have every camera I’ve ever owned, I even collect old cameras, I rebuild old cameras. I even have a box camera that’s from the 40s that I put big big slide film in and I still use. It’s kind of my passion and I love, and it’s always fun to connect with other people that love taking pictures as well.

When I saw that picture, and I saw you shot with Cannon I was like, ah, she wins again! You know?

Lizzie Allen: Yeah. I honestly, I have to dedicate my love of Cannon to my two professors who kind of taught me photography. Really, they’re the reason I’m in photography. They’ve helped me kind of encouraged me to pursue my career. It’s Dr. Rutherford and Dr. Redwine, they’re the professors I went to Namibia with and they’re really the reason I have anything to do with photography.

Bobby Rettew: So tell me, why were you on the field that night?

Lizzie Allen: I work for Division of Student Affairs and I happened to be on the field because one of the other workers was taking, doing video and photography for the Division of Student Affairs. I was just there with my camera, just kind of messing around more than anything. I’d shot the Alabama game the year before, so I told him to take our nice work camera and just do what he wanted to do, and I’d work on the social media posts on the iPad. More of the marketing side I guess kind of on the social media aspect of things on the game. Just kind of keep our fans up to date about what was happening.

Also I knew I wanted to take photos, so I took my personal camera just to kind of have fun. I was really there working, but not photography working. It was more social media working.

Bobby Rettew: So, how did you pick that spot? Being a photographer I’ve been on the field for many different games, and if there’s one thing it’s all about trying to find a spot and sticking with it. What made you choose that area of the field?

Lizzie Allen: I am very much an angles person. I love photos that just have a strange angle that you wouldn’t expect. I noticed a lot of the photographers were more on the … so I was on the corner, right on the corner of the field looking straight down across the visitor’s sideline. But, kind of more angled, if that makes sense. It was literately not only was it the only spot that was open, because every other photographer was trying to get the same photo. I was more focused on getting the angle of them running into the end zone, or catching a ball into the end zone than capturing that touchdown moment. Positioning wise I was trying to get a good angle of where can I grab the end zone, grab the fans behind them, and just show the spirit of this touchdown. And it ended up not being a touchdown.

I don’t want to say it was luck, but part of me is kind of, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Even though I wanted a certain angle, I lucked out getting a totally different shot than what I was expecting.

Bobby Rettew: For people that have not been to a Texas A&M game, I’ve not. I almost came but my daughter’s birthday was that weekend, I don’t think my wife would have loved me leaving that weekend. Describe Texas A&M, what is it like at Kyle Field?

Lizzie Allen: We have this saying, and I hope I don’t butcher it, from the outside looking in you can’t understand it, and from the inside looking out you can’t explain it. That’s the best way I can think … even growing up in Aggie culture and being a fourth generation Aggie, both my parents going to A&M. I thought I knew Texas A&M, I thought I knew all the traditions I thought, yeah I’m and Aggie and I haven’t even gotten accepted yet. I don’t want to say super cocky, but I was an Aggie. And then I got accepted to A&M and my freshman year was just full of actually understanding what it meant to be an Aggie.

Bobby Rettew: How many students go to Texas A&M?

Lizzie Allen: Right now I think it’s 64,000.

Bobby Rettew: Wow.

Lizzie Allen: Yeah, and it sounds … every time I say that number and I think about the university I attend. There’s no way there’s that many. I feel like I take five steps and I know a face, I know a friend, I know a family member. I know somebody at A&M.

Bobby Rettew: That’s three times the size of Clemson, did you know that?

Lizzie Allen: I had no idea.

Bobby Rettew: Yeah, it’s huge. It’s massive. Also, how many people can fit in Kyle Field? Is it like a 107,000 people?

Lizzie Allen: I want to say the most we’ve ever had is 110,000, but I think the limit technically is 104,000.

Bobby Rettew: Wow. What made that game so big from your perspective that night?

Lizzie Allen: You know, A&M had a rough year, or the rough past years in football. It’s kind of one of those things everyone jokes, yeah it’s tough being an Aggie during football season. Finally having a new coach that brought a new energy to Kyle Field, a new energy for the fans, and this was the game that was really going to show whether A&M was going to make a statement this year in football. Even though we lost I’ve gotta say, I’m really proud of my Aggies and the Aggie spirit that was in Kyle Field that day.

Bobby Rettew: As I was listening, watching that from television, I tell you what, twelfth man is loud. I was sitting there thinking about it like, y’all just did not stop screaming. It was amazing how loud it was that night.

Lizzie Allen: I want to say probably one of my favorite games at Texas A&M, out and out, was when we played UCLA. The quarterback, Rosenberg, said everything sounds the same after 50,000 fans. That’s one thing you don’t tell Aggies, oh yeah, it won’t be a big deal. Yeah they may be loud but really, how loud are they? Because we will show you how loud we can actually get.

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So tell me, at that moment when that play happened, lets kind of dissect that a little bit. You’re standing in the corner and this play happens. You capture the shot and you’re like, it’s not a touchdown. What was that time period of the review? Did it seem like it took forever? Describe all of the events that happened from your perspective right after that play happened.

Lizzie Allen: I was in the corner, kind of down on my knees, just really trying to stay out of the way of the photographers that I knew probably needed that shot more than me. Like I said, I was just kind of there on my personal camera doing photography because I love photography. Like I said, if A&M had gotten a touchdown that would have changed the game, going into overtime, all these different things.

When I saw he got tackled and the play was called for a touchback I was like, crap, this photo’s not really going to be anything. As they started reviewing it and as fans started reacting, and the longer I looked at the photo I was thinking, you know, this is something here. In my head I was like, I can’t take any more photos because as an Aggie fan, as a student, I was trying to support my boys out on the field. I was too hyped and had too much energy to have a camera in my hand anymore. I honestly don’t know how to describe it, besides the fact I wasn’t expecting to get a photo like that, really. I just really wanted to capture the essence of the game, and I did it. I don’t know how, but I did.

Bobby Rettew: Do you feel like you got a better shot than the people around you, for that play?

Lizzie Allen: Honestly I haven’t seen enough of other people’s photos from that game, from that exact angle. I think I was lucky in the sense that I was the only photographer who happened to be in that area, the rest the people beside me were other Aggies who were kind of really hyping me up in the sense that, oh we’re Aggies, this play is about to happen this is about to be a touchdown. All the other photographers, like I said, were on the … right behind the end zone. They weren’t on an angle or corner or anything. They were right behind the end zone. I don’t think anyone had a chance to get the same angle or shot.

Bobby Rettew: What’s amazing about that call, and for your background, I used to work for Clemson Football as a student. When I was a student from 92 to 97, and then as a grad student, I worked for football. I learned a lot about football during those years, especially, we were not that good when I was there. One of the things about that call that is fascinating to me is, when the moment that that ball was stripped, when it went out of bounds or if it stayed in bounds, I don’t think we still know. The call on the field was the most crucial. If it would have been called on the field as out of bounds, I don’t think they could have overturned it, and it would have been your ball.

Everybody was waiting to see what the official call on the field was going to be. The interesting part of what’s come out of that is, I’ve seen YouTube videos of mathematicians that are drawing geometric lines to prove or disprove if it was a touchback or not. It has been the funniest thing that has come out of it. Some people think it’s funny, some people are still mad about it, I think it’s fascinating. What was even more interesting was the video that you posted and that I posted the day after, was the skit of the Clemson guy and the Texas A&M guy in court. Did you see that video?

Lizzie Allen: Yeah. As soon as I saw that I was like, this is hilarious, this has to be shared. I really posted that video or shared that video because there were so many people on my page commenting on the picture I posted of the game. Just back and forth, arguing this and arguing that, I was like, I really just posted this photo to show friends and family. To kind of see what would happen, and it exploded and there was all this argument on that photo so I was like, I have to share this video because it’s so funny. It’s kind of what’s happening on this photo right now. Everyone’s arguing what happened.

Bobby Rettew: Tell me some of the responses you’ve gotten. Obviously you posted on social media, so what were some of the responses that you got. Was it Clemson fans and Texas A&M fans, or just people in general? Kind of share a little bit about that.

Lizzie Allen: I honestly, a lot of people who seemed to comment, I don’t want to say were Facebook trolls, but you could tell they were trying to start something. They would be like, oh yeah that play was right or oh no, that play wasn’t right. Or, in the end it doesn’t matter because A&M sucked, or something like that. I was just like, wow, I don’t think either one, no one realizes that I’m actually an Aggie who posted this photo. Or they really want to start something here. In reality I don’t think anyone realized that was just a great game and great football was played. Everyone on that field did such a good job just battling it out and playing good football. It was just people you could tell, they just wanted to start something.

Bobby Rettew: Did you post it that night, or was it the next day? Tell me when you actually put it up on Facebook.

Lizzie Allen: I ended up posting it I want to say on a Tuesday or a Monday. After the Aggie football game we were just so in shock of how close we were to beating Clemson. Aggies are always going to have good spirit at the end of a football game, especially if it was a well played football game. I want to say I never got around to the photo until, I want to say Monday evening when I actually finally had a second to myself where I could stop and edit photos and look through things. I guess that’s when it really hit me that this photo was something.

Bobby Rettew: Tell me, describe that. You put the media card in your Mac and you’re editing and you’re kind of sifting through em’. When it came to that photo, what was it like to see it. Did you relive it again, and what made you realize this is a good picture?

Lizzie Allen: Honestly, it was a lot of people telling me it was a good photo. I’m kind of … I’m one of those photographers where I don’t think any of my photos are good. I try so hard, there’s so many people I’m around right now in college that are just better photographers than me. I actually came home Sunday evening from a family thing and my roommates had actually seen the photo before I did. They didn’t tell me.

I came home and I was talking to some about the game and they were like, oh what photos did you get. And I was like, oh well let me show you. I turned on my camera and I showed it to my roommate who’s actually a way better photographer than I am, she’s one of the reasons why I’m into photography, she helps me out all the time. I showed her the photo and she’s like, no way! She started freaking out and then my other roommates started freaking out. Then Monday, or maybe Tuesday, whenever this photo started blowing up, they were like oh yeah, by the way, we actually saw the photo before you shared it to us. We told each other that we have to act excited because it’s the best photo ever.

They were hyped before I even showed them the photo, about the photo. And then when I showed them about the photo, they pretended to be hyped again. It was just their excitement and other people’s excitement when I showed them the photo that made me realize, hey, this is a solid photo. I didn’t do too bad.

Bobby Rettew: (laughs) Did people start talking about it on campus? I know it’s a big campus, but I mean, was it kind of a buzz for a while?

Lizzie Allen: As you know, I had to do livestock photography at a livestock show over the weekend, and my first internship with these girls I walk in and I introduce myself to an older, I want to say she’s in her late 30s or early 30s, excuse me. She was a girl I was working with for the internship and I introduced myself and we were talking and I was like, oh yeah, I do photography for A&M, I’ll be shooting these photos here. And she goes, stop, and I was like, excuse me? She’s like, yeah, I know who you are, you’re Lizzie Allen. You took the Clemson photo. And I was like, what? And then she proceeded to pull up Facebook and show me the photo.

Then later I met another photographer I was working with at that livestock show and while we were talking she was on her phone, scrolling through Facebook, and the photo popped up and she was like, is this you? Like, what? It’s weird. It’s weird because I’ll be talking to people and all of a sudden they’ll be like, hey isn’t this you? Or, oh, you took that photo, right? And I just, I’m not … I don’t do well with attention or like, people asking me things, or like giving me credit for things. I just kind of freeze up and I’m like, er, yeah. That was me.

Bobby Rettew: From an Aggie standpoint, is that one you don’t want to hang on the wall? Or is that something that you maybe print yourself and hang up, and that’ll be a talking point. You know, does it make your family mad when you bring up that picture? Is it that volatile, that type of topic?

Lizzie Allen: Oh no. My mom has already asked for a print, my brother wants a print and he doesn’t even go to A&M. He’s just a fan. It’s funny because in my mind, yeah we lost that game, yeah that was controversial call, but what a game. What a game for Jimbo, what start for Jimbo’s career at Texas A&M, what a play. And if you’ve seen Aggie football like I have the past three years, it’s just kind of been rough. It feels like some games A&M just doesn’t want to fight for it. But that Clemson game, and that crowd, and the twelfth man, and just the energy on the field. I’m proud to say even though we lost that game we fought in that game, it was a great, great football game. I’m proud of it, even through we lost. I’m proud and other Aggies are proud about it. I think it shows we’re a competitive team in the SEC. We’re not a team that you can go, oh it’s the Aggies, you know?

Bobby Rettew: So, the big question.

Lizzie Allen: Yes.

Bobby Rettew: Are you going to become a professional photographer.

Lizzie Allen: I would love to. I would love to become a photographer and do it professionally, with all my heart. It’s just, it’s kind of one of those things where, there are some great singers in this world but not everyone’s a famous singer, you know. You either make it in photography or you don’t. It’s fine either way. I’m going to try and work my butt off and see what happens, but … I’m also going to have to figure out some other things in life and whether I want to do marketing or photography or writing. There’s a whole bunch of things.

Bobby Rettew: It sounds like you’re, are you more on the communications side or more on the agricultural educational side? Tell me a little bit about what your career is, you’re hoping to be.

Lizzie Allen: In my major of agricultural communications and journalism, there’s so many different things we learn. We learn photography, graphic design, broadcasting, there’s a magazine we write for called the AgriLeader, and that’s a class. These are all classes that I can take and learn these things.

My focus within the agricultural communication and journalism major is marketing. I find marketing so interesting, I love marketing research, I love advertisement. It’s all really cool to me. I love how … that’s kind of where photography has come to play, because I love how photos can really capture someones mind and tell a story for a business. Right now, my focus within it is more marketing, but I do love the journalism side and the writing and expressing yourself, and teaching people about agriculture. Right now I’m a little all over the place, and if I was a freshman or a sophomore that would be fine, but as a senior in college I probably should get my act together.

Bobby Rettew: I don’t think you have anything to worry about. It sounds like you’ve kinda got it pulled all together. I think there’s some interesting things that got me fired up about this interview. Number one is, obviously you’re a Texas A&M fan, college student, will be college grad. I’m a two time Clemson grad. We both love football. We both shoot with Cannons. It’s funny, it’s almost like you’re at the very beginning of where I was in college.

As soon as I found out about the picture, I got excited. The funny thing about all this is that the way I got the picture is my partner sent me a text from a Facebook post, he was like, hey man, did you see this picture. I’m sitting in my office, I think it was Tuesday, and I popped it up and I’m like, oh this is an awesome picture. I’ve got to buy this picture. That’s when I sent you a note. I did not realize that y’all were related.

Tell me the relationship that that y’all … I know that there’s a ranch down in the southern part of Texas.

Lizzie Allen: Yeah, so Beeville, Texas is where my aunt lives with her husband and two kids. Brown Ranch is what it’s called. I believe he’s related to her husband. My aunt and uncle, it’s my mom’s sister and her husband. I think your partner and I are related by marriage, I think that’s how that works.

Bobby Rettew: I think so. He talks about going to the ranch all the time. His grandfather used to run the ranch and he, actually it’s funny, he has sent me old 16mm film to look at to see if I can get it converted for him.

Lizzie Allen: Oh yeah. I want to say my uncle’s grandfather, or his father, were actually an amazing photographer and took a lot of photos on the ranch. It’s actually some of the first photography I can remember as a small kid seeing up in their home and going like, wow, these photos are amazing. And that was here on this land.

Bobby Rettew: Do you think you’re going to come to the game in 2019?

Lizzie Allen: Oh man. Honestly. Also, I graduate December 2019. In my head, I’ll still have student press tickets, because I actually just bought Mississippi State tickets for my mom and I. Thats been kind of our thing this year and next year as I’m leaving my time here at Texas A&M. We want to travel and go to some Aggie games that are outside of Texas. She’s the reason I love Aggie football. I can remember being a little kid and apparently the first time I ever cussed as a little kid was because it was when, who was coach, Franchione, was coaching Texas A&M. Just a bad play was made and I remember sitting in our living room and my mom was just cussing up a storm, just furious about this play, and all of a sudden, she’s on the phone with my dad and my dad says all of a sudden he heard this little voice in the back, like cussing up a storm too. My mom hung up on him and she had to take care of that.

I remember even being a small kid, following my mom’s lead when it comes to Texas A&M football. Her really showing me A&M and loving A&M and coming to love Aggie football. I just totally … Oh, I know where I’m going with this now, sorry. She’s the one who’s really pushing the Clemson game. Like I told you earlier, she’s a Clemson fan, to an extent. Unless the Aggies are playing, then obviously she can’t root against her Aggies. She’s really pushing going to the Clemson game. I might do it for her, she’s probably one of the best road trip people I can think of. We’ll probably end up going to the Clemson game just because I know she really wants to.

Bobby Rettew: I want you to know, if you do come to the Clemson game, we have to meet.

Lizzie Allen: Yes, sir.

Bobby Rettew: And there’s a reason why. So you’re a twin, right?

Lizzie Allen: Yes, sir.

Bobby Rettew: I’m sending you a text right now, a picture of my twins.

Lizzie Allen: The only trouble is, my twin sister, she’s 4.0, I think four semesters in a row at Texas A&M. English major. Smart. Works for George Bush Library. Overall a great person, but she is not a football fan. In fact, she doesn’t even have a sports pass.

Bobby Rettew: Aww. Well, you’re a twin, I have twin boys and a daughter, and if you see the picture, they have helmets on because they had to wear corrective helmets. We painted them as Clemson football helmets.

Lizzie Allen: That’s great. Oh my gosh. This is wonderful.

Bobby Rettew: Well Lizzie, its been great to chat with you. This has been so much fun. I am purchasing a picture from you and I cannot wait to get it. You’re going to sign it for me, right?

Lizzie Allen: Yes, sir. You will have my signature and probably some thanks and gig ’em, class of 2019 going on on the picture.

Bobby Rettew: You do whatever you want to on it. I’m super excited. I want you to make sure you put a return address on there because I’m gonna send you something Clemson back, if that’s okay.

Lizzie Allen: Yes, sir. I’m totally okay with that.

Bobby Rettew: Well, thank you so much. I have one last question. Is there some sort of Aggie call or song or anything you want to leave us with before we get off this interview.

Lizzie Allen: I regret not starting this interview with howdy. I can’t remember if I did it or not, it’s a very Aggie thing. My mom says it’s not, it’s a new army thing, no one said it when she was at A&M in the 80s, but, a lot of Aggies end everything with thanks and gig ’em, and then the audience or another Aggie replies, gig ’em. So, that’s kind of little Aggie thing that we like to end things with.

Bobby Rettew: Lets do it. You do it and I’ll say, is it gig ’em?

Lizzie Allen: Yeah, so I say thanks, and gig ’em and then you do gig ’em.

Bobby Rettew: Well I’ll also end it with something from me as well. Does that sound good?

Lizzie Allen: Perfect.

Bobby Rettew: Alright, do it. Start, lets do it.

Lizzie Allen: Okay. Thanks, and gig ’em.

Bobby Rettew: Gig ’em and goooooooo tigers!

Lizzie Allen: Woo, okay!

Bobby Rettew: Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed the conversation and exploration. Most importantly, the many intersections inside the world of storytelling. Intersection is powered by the Touchpoint Media Network, podcasts dedicated to discussions on all things healthcare. Go to Touchpoint dot health for many other podcasts exploring digital marketing and online patient engagement strategies, CIO and technology strategies, the challenges of the online physician, the power of the epatient, and most importantly, the power of storytelling. To learn more go to touchpoint dot health. That is, touchpoint dot health.

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