Detroit – His office door was locked Sunday morning. Ron Gardenhire knew right then he was in trouble.
There was a maroon-colored stop sign on the door that read: “Stop: Danger ahead. Aggie Country.”
“Dag gum Aggies!” Gardenhire said, when he opened his door. “Something ain’t right about you.”
Behind him, Alex Wilson was laughing his head off.
Wilson is a proud alum of Texas A&M. Gardenhire is a proud Texas Longhorn. The two have been bashing each other all season. Gardenhire has delivered most of the verbal jabs, but Wilson landed a haymaker on Sunday.
“He started talking crap and messing around with me, pretty much on a daily basis, it felt like,” Wilson said. “So I said, ‘You know what, football season will be here sooner than later, I’m going to redecorate his office for the opener.’”
Gardenhire’s office was replete, wall to wall, with Aggies swag. Maroon and white everywhere. There was a pennant. There was a shower curtain. There was a toothbrush. There was a desk calendar, marked with the Aggies’ football opener and adorned with Wilson’s Aggies baseball card.
There were maroon and white lights around his desk. There was an Aggies clock mounted on the wall. A backscratcher. A box of Aggies pens – to which Gardenhire offered to the media saying, “Have a pen, they don’t write.”
It was spectacular.
“That’s not the word I would use to describe it,” Gardenhire said with a wry smile. “Wait until he has a set of longhorns on his maroon truck out there – bolted on there.”
Wilson said he and his wife Kristin worked on the decorating plans for a few weeks. It cost them about $300 to accumulate all the A&M trinkets.
“You can buy that stuff cheap,” Gardenhire joked. “There’s very few people that want this stuff, you do understand that, right?”
It was pretty hilarious. Both guys seemed to enjoy it, as did the rest of the clubhouse.
“It’s just the normal Texas-Texas A&M banter,” Wilson said. “He’s kind of a double-edged sword, though. Because he’s from Oklahoma and he’s a Longhorn. So he’s really messed up.”