A barrage of screams came from the students, the band, the parents, and even my dad that night. Yet, a naive nine year-old boy still failed to acknowledge the significance of that Mac vs Madison football game. The year was 2007 and my sister, a junior at MacArthur, was the Colonel on the dance team. This gave my football-loving father added incentive to go to every Mac game. The stands were packed and, although I don’t remember much, I can still feel the environment and the roar of cheers that ensued when Mac won the game in the 4th quarter.
The M&M Bowl sounds cool but the rivalry goes profoundly deeper than simply sharing the letter “M” at the start of their names. People tend to think of solely football when it comes to this rivalry. However, all of the athletes, coaches, and students know and feel that every game is significant when these two match up whether its for a playoff spot, district championship, or just bragging rights.
Since the ‘05-’06 school year, MacArthur has the winning record of 61-53-1 against Madison in the eight “major” sports (football, volleyball, baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer). The 40 years of tenacious competition in these eight sports have been fairly even resulting in this close record.
Few rivalries have the longevity to surpass the M&M Bowl. Being in the same district, the two schools consistently produce great games that often have a significant impact on the district, and always are followed with trash talk on social media. This constant hostility is unparalleled to any other two schools in the city.
Heated school showdowns are nothing new in San Antonio’s history. Lee vs Churchill once signified two powerhouses in San Antonio, however, that settled down as Lee fell off in athletics around the mid 1990s. The Gucci Bowl used to represent two wealthy schools somewhat 20+ years ago. Then there is the Fox Tech and Lanier rivalry that would fill the 20,000 seat Alamo Stadium for the Chili Bowl until Fox Tech became primarily a magnet school in 2010.
The M&M rivalry shows what high school sports are all about, unmatched competitiveness and crazy students/fans that overflow with emotion. The amazing part about this tradition is that the schools are merely 5 miles apart from each other.
Senior year puts things into perspective, my distaste towards Madison never really stemmed from a personal encounter. It was instead rooted straight from school pride. The magnitude of this event captures both schools, forcing the animosity onto every student that walk the halls of both Madison and MacArthur, exhibiting the real power of the city’s most intense rivalry.