In September of 2014, Scott Eden reached out to Bonfire. ESPN wanted the Bonfire story; the Notre Dame-educated and New York City-based author meant to tell it. A lengthy portfolio that included the Wall Street Journal, the Street, and Bloomberg would be tested in the Woods.
Over the course of the semester, Scott would meet Aggies on every side of Bonfire, participants and leaders current and former on campus and off, supporters and otherwise, across generations. He dug deep into the archives, uncovering forgotten histories and surprising origins. Even a Bonfire legacy stretching back possibly decades before the long-held 1907/1909 stories.
Most importantly, he joined the Aggies. In the Woods, at Stack, early in the mornings and late into nights. He attended Yell Practice and marched in behind the Aggie Band. He worked, lived, and stood with the 12th Man.
Intensely researched, thoughtful, fair, and (appropriate to Bonfire) the product of a terrific grind, “The Burning Desire of Texas A&M” is a powerful work and one every Aggie ought to experience.
Scott was joined by the award-winning Fredrik Broden. A barely-seen ghost in the Woods, Fredrik with his son Max deftly navigated the Aggies’ foreign processes to ultimately present Bonfire in a way it has never been seen by the outside world. Authentic and rich, Fredrik’s photography is a worthy backdrop to a story that can’t be understood without seeing.
ESPN’s Thomas Rigia is Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2002. Thomas was on campus in ’99. His personal experience informs a respectful and careful telling of the events of 1999 through the words of those who were there. Artfully crafted, and frankly presented, the videos lay bare the deep and powerful pride and emotion of Bonfires past and present.