Oh To Be Back In Aggieland Today
It's a beautiful day in College Station. The sun is shining, the fans are everywhere, and the smell of tailgate cookouts is in the air. And I'm not there!!
So you might be saying to yourself, "Well if you're not there, how do you know?" Easy. I've done it dozens of times. The teams we play may change, but the times never do. Bare with me as I tell my tale.
Since I was a little kid, I always liked the Aggies. Note I said "like", there may be a quiz later. I remember, as a child in Mississippi, watching them play in the old SWC, but what got my attention was the halftime. Back then they showed the bands perform at halftime on TV and watching the precise marches of the Corps Band stuck with me. Definitely different than the weird amoeba shapes some of these other college bands did.
I remained a fan through the years, moved to Texas at 19, but was never able to attend since they didn't offer the degree I was pursuing. But as luck would have it, in the early 90's my career gave me an opportunity to move to Bryan/College Station and I didn't need to think twice about it. I worked in all kinds of media there. Radio for Clear Channel. Producer for Barker Productions. And luckier still, cameraman & crew for The Texas Aggie Band Show, as well as FOX Sports, ESPN, CBS, and others. The best part? Being on Kyle Field working on gameday. It was like an honor almost. "Like" had now blossomed into love. A love for the traditions and the people of Texas A&M University.
I can close my eyes and I'm there. The familiar smell of brats on the grills and brisket in the smokers. The sounds of laughter & the conversations of old friends catching up along with the occasional "Gig 'em" or "Whoop" surround you in the air. Then, in the distance, it's the familiar sound of a hundred boots marching in step, drawing closer and closer. Here comes the Corps marching on to Kyle Field. Little kids are hoisted on their parents shoulders to catch a glimpse of Reveille as she walks past. There's electricity in the air, a rush of Aggie pride. Everyone there is The 12th Man.
Now, I've been to big games and tailgate parties in Tuscaloosa when we lived in Alabama. And, yeah, they're fun, but in no way does it compare to spending the morning in a lawn chair bbqing with friends, speakers blaring Robert Earl Keen, and a frosty beverage nearby, then going to a game to stand for four quarters in the student section cheering on the maroon & white. Bama fans don't seem to get that we're not throwing fancy cotillions. We're here to party Texas style, overalls and all. And if you top it off with a run through Northgate after the game, win or lose, then you my friend, have experienced Aggieland at its finest.
Gig 'em Aggies! BTHO BAMA!!!