Monday, September 7, 2009
Our Aggie gameday experience
Howdy y'all! Keely and I enjoyed our first Aggie game together this weekend, an emphatic, although predictable, 41-6 victory over the New Mexico Lobos (which I learned means Wolf in Spanish). We started the weekend by going to the Midnight Yell Practice on Friday night, which is a Texas A&M tradition before every home game (and I think they might do it before away games too)*. As you can see in this picture, a ton of people show up, I'd guess at least 20,000. It started off with a speech from the head coach, Mike Sherman, saying something like "we'll kick the crap outta the Lobos, y'all" or something. Then the Yell leaders take over. A&M is pretty unique, in that we don't have female cheerleaders, but five male yell leaders - three seniors and two juniors - which are elected by a campus wide vote in the spring (you see campaign signs all over town then).
* My favorite thing I overhead while walking in was one girl saying to another "my date is hotter than y'alls". I know that y'all isn't really a word, so how do they get y'alls? And should it have two apostrophes, like y'all's? These are the things I need to know!
They lead everyone in a number of cheers, which everyone seems to know, thanks to the weeklong "fish" camp all freshman go to (I get the sense that > 90% of the people there were freshman at A&M at one time or another). My favorite song is the "Aggie War Hymn", which is the A&M fight song. Its basically a big f@#k you to UT Austin, with lines like "goodbye to texas university" and "so long to the orange and white."* The coolest part is when they sing "saw varsity's horns off," everyone puts their arms around the people to either side, and all the rows sway back and forth, like a saw blade. This lasted for about a half an hour, then all the college students went on their way to go back to drinking.
*They also refer to A&M as TAMC, which I assume meant that some time in the past it was called Texas A&M College. This is funny, because while at UW we used to call WSU Washington State College, implying that college was worse than university. But I suppose that they don't want to change all the yells, and plus TAMC rhymes with Aggie, sort of...
On game days, one of the coolest* things you see here is that all over the place, people have TAMU flags on their houses, in their yards, on their cars, and even all over the grocery store parking lot. We haven't bought ours yet, but this flag was in our neighbors yard a few doors down.
*Much cooler than the WSU thing where they always have a Coug flag on ESPN Gameday
The game wasn't till 6pm, so we met a few of our friends to tailgate around 3pm. We met at a grassy area next to our building, which is about a 10 min walk from the stadium, and was surprisingly empty of people. We hung out, grilled some burgers, and had a few (or five) beers. We planned to get to the stadium an hour early, so we could check out what all was going on outside, but we ran a little late, so we got inside just as things were getting started. Right when we got to our seats, they sang the Alma Mater, and the whole football team stopped their practice and lined up to sing it, which was pretty cool. This was followed by the national anthem, played by the band from their seats (I guess they don't do a pregame marching show)*. This was followed by the State of Texas Anthem, though I didn't realize what was going on, but I was wondering why most people didn't put their hats back on after the national anthem. The picture to the right shows the view from our seats - not too bad!
*Probably my favorite thing about Husky Band was the making of the flagpole and unfurling of the flag we did on the field before everygame, and how during America the Beautiful, the whole stadium would stand up. I actually left my Physics GRE exam early so that I wouldn't miss this for the last home game my Senior year.
The rest of the game was pretty boring, but I guess thats what you get when you play a crappy team and its 85 and humid out. But overall I think we both had a great time, and we're looking forward to our next game in two weeks. Gig 'em!