College Station, Texas. Home to the newest member of the SEC West, The Texas A&M Aggies. On game day in College Station thousands of fans decked out in maroon and white will fill Kyle Field to capacity. Here is what I found when I made a visit to Aggieland for their September 29th match up against Arkansas.

When arriving in College Station, make sure you are in town the night before the game. All fans are invited to take part in one of the coolest traditions I have seen. At around 10:30 pm on Friday evening before the game, Kyle Field will open to the public. You don’t have to be an A&M fan or even have a ticket to the game the next day, all you have to do is show up. Over the next hour and a half, one side of the stadium will begin to fill up. Here is what it looked like around 11:30 pm.

At midnight, the bottom two decks of the stadium are now filled and the MIDNIGHT YELL begins!

 

The Midnight yell is a combination pep rally/practice for the next days game. Lead by the Yell Leaders, fans will spend the next half hour practicing the “pass backs” that signal certain cheers. Yell leaders will tell stories and jokes about the opposing team, and show show hand signals that will be passed back and 25,000 or so fans will break into a choreographed cheer.

Any college football fan owes it to themselves to experience The Midnight Yell. To see the bottom 2 decks of the stadium filled at midnight the night before the game is something unique. The passion and tradition that I saw during the Yell practice, was only a taste of what I would see in a few short hours.

 

This is what my phone looked like on game day. This is what it looked like outside.

 

When tailgating, there are two elements that you can’t control; the weather and the kickoff time. Unfortunately, my trip to College Station was not the ideal situation for either. An 11:20 am kickoff time and a monsoon are not the ideal environments for tailgating. It would be easy to throw in the towel and say that you weren’t going to show up and support your team. Texas A&M didn’t throw in the towel. Despite the weather and early kickoff, they were there by the thousands to support their Aggies.

 

Tailgating in Aggieland happens all over campus in various parking lots. With the early kickoff, I spent most of my time in the lots closest to the stadium. If you are looking to just park and walk around there are several decks on campus where you can park. I parked in the West Campus Deck located between the basketball arena and Kyle Field. Despite the weather, there were still plenty of fans who brought out their big cookers for the tailgate.

When playing the Arkansas Razorbacks, “eating your competition” is an easy thing to do.

Just serve a menu that revolves around pork.

Every Texas A&M fan will be decked out in maroon and white on game day.

For this game day, a poncho was the most common article of clothing. All Texas A&M alumni are easy to spot. On their hands, they wear their Aggie Ring.

Outside The Association of Former Students there is a statue version of this cherished item.

If you are interested in learning more about the ring and other important aspects of A&M history, take a trip inside the Association. Upstairs there are exhibits and displays that will answer all of your questions.

Outside the Association of Former Students you will also find Bus 12.

I have met many tailgating groups throughout my travels, and the Lane Family of Bus 12 are right up there with the nicest and most helpful fans that I have ever come across. Their amazing tailgating bus is known as Bus 12. Many fans take years to turn an old school bus into a something like what you see here, but the Lanes did it all over the course of one summer. You can see more about their bus and tailgating group on their website. Thank you again to Roger, Brent, Katy, Keith, Ellen, and Jesus for answering all of my questions and for showing me around.

From Gig’em to the 12th man, to Reveille the Collie, A&M game days are filled with tradition and significance. There are hundreds of traditions that Aggie fans recognize to honor their rich history of military service, education, and football. Game day is a chance for all Aggies to get together to celebrate all of these things. The most noticeable tradition on campus are the Corps of Cadets. The purpose of the Corps is

The Corps of Cadets develops well-educated leaders of character who are academically successful, embody the values of Honor, Integrity, Discipline and Selfless Service, and are fully prepared for the global challenges of leading in the 21st Century.

Made up of over 2.200 students, it is the oldest student organization on campus. Many of the members move onto serve in all branches of the military after graduation. Yell Leaders and members of the marching band are all part of the Corps of Cadets. On game day, players will cheer as the Aggie football team walks into the stadium, but they aren’t the only ones. About an hour and a half before kickoff, the Band and Corps of cadets will assemble in the Quad. A canon will fire about 90 minutes prior to kickoff and the Corps of Cadets will “Step off the Quad” and make their way into the stadium. Fans by the thousands will line their walk and cheer them on as the pass by. Here is a collection of images depicting the scene as the Corps make their way to Kyle Field.

 

 

 

 

For many, seeing the Corps march is a hi-light of game day, and something that they aspire to be in the future.

Thank you again to everyone I met in College Station. I look forward to returning to Texas A&M in the future!

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8 Responses to Tailgating at Texas A&M

  1. I’ll admit I wasn’t too thrilled when Mizzou & Texas A&M joined the SEC. But just halfway through the season I’m in love with the Aggies! They are a perfect fit for our conference and Midnight Yell is at the top of my SEC bucket list. LOVE that their fans turned out in droves for the renewal of such a terrific rivalry w/ Arkansas and I can’t wait to make a trip over to College Station to see my Dawgs (or the husband’s Bama) take on TAMU soon.

    Taylor you shot some amazing pics, as always. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. Roger Lane says:

    You did a GREAT job reviewing A&M, and we really look forward to seeing you here again. Next time, without the rain! The LSU game should be a good one if you can make it back that soon. We plan to have 3 briskets and a pork shoulder at Bus 12! Please send us info on how to get a copy of the tailgating cookbook that you described. We are proud to be part of the SEC and sincerely thank you for visiting our campus. Your photos are amazing. BTHO Ole Miss.

  3. Mrs. Gray says:

    Thanks for stopping by! I love your review of your trip to College Station. It’s always such fun to see an outsider’s perspective of a place so near and dear to my heart!

  4. Jim Steckel says:

    Thank you for your excellent review of a football weekend in Aggieland it was great and am sure you’d have enjoyed it even more without the rain. Strongly urge you to come back often and soon to again sample the hospitality of Texas A & M a place that is truely unique in just about everything, as you have noted.
    I’m the very proud father of two (twins) of the graduates of the class of 06 and have been attending games since 2002. The traditions, comraderie and excitement of a football game at Kyle field is simply spectacular and the atmosphere you witnessed is evident throughout the year. Gig em Aggies!

  5. Reed T says:

    Excellent job on this review. Its nice to be in a conference where people want to learn and experience our unique traditions and culture.

  6. Carmen M says:

    Fantastic review of my alma mater! I was a huge fan of yours before A&M joined the SEC and am an even bigger fan after your trip to College Station. Thanks for the awesome pictures, as always!

  7. Al says:

    Welcome to the SEC Texas A&M! Great team and great season. Other than the result of the game this Saturday, I hope your have a great trip to Tuscaloosa. I look forward to visiting College Station next time. Great tradition, great football team and after listening to Gene Stallings talk this week about Texas A&M…like them even more…but Roll Tide!

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