When A&M lined up against Clemson I was introduced to what it means to attend an Aggie football game as student. I have been to a lot of different stadiums and seen a lot of games. I was in the Notre Dame Marching Band when I was attending the University of Notre Dame. I have seen the USC marching band march down the steps of the Colosseum followed by the football team. I have been to Spartan stadium in East Lansing, MI and heard the whole student body yell at once when a video clip of Gerald Butler from 300
ask “Spartans what is YOUR profession?”. I have had the pleasure of marching around campus and marching/running down the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium to be greeted by 80,000 fans. Just to name a few places that are memorable to me. Every place is unique and my experience at the game was a memorable one.
I remember getting a book called “Saturday Shrines” by the late Keith Jackson when I was around 10. I remember reading that book cover to cover multiple times. I still have it and when I was planning on going to the game I pulled that book back out and read about the history of Kyle field. Reading and experiencing a football game are two different things. I will always have navy blue and gold tattooed on my heart but after Saturday I know I can make some room for a little maroon. Here are some take a ways from my experience.
Standing for the whole game-
I should be used to standing for a whole game I did it while I was at Notre Dame for band. My age started to show at the game. My first mistake was getting a student ticket instead of a regular ticket but in my defense a free ticket is a free ticket with my student pass. I’m near 30 years old I realized after the game I’m not as young as I used to be. I did not dare sit down for fear of what could happen even though my feet were telling me to sit down. Next time I go I will get some nice gel inserts for my shoes and do a better job of preparing myself incase I make the same mistake again.
Corps of Cadets-
I was impressed by the precision of the corps. I have been in band since I was in middle school and I’m always looking at the halftime shows. I loved the precision and the way the corps performed. I was taken back to my days as a member of the Notre Dame band. I loved the way the seniors are distinguished from the rest of the corps by their boots. I have a friend who is in the Army I met when I lived in near Fort Hood. He was a member of the corps and showed me his boots. I told him I should join so I can get myself a pair he laughed and said, “You’re going to need a lot of Bengay old man”. I take that as a challenge and I have already been looking at my schedule for next year. So just maybe I will get my own pair.
- I’m used to seeing a bunch of cheerleaders leading the crowd in cheers and chants. It was a new experience seeing 5 male students lead us. I won’t pretend like I know all the hand signals. I missed the midnight yell practice as I was at football game of my own the night before and didn’t get home until 1 am. I did my best to follow along and act like I knew what I was doing but I had fun. Next time midnight yell practice is on my to do lists before a game.
The spirit of the student body.
If I didn’t know about the spirit of being an Aggie before the game I sure did learn about. I loved how passionate all the fans were during the game. I knew all about the 12th
Man from when I was younger but seeing it first hand was something different.
To say the least that my first game experience was enjoyable is an understatement. I had a great time and look forward to my next game.
Jon is a masters student in the Sports Management program.