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College Football Tour – Texas A&M vs. Clemson 2004

Posted by cuorange on October 7, 2009

This article was submitted by CUTigers.com member “gdc123”.  If you would like to contribute a story about an away game (or any other game) please contact me at mcoleman4@austin.rr.com.

7:00 PM ET, September 18, 2004 Kyle Field COLLEGE STATION, TX Clemson vs. aTm

Just a little background (to expose any potential biases I have) – I am a Clemson grad and have been a Clemson fan as long as I can remember. I live in Houston amongst Aggies, Longhorns, Red Raiders, etc. I am an engineer which means I tend towards an analytical approach. I am not sure if engineers pick their major because they are already engineers or their major makes them so analytical….I guess it’s a little of both…I am a fan of college football in general and have partaken of games in/at Clemson’s Death Valley (obviously), Georgia Tech, Univ. of SoCar,, Auburn, Oklahoma, UNC, FSU, ASU, etc…    

Without further prelude here are my thoughts:

Campus: Nothing in particular stood out about the aTm campus. It was nice enough I suppose, and somewhat spacious and “spread out”. However – I would definitely recommend a visit to the Memorial Student Center. Texas A and M celebrates and embraces their military heritage in many ways. The walls are lined with medals, portraits, and biographies of Aggies that gave their lives in service to the United States (during a World War). This is of particular interest to a Clemson fan, as outside of the service academies – aTm followed by Clemson (formerly A and M) provided more World War military officers than any other institution.

Tailgating: Perhaps due to the “spread out” nature of the campus I found tailgating to be minimal. I saw more Clemson fans than aTm fans partaking of food and drink. It’s entirely possible that I was in the wrong part of campus, but I did not see much tailgating going on (certainly not in comparison to what I have seen at Auburn, Clemson, etc.).

Sportsmanship: This is where aTm really shines – they are the most welcoming and generous fans I have ever encountered at an away game. Rivals may argue it’s “hokey”, but it’s hard to resist 100’s of folks telling you “howdy” all over campus. Any ribbing that took place was good natured and almost apologetic. I am sure Longhorns will disagree, but I think that is the nature of any rivalry. Even after Clemson lost in embarrassing fashion the prevailing sentiments from aTm fans – “Wow – we must be good if we beat Clemson like that (basically complementary “smack talk”), and sympathetic “We feel for you – we’ve had our share of butt whippings recently too”…I remember thinking as I walked away from the stadium..what is this place a bizarre world Athens, Georgia?

Pageantry: Again this is where aTm impresses…one should not miss the band before the game and at half time. With proper military pomp they enter the stadium – and the collie – Reveille marches in with the band as well. The half time show features one of the finest representations of military style precision marching I have seen.

 Traditions: There are probably too many traditions to list, and I am sure more that I am unfamiliar with. Any fan of college football will appreciate the numerous and longstanding traditions of “Aggieland”. I’ll list and comment on a few:

1.  Reveille, the first lady of Aggieland, is the official mascot of Texas A&M University. Reveille is the most revered dog on campus.

Reveille

Reveille

If she is sleeping on a cadet’s bed, that cadet must sleep on the floor. If she is in class and barks while the professor is teaching, the class is to be immediately dismissed. I would love to be in class with this dog (whilst and undergrad) – I’d take bacon to class at least once a week.

2.  “Howdy” – I mentioned this above, but it deserves a second mention (very friendly campus).

3.  Mug down – Kissing one’s date during yell practices and football games. Can any red blooded American male fault this tradition?

4.  Yell Leaders – Texas A&M’s equivalent of cheerleaders — These five men, three seniors and two juniors, lead the student body in synchronized yells throughout all sporting events and yell practices. I understood the history, but this one I can fault. Clemson used to be an all male military school as well, but once the girls were admitted we realized that they make far better cheerleaders. I can’t argue with the aggie results though – they yell and cheer as loud as anyone.

In Game Atmosphere: Impressive – decibel wise I have been in stadiums equally as loud, but there is something different about an aTm game.

Kyle Field

Kyle Field

 I can’t fully describe the crowd noise – naturally it was loud but the whole stadium seemed to resonate. I suppose this is a result of all the cheers being in unison. At times it sounded like a million angry bees buzzing in unison – somewhat overwhelming. I can’t imagine what it sounded like on the field. No doubt the 12th Man is real – I can imagine the combination of sheer loudness and the unity of the noise are a definite advantage.

 

Editor’s note: Texas A&M defeated Clemson 27-6 as Charlie Whitehurst suffered 3 interceptions.

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