Articles tagged as: 12th man
High noon, across from Kyle Field on the day before a home game is a lot like an Old West land rush. Eager participants wait at the ready to claim their territory, except instead of horses and side-arms, these contestants come equipped with tents, coolers and lawn chairs. When the siren sounds, Texas A&M fans stampede into prime tailgating turf, pumped up for an Aggie victory. And as the national spotlight shines on the university, the 12th Man’s spirit and dedication has caught the attention of editors at Tailgater Magazine, who’ve declared Aggie fans the No. 1 tailgaters in all of college football.
As the Aggies prepare to BTHO Alabama tomorrow in the season’s most anticipated game, Tailgater Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Lee Hurley, reflects on why the 12th Man tops college football fandom.
“Texas A&M has all the buzz right now and for good reason,” he says. “A new and significant entry into the SEC, they beat Alabama last year and could beat them again this year. They’re ranked in the top 10 and there’s an incredible new stadium expansion in progress. And the school administration understands the value of tailgating. The 12th Man is a unique and incredibly devoted student body − they are nice fans and it’s a great campus.”
And the last three reasons?
“Johnny Manziel, Johnny Manziel and Johnny Manziel,” Hurley laughs.
“We’re so honored to have been chosen as the No. 1 tailgating destination in college football,” states Neil Peltier, Texas A&M’s assistant director of tailgating operations. “I can’t say I’m surprised; we have the most talked about team in the country right now. And there’s no other school that can rival our fans’ dedication to their team.”
Kyle Field is sold out tomorrow as the Aggies will meet Alabama for the first time since last season’s upset victory in Tuscaloosa over the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide, 29-24. Tailgaters began setting up their spots mid-week for Saturday’s game.
As for the nationwide hype surrounding the Texas A&M/Alabama matchup, Shane Hinckley, interim vice president for Marketing & Communications at Texas A&M, says fans should expect this level of excitement from here on out. “We will have games like this every year going forward in the SEC,” he says. “It’s our expectation that this weekend’s great tailgating experience will be the norm for Texas A&M football.”
Tailgater Lee Manning, an agricultural leadership and development major, ‘16, believes it’s the fans that have made tailgating at Texas A&M so special. “Texas A&M has the best, most organized fan base − the 12th Man − and we’re loyal to the team no matter what.”
Taylor Trcka, ’15, an environmental studies major, comes to the land rush to secure her spot and says it’s the fellowship that sets Aggie tailgating apart. “There’s just something about this school and the camaraderie that makes everyone come together and support the university that we all love.”
Her friend Lauren DeLuca, ’15, a marketing major, agrees, saying “Our fans and our students are so school-spirited and so I feel like when people come to games at Kyle Field, it’s an experience they’ll never get anywhere else.”
As Texas A&M tailgating has grown, so has the popularity of Aggie tailgating merchandise, up 22% in licensing dollars over last year, Hinckley notes, adding, “Tailgating and its related products have become a very big business.”
He points to retailers such as Barnes and Noble at Texas A&M and Academy that carry officially licensed tents, chairs, coolers, tailgating games, and many other accessories to help Aggie fans Maroon-Out their tailgate.
For more on tailgating at Texas A&M, click here.
To read the entire list of Tailgater Magazine’s Top 20 Tailgate Colleges for 2013, visit here.
Media contact: Lesley Henton, Division of Marketing & Communications at Texas A&M University; 979-845-5591, firstname.lastname@example.org
On the heels of a winning season and a record-setting Heisman victory, the Fightin’ Texas Aggie football team is again in heated competition, but this time the action is online as Texas A&M enters into the semi-finals of EA Sports’ NCAA Football Cover Vote contest.
The football team gave Aggie fans an unforgettable season, but now it’s up to the 12th Man to snag wide receiver Ryan Swope the honor of being featured on the cover of NCAA Football 14, a popular video game by EA Sports.
Fans can vote here on the EA Sports Facebook page through Monday, Feb. 25, when the final two candidates will be announced.
“The 12th Man has always supported Aggie football and being featured on the cover of EA Sports NCAA Football would be huge,” said Texas A&M Head Football Coach Kevin Sumlin. “Ryan Swope is a great senior representative of our football team. I encourage the 12th Man to vote and let’s continue the positive momentum we have built together.”
Swope is the most decorated receiver in the history of Aggie football. After the Aggies’ decisive Cotton Bowl victory last season, Swope has left the university as the all-time leader in both receptions and receiving yards.
Vying for the cover against Swope are Eddie Lacy, running back for Alabama; Denard Robinson, quarterback for Michigan; and Kenjon Barner, running back for Oregon.
“The opportunity to have Texas A&M on the cover of this popular football video game would be the ‘icing on the cake’ to our successful transition into the SEC and a year of tremendous growth for the Texas A&M brand,” said Jason Cook, Texas A&M’s vice president for marketing and communications. “EA Sports’ NCAA Football is distributed by every national retailer that sells video games – from big-box chains to gaming shops – and reaches a wide demographic, including a lot of potential Aggie students and fans.”
After the final two schools are announced Monday, voting for the finals will begin the following day, Tuesday, Feb. 26 and end on March 8. If Swope makes the cut, Aggie fans will need to vote again in the final round to secure the win.
Vote for Ryan Swope by visiting https://www.facebook.com/easportsncaafootball.
NCAA Football 14 will be released this summer and fans can pre-order on Origin, EA Sports’ official online store.
Twelve is a number rich in meaning for Texas A&M, as it symbolizes one of the university’s most defining and historic traditions: the 12th Man. And on Dec. 12, 2012, (12-12-12), Aggies everywhere will have a once in a lifetime moment to share this unique tradition with the world.
Texas A&M, in partnership with the The Association of Former Students, the Texas A&M Foundation, and the 12th Man Foundation, will spend the first 12 days of December celebrating the 12th Man tradition with the Aggie family — a celebration that will culminate on Dec. 12, 2012.
Beginning on Dec. 1 through Dec. 12, the university will showcase the depth and spirit of Texas A&M through the “12 Days of Texas A&M” campaign, a social media activation. The campaign will highlight the academic excellence, global reach, and traditions of Texas A&M on the university’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, which will also include daily giveaways, contests and more from the university, The Association, the Texas A&M Foundation and the 12th Man Foundation.
And on Dec. 12, Aggies will be asked to participate in the ultimate Aggie moment: playing the school’s war hymn at their place of work, home, or their chosen location. To help in this effort, at or near 12:12 p.m., Aggies in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or Bryan-College Station can tune into these radio stations to hear the The Aggie War Hymn, while files of the song will also be made available for Aggies wishing to download or stream at http://12thman.tamu.edu. Aggies are also encouraged to wear maroon and white on 12-12-12, which has been declared the “Day of the 12th Man” by Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin.
“The tradition of the 12th Man was born more than 90 years ago when an Aggie stood ready to serve. Today, this spirit lives on in Aggies who stand for service to their community, state and nation,” said Diane C. McDonald, Texas A&M’s executive director of marketing and social media. “The historic date of 12-12-12 provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate this special tradition.”
Along with Texas A&M’s daily giveaways, the university’s sister funding organizations will be sponsoring contests with prizes that any Aggie would love.
The Association of Former Students — which raises the university’s Annual Fund that supports both alumni and student activities, academics and traditions — is awarding an Aggie Ring Certificate, up to $1,200 in value, that a qualified student or former student can use toward the purchase of an Aggie Ring.
“We have much to celebrate as Aggies, especially in the year 2012,” said Kathryn Greenwade, vice president at The Association. “The once-in-a-lifetime date of 12-12-12 provides a special opportunity for the worldwide Aggie Network — students, former students, parents, faculty, staff and friends of Texas A&M — to join together in promoting the university and our unrivaled Aggie spirit.”
The Texas A&M Foundation plans to award one current student with the 12-12-12 Academic Award, a special $1,000 award that the winner can use to help fund their scholarly pursuits, a nod of appreciation to the generosity of Aggies, said John Zollinger, marketing manager at the Texas A&M Foundation.
“One of the key factors that make Texas A&M a world-class university is the support that thousands of Aggies provide each year through the Foundation. In celebrating the greatness of the 12th Man, we salute all of you who have given so generously,” Zollinger added.
Aggies will also have the chance to win the 12th Man Foundation’s Super Sports Package, which will provide one lucky fan with two tickets to all remaining home games for men’s basketball, women’s basketball, indoor track, baseball and softball.
“12-12-12 is tailor made for Aggies everywhere to show their pride in all things Texas A&M,” said Mark Riordan, vice president of marketing & brand management at the 12th Man Foundation. “This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make 12-12-12 OUR day.”
To keep up with all of the activities underway leading up to 12-12-12, as well as to find all contest links, rules and Aggie War Hymn resources, visit http://12thman.tamu.edu.
Media contact: Krista Smith, Communications Coordinator, (979) 845-4645
They come from every corner of campus, cities around Texas and all across the nation. They bring their lawn chairs, tents and grills — some even roll up in RVs. But the one thing they all bring is their Aggie spirit. At Texas A&M University, football is more than just a game and the Aggies don’t just tailgate, they throw one of the best tailgate parties in the South, according to Southern Living magazine.
In College Station, Gameday starts with a capital “G” and this year, the excitement has reached a fever pitch as the Aggies kick off their inaugural season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Aggie students are known nationally as one of the most dedicated fanbases in college sports and are called the 12th Man because they stand throughout every game to show their willingness to step in and play for the team, if needed.
Sports Illustrated recently rated Aggie Gameday as the best in the nation saying, “…few venues are more hostile to opponents than the maroon bowl of Kyle Field, where the eardrums of visiting players are under constant assault from the Aggies’ 12th Man — the nation’s best-drilled student body.”
It was this devotion that won Texas A&M the ESPN 2012 College GameDay online voting contest and the honor of starring in an ESPN College GameDay commercial that will air during the network’s college football games this season. ESPN cameras came to Kyle Field to shoot the ad this past July 31, and with yell leaders before them, thousands of dedicated Aggies took to the stands to show the nation what being a college football fan is all about.
But before tens of thousands of maroon-clad supporters make their way into Kyle Field to root for an Aggie win, fans surround the stadium in the hours leading up to the game and throw a pregame party few colleges can rival.
Southern Living magazine’s list of the Top 20 Schools With The Greatest Pregame Parties places Texas A&M among “The Traditionalists,” schools renowned for game-day rituals.
It all starts the night before the game with a unique tradition called Midnight Yell Practice, the Aggie version of a pep rally, a tradition that dates back to 1913. Yell leaders and the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band lead the 12th Man into Kyle Field at midnight to sing the fight song and practice yells (Aggies don’t cheer, they yell). At the end, the stadium lights go out and Aggies kiss their dates.
When the sun rises on Gameday, droves of tailgaters have already set up camp and thousands more stream in during the pre-game hours. With the stands of Kyle Field in view, revelers are all around, cooking up good Texas barbecue, pouring cold drinks and getting pumped up to watch the Fightin’ Texas Aggies “Beat the Hell Outta” the opposing team.
Adjacent to the stadium, three-and-a-half hours before kickoff, Aggie Fan Zone, a pedestrian-only area, opens to football fans and the entire community, offering concessions, kids’ games, contests, live media broadcast booths, displays and souvenirs. The yell leaders conduct a special yell practice just for kids, and current and former Texas A&M athletes are on site to sign autographs and pose for photos.
Two hours and 40 minutes before game-time marks the start of the Spirit Walk, when, to the crowd’s delight, the football team arrives and walks to the locker room.
And 90 minutes before kickoff, a spectacle sure to give any Aggie chills, is the Corps March-in, when the Corps of Cadets steps off the quad to the boom of the Parsons Mounted Cavalry cannon, and with fans lining the route, marches to Kyle Field led by the Aggie band.
With hopes of becoming the next Aggie Gameday tradition, Tailgate Guys, a full-service, event management company, joins the fray, providing turn-key, reserved tailgating packages. The company provides all the tailgate party equipment and set-up, including tents, tables, chairs, coolers, catering and more, then break it all down at game time.
Parker Duffey, Tailgate Guys president, says he’s grateful for the opportunity to join such a legendary game-day experience. “Texas A&M has long been recognized as one of the most respected programs in the country,” he says, “and we saw a real opportunity to welcome fans into the fold of the SEC by introducing them to a whole new way to experience game days.”
To enjoy a hassle-free tailgate party, visit TailgateGuys.com or call 979-775-1700 for more information. Reserve spots are available on Simpson Drill Field and Duncan Field, two large, open areas used for a variety of activities.
With an increase in tailgating over the past several years, the university has developed a plan for responsible tailgating that governs the use of barbecue grills and generators, helps motorists with driving and parking in the area, determines alcohol-free zones and more.
From the first yells at midnight to game’s end, Aggie Gameday is unlike any other college football experience — full of excitement, tradition and Aggie pride. For the scoop on Gameday in Aggieland, including schedules and stats, press conferences and interviews, tailgating rules and much more, visit Gameday Central.
Media contact: Lesley Henton, News & Information Services at Texas A&M University, at (979) 845-5591
The inaugural awarding of the E. King Gill Award, honoring philanthropy for Texas A&M athletics, will be bestowed upon a longtime supporter of the 12th Man Foundation at the Aggies’ football game versus Texas on Thanksgiving Day at Kyle Field.
The award, which will be presented each year by the 12th Man Foundation, honors those supporters who have generously helped the Foundation realize its mission of “Funding scholarships, programs and facilities in support of championship athletics.”
In addition, the E. King Gill Award recognizes those who have shown the commitment as a volunteer advocate of the athletic program through exemplary service and leadership. The awardees will have demonstrated a high level of distinction as a role model as to career, service and ethics.
“Our donors have stepped up time and again to support Texas A&M Athletics and we felt it was time for us to honor them with this prestigious award” said Miles Marks, President of the 12th Man Foundation.
Award winners will be honored publicly on an engraved plaque in the Claudia and Rod Stepp ’59 Grand Lobby, located just outside the 12th Man Foundation offices at the Bernard C. Richardson Zone at Kyle Field.
A posthumous E. King Gill Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony at the football game on Thanksgiving Day at Kyle Field.
Media Contact: Mark Riordan (979) 260-7989