Another beautiful day in the Grove at Ole Miss
The 12th Man and The Grove, the two are time-honored traditions associated with each program.
The TAMU Times wrote on October 5, 2012, "While Texas A&M has been recognized as having the top overall gameday environment in college football, Mississippi’s tailgating area, The Grove, has a reputation for being one of the best tailgating spots in the country."
Elaborating on the 12th Man meaning, the Texas A&M University website suggests,
"The tradition of the Twelfth Man was born on the second of January 1922, when an underdog Aggie team was playing Centre College, then the nation's top-ranked team. As the hard fought game wore on, and the Aggies dug deeply into their limited reserves, Coach Dana X. Bible remembered a squad man who was not in uniform. He had been up in the press box helping reporters identify players. His name was E. King Gill, and was a former football player who was only playing basketball. Gill was called from the stands, suited up, and stood ready throughout the rest of the game, which A&M finally won 22-14. When the game ended, E. King Gill was the only man left standing on the sidelines for the Aggies. Gill later said, "I wish I could say that I went in and ran for the winning touchdown, but I did not. I simply stood by in case my team needed me."
Bringing the 12th Man tradition to the SEC simply arms the conference with one more special attribute, not to mention Reveille the mascot. Both are welcome additions.
As for the tailgating spectacle that is the Grove at Ole Miss, I wrote in an earlier article,
"A little-known fact many folks outside of Oxford don't know: the land on which the Grove now sits was set aside for recreation during former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Fulton's reign from 1892-1903. It's safe to assume Fulton could have never envisioned how significant the Grove would become in the world of tailgating.The New York Times suggested in a feature piece on the Grove experience, "At Ole Miss, the Tailgaters Never Lose." Whether a lifelong Grove patron or a Grove virgin making an initial visit to the tailgating mecca, what actually happens during the football game itself has little impact on the southern hospitality folks experience during their Grove experiences. Even fans of opposing teams leave the Grove having received a welcome and experience, totally unimagined."
Ole Miss fans will now get a chance to take part in special gameday traditions at Texas A&M, while Aggie fans will get more chances to visit the Grove. In fact, as a result of SEC scheduling kinks in 2013, Texas A&M will make a second consecutive trip to Oxford to play the Rebels.