Texas A&M Football: Best Game-Day Experiences All Aggie Fans Must Take Part in
Texas A&M is a special place and that is never more evident then on a Saturday afternoon in the Fall when you can experience a football game in Aggieland.
There are numerous traditions new and old that go along with Aggie football. Generations of Aggies have gathered to watch the Corps of Cadets march in and participate in Yell Practices.
Every family has their own personal tradition involved with football games at A&M. Before it was closed, a lot of people did not think their game day was complete without a trip to the Texas A&M creamery for some post-game ice cream.Others liked to travel to the bars on Northgate to offer a celebratory toast to another A&M victory.
This is a look at some of the game-day experiences that every Aggie fan should try to take part in.
Watch the Corps March into Kyle Field
On Fall Saturdays in Aggieland, the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets march into Kyle Field, around the football field and before a review stand. March-in and review is a century-old tradition that various dignitaries including Presidents of the United States and generals have participated in.
People line the streets from the quadrangle where the Corps assemble all the way to Kyle Field to watch march-in. The Aggie Band leads the Corps through the streets and into Kyle. After march-in is over, the cadets go and spend time with their families and tailgate a little before the game starts.
This tradition began when A&M was an all-male military school and every student had to participate.
If you are a fan of the military or just enjoy watching the pageantry of different schools on Fall Saturdays, then watching march-in is probably for you.
Watch the Aggie Band Perform at Halftime
The Aggie Band is one of the best in the country when it comes to the military marching style. The "Noble Men of Kyle" have performed all over the world and are known for their precision marching performances.
Their straight line marching maneuvers are extremely complicated. The band performs the "Iron Cross" maneuver during halftime of the last game of the season. This maneuver is technically impossible because it requires two people to be in the same spot at the exact same moment.
The Aggie Band plays traditional marches. They typically have around 400 members and are one of the largest military marching bands in the world.
The band has performed in numerous presidential inaugurations and parades throughout the country.
Most spectators use the halftime break to go to the bathroom or get some refreshments. At Kyle Field, no one leaves their seats until after the Aggie Band performs. Everyone wants to see what their new drill is each Saturday.
If you've seen one college halftime show, then you've pretty much seen them all. The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band puts on a different kind of show, and it is a must see for fans of all ages.
Participate in Tailgating
The tailgating atmosphere at A&M did not really pick up until the late 90's. Now it is going in full swing all over campus. You can see tailgates from the simplest level of a guy grilling hotdogs on a Sunbeam grill, to guys grilling Kobe beef burgers on a $5,000 barbeque pit.
There are tailgates in the lots surrounding Kyle Field and the many parking lots on the west side of Wellborn Road.
There are tailgates with maroon school buses, old maroon Army trucks, full bars and sound stages. Your typical Aggie tailgate will include a couple of tent awnings covering a flat screen TV with college football on it, and some kind of grill set up with plenty of adult beverages nearby.
The Aggie tailgaters are not quite as elaborate as some of their SEC foes who arrive on campus on Tuesday before the game, but they are getting there.
If you are in town for a game, you should stop off at a tailgate before the kickoff. You will make some new friends and likely be fed very well.
Eat at the Dixie Chicken
The Dixie Chicken opened up in 1974 when the local civic leaders decided to allow the purchase and consumption of alcohol inside the city.
Ever since that moment, the "Chicken" has been growing by reputation. At one point in time, more alcohol was consumer per square foot in the Dixie Chicken than any other place in the world. It is one of the defining establishments of Aggieland.
All fans should stop by the "Chicken" before the game for a burger and an adult beverage.
Take Your Kid to the Fan Zone
Outside of the north end of Kyle Field, there is a fan zone set up before all of the football games.
There are rides and skills challenges for kids. Former Aggie greats stop by to sign autographs and mingle with the fans. Local restaurant sell a variety of foods ranging from sausage on a stick to fajitas.
If you have children, or do not want to participate in the tailgate scene, then this is a great place to go and spend a few hours before kickoff.
Participate in Post-Game Yell Practice
After football victories, the freshmen in the Corps run onto the field and tackle A&M's male cheerleaders known as "Yell Leaders." The freshmen carry the Yell Leaders across campus to Fish Pond where they throw them into the fountain.
The Yell Leaders then hold a post-game yell practice to celebrate the victory and prepare the fans for the game next week.
It is a great way to celebrate a win with other Aggies and one of the more unique traditions in college football.