College Station, TX - The Texas A&M football experience has many components to its ingenious formula other than the sport of football. Not only do Aggies get to cheer on their boys fighting for maroon and white, but fans get to experience the wonders of the 12th man, the Aggie War Hymn, Yell Leaders, and much more.
Two of the most beloved traditions associated with Aggie Football are components that have no involvement in the outcome of any football game, rather that are avenues of painting the true picture of Texas A&M’s core values.
News broke this week that Texas A&M’s mascot Reveille along with the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band will not be joining the team in its journey to Fayetteville due to a denied request from the University of Arkansas.
As one could assume, this has outraged many Aggies across the nation as they feel Arkansas’ denied request takes away from the representation of Texas A&M at the SEC matchup this Saturday.
However, Arkansas has their reasons. Due to a short home schedule this season, the halftime period will be split between their student band along with recognizing designated alumni, which means all other schools will not be allotted time for their band to perform. Reveille, not being a band member, is being simply being a live mascot, which has been a long standing rule at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Regardless, A&M fans are upset, and on one hand it is understandably justifiable. Texas A&M represents itself not just through sports, but through every moving component of the university, which includes the mascot and the band. These two components in particular represent honor and tradition, two qualities that paint an accurate picture of the heart of Aggieland.
To not have these pieces to the puzzle in Arkansas on Saturday has some Aggies feeling as if the entire team isn’t truly traveling this weekend, while some Aggies are just simply outraged over the decision making by the Razorbacks.
But there always are two sides to the coin. A&M can understand the scheduling headache that takes place at halftime, on top of juggling two performing bands. Halftimes at Kyle Field are moments saved to recognize former and current students to their contribution to the university, even while A&M seem to do a pretty good job of keeping a good portion of it in the mix during the actual game.
Still, it’s understandable that Arkansas would request that time to be used to cater to their school because after all it is their school. Yet, Aggie fans would still argue that their school still makes time for all visiting bands desiring to be a hospitable environment.
Whether or not there are any undertone messages being sent between both schools in any of this, one thing is for sure: this will just be another piece of the puzzle to build upon the rebirthing rivalry of the Southwest Classic.