Aggie Insider: The REAL 12th Man

By: Dennise Quintanilla Email
By: Dennise Quintanilla Email

College Station, TX Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard of the many talks about the now Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks using the “12th Man” when referring to their fan base. Although it's something they’ve been doing for quite a while now, were many aware of this before the Seahawks stepped into the spotlight? I think not. If you’re not an Aggie or simply don’t know much about Texas A&M, you really wouldn’t know that without doubt, the concept of “The 12th Man” belongs to Texas A&M University.

So, here's a little story for you...

The tradition of the 12th man dates back to January 2, 1922 when A&M was playing Centre College at the Dixie Classic in Dallas, TX. A lot of our men had suffered injuries during the first half that Coach Dana X Bible feared he wouldn’t have enough men to finish the game. Coach Bible called from the stands a man by the name of E. King Gill who at the time was an Aggie in the crowd helping the press identify players on the field. Gill accepted the Coach’s offer, came right down, geared up in one of the injured player’s uniform and stood proudly waiting to help his team. Even though the Aggies went home with the victory without E. King Gill playing, the whole student body appreciated his willingness to play for the team in a time of need. The 12th Man was born. Today, the student body at A&M is referred to the 12th Man and we represent that by standing up throughout the entire game - in case our team needs us. I mean, is not like Coach Sumlin is going to tell us to go and gear up, but it’s our desire as Aggies to help each other and that’s what characterizes us as the 12th Man.

Moving on...

So, I think although Seattle and A&M settled on an agreement for the usage of the term, with the great exposure the Super Bowl champions are receiving, it can be easily mistaken that they are the creators of this great phenomenon since many first heard about a “12th Man” through this NFL franchise. However, I would like to commend Texas A&M for reminding the public where it all started by tweeting a friendly reminder that read “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Texas A&M is The Home of the #12thMan”.

Texas A&M is known for its unique traditions, something that only Aggies would understand. So does it take off the specialty and uniqueness of such tradition if we’re not the only ones that use it? I want to hear from y'all. Leave a comment below and let's start talking!

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