By German Espadas (Student at Universidad Politécnica de Yucatán).
I was never really into sports: whether it was playing or watching sports on TV, I never felt comfortable and ended up avoiding them. To this day, I only practice swimming when possible and never watch anything like the Super Bowl or any Playoffs, so when I noticed one of the activities during our visit to Texas A&M was watching a football game at their home field, I didn’t find it particularly interesting. I didn’t really ask what we were supposed to do, I only knew we had to sing and scream as some kind of practice for the game the night before; what I didn’t realize was the sheer amount of importance these two events had.
Never in my life had I heard about rescheduling classes because it was game day, but the more I learned and saw about their traditions, the more it made sense, so I decided to go along with it. During the night of the Midnight Yell we sang hymns and songs that you could tell were finely crafted to hype you up and make you want to shout along. I couldn’t even memorize the choruses, but the melodies were on loop in my head for weeks.
Then, the big day came, and how foolish I was for thinking we were just going to watch a football game; from the moment we arrived at Kyle Field (and the fact there was nowhere near to park), one could tell it was going to be crowded, but it wasn’t just that: dozens of tents covered the grass outside the stadium, with people playing cornhole, grilling food or just having fun. Then, when everybody started mumbling and the street was being cleared, I was astonished at the full marching band playing right in front of us, so much so that for a brief moment I forgot we went there to watch a football game.
Once inside, as we climbed the stairs, that first sight of the field was breathtaking; it was one of those sights that you don’t expect to hit you that hard, but seeing everyone cheering and singing made me feel as if I was a football fan from birth. If it wasn’t enough, another marching band performed before the game; the home and the visiting bands also did incredible choreographies with perfect synchrony. All to peak at the game, which was incredible even if I did not understand what was going on half of the time. And of course, it all ended with a cherry on top by going to Whataburger right after the game.
It was a short-lived experience, but it became a long-lasting memory of how awesome anything can become with the right people and the right place. First there was the field: a humongous building that you can see from far away with ease. The closer I got to it, the more pressure I could feel in the air, or maybe because there were thousands of Aggies in line, waiting to get inside, which leads to the next point of interest: the ambience, the kind that gets your blood pumping and you don’t even know why. Lastly, the history: decades worth of tradition are found not only during these events, but throughout every waking moment of the Aggie community.