November 22, 2014

The last man standing — the 12th Man

Texas A&M University is known by sports fans everywhere as the home of the 12th Man.  The tradition began in 1922 at the Dixie Classic, precursor to the Cotton Bowl game in Dallas, with E. King Gill, now an Aggie legend. While playing Centre College, the best team in the nation at that time, the Aggies suffered so many injuries in the first half that Coach Dana X. Bible had only 11 players. He called Gill, a former football player who elected to concentrate on basketball, out of the stands to suit up and stand ready to play if needed. Gill was the last man – the 12th man – standing on the sidelines as the Aggies rallied for a stunning upset victory. Although Gill never entered the game, his willingness and readiness to play has come to symbolize the unwavering Aggie Spirit. Today, the entire Texas A&M student body is the 12th Man, standing throughout every football game, ready to be called upon if needed.