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    Texas A&M: What You Need To Know

    By: Sean Cartell
    Twitter: @SEC_Sean
    SEC Digital Network

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas A&M became the Southeastern Conference’s newest member. To familiarize yourself with important facts related to the Aggies’ athletics tradition, here is a quick rundown of what you need to know about Aggie Athletics.

    Nickname: Aggies, related to the school’s agricultural background
    Colors: Maroon and White
    Mascot: Reveille (A rough collie, also known as a long-haired collie)
    Previous Conference Affiliations: Southwest Conference (1915-1996); Big 12 Conference (1996-Present) – south division

    Sponsored Sports:


    Men: Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field
    Women: Basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball

    National Championships:

    o    Women’s Basketball: 2011
    o    Equestrian: 2002
    o    Football: 1939
    o    Men’s Golf: 2009
    o    Men’s Outdoor Track and Field: 2009, 2010, 2011
    o    Women’s Outdoor Track and Field: 2009, 2010, 2011
    o    Softball: 1982, 1983, 1987

    Traditions:

    12th Man:

    The tradition of the Twelfth Man was born on the second of January 1922, when an underdog Aggie team was playing Centre College, then the nation's top ranked team. As the hard fought game wore on, and the Aggies dug deeply into their limited reserves, Coach Dana X. Bible remembered a squad man who was not in uniform. He had been up in the press box helping reporters identify players. His name was E. King Gill, and was a former football player who was only playing basketball. Gill was called from the stands, suited up, and stood ready throughout the rest of the game, which A&M finally won 22-14. When the game ended, E. King Gill was the only man left standing on the sidelines for the Aggies. Gill later said, "I wish I could say that I went in and ran for the winning touchdown, but I did not. I simply stood by in case my team needed me."

    This gesture was more than enough for the Aggie team. Although Gill did not play in the game, he had accepted the call to help his team. He came to be thought of as the Twelfth Man because he stood ready for duty in the event that the eleven men on the gridiron needed assistance. That spirit of readiness for service, desire to support, and enthusiasm helped kindle a flame of devotion among the entire student body; a spirit that has grown vigorously throughout the years. The entire student body at A&M is the Twelfth Man, and they stand during the entire game to show their support. The 12th Man is always in the stands waiting to be called upon if they are needed.

    This tradition took on a new look in the 1980's when Coach Jackie Sherrill started the 12th Man Kick-Off Team composed of regular students through open tryouts. This 12th Man team performed very well and held opponents to one of the lowest yards per return averages in the league.

    Courtesy of www.aggietraditions.tamu.edu

    Gig ‘Em:

    At a yell practice before the 1930 TCU game, A&M board of regent Pinky Downs '06 shouted, "What are we going to do to those Horned Frogs?" His muse did not fail him as he improvised, borrowing a term from frog hunting. "Gig 'em, Aggies!" he said as he made a fist with his thumb extended straight up. And with that the first hand sign in the Southwest Conference came into being.

    Courtesy of www.aggietraditions.tamu.edu

    Reveille:

    Reveille, the first lady of Aggieland, is the official mascot of Texas A&M University. She is the highest ranking member of the Corps of Cadets being the only bearer of five silver diamonds.

    Reveille I came to Texas A&M in January 1931. A group of cadets hit a small black and white dog on their way back from Navasota. They picked up the dog and brought her back to school so they could care for her. The next morning, when "Reveille" was blown by a bugler, she started barking. She was named after this morning wakeup call. The following football season she was named the official mascot when she led the band onto the field during their half-time performance. When Reveille I died on January 18, 1944, she was given a formal military funeral on the gridiron of Kyle Field. She was then buried at the north entrance to the field, as all Reveilles are, facing the scoreboard so that she can always watch the Aggies outscore their opponent.

    Before naming Reveille II, there were several other unofficial mascots, such as Tripod, Spot, and Ranger. It was not until a later Reveille that she was a full-blood Collie. The most current Reveille is Reveille VIII who was introduced in August 2008.

    Courtesy of www.aggietraditions.tamu.edu

    Texas A&M Athletics Web site: www.aggieathletics.com