Hidden in the Hall: The Original 12th Man

(July 31, 2014) Of all the game day traditions at Texas A&M for football games, perhaps the most beloved is the 12th Man.

But how did it originate? It can all be explained with the information on a blanket on display at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1922, Texas A&M faced Centre College in the Dixie Classic.

The Aggies were riddled by injuries before halftime, and coach D.X. Bible turned to E. King Gill in the stands to help the team.

"He was up in the press box working as a spotter for some of the news guys," Texas Sports Hall of Fame Interim Director Jay Black explains. "The Aggies were kind of running thin. They had some injuries. He got the call from coach D.X. Bible to come down, change in the locker room. Although he didn't get in the game, he was ready to help his team if needed."

Now the fans at Kyle Field stand throughout the game, seemingly ready to enter if need be. It's a tradition that has survived the test of time.

"This happened almost 100 years ago," says Black. "The Aggies haven't forgotten it. They've kind of embraced it and cherished it. That's what is special about college football and special about Texas A&M in particular."


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