Texas A&M Football: A game day experience in Aggieland


As we continue to close in on kickoff of the Texas A&M Football season, you might want to get a quick refresher on your tailgate regimen.

My days as an undergraduate at Texas A&M (2012-2016) were simultaneously some of the most amazing and frustrating four years a football fan could endure. From the high of an 11 win season and a hesiman trophy winner to the low of two straight November slumps and attrition at the quarterback position that rivals the shakeup of Kentucky’s basketball roster every year. 

This four year roller coaster ride taught me an invaluable thing though: perspective. I’m hoping you’ll get a hint of that as well after I dive into the routine of an average game day during my glory days in College Station.

Friday night:

As I’ve grown wiser I’ve realized the value of a quality night in bed. However that didn’t quite happen until after I walked the graduation stage at Reed Arena. This night typically consisted of no sleep, lots of incoherent chanting with fraternity brothers, angry girlfriends and a collage of uncomplimentary images put up on our Snapchat stories. The next day could often be a challenge, but anything worth doing is.

9 a.m.

After fighting a headache and snoozing through a set of optimistic alarms, I slowly begin my trek to the kitchen. I throw on the game day playlist (a quality mixture between ‘We Bleed Maroon’, ‘Wagon Wheel’, and ‘Return of the Mack’ on repeat), and open up the fridge. Kickoffs not until 2 p.m., but it’s time to hydrate. I whip up a concoction that could likely burn the rust off of a speedboat, and begin slugging it down. 

9:15 a.m.

I take a brief intermission from sipping and scarf down some breakfast. Day drinking is strategic; remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.

10 a.m.

Ten o’clock hits and it’s time to get the house moving. Guests, roommates, and neighbors beware.

10:45 a.m.

After a quick shower and a ridiculously priced Uber to the stadium, we arrive. The atmosphere in Spence Park is already electric. The open field is now flooded with tents, ice chests and television screens. We join the madness, set up shop, and fire up the grill. Let the tailgating commence. (Note: I immediately learned as a freshman how this pleasant barbecue can quickly turn into a battlefield if you don’t come prepared. Bring SUNSCREEN!)

11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

After feasting on some HeartBrand fajitas (big time props to my older brother Ty for always supplying us with the grub), I make my way tent by tent to say my hellos and greet some familiar faces. Something about game day releases the inner politician and I suddenly can’t seem to find a stranger in the 100,000+ crowd of Aggies. (Note: I’m quickly told by the people I’m with to stop pretending I actually have friends)

As I march my way through each tailgate I’m quick to reload on the mystery liquid in my solo cup and take down some worthy competitors in washers, corn hole, and beer pong. I’m essentially the definition of a dual-sport athlete. The pattern continues until I finally look at the time. Somehow four hours can feel like 15 minutes after a stroll through campus on a fall Saturday. I down my drink, rally up the troops, and take this journey into the stands.

1:55 p.m.

As we head into the stadium, the liquid courage coursing through my veins suddenly gives me a Ray Lewis-like intensity. By the time kickoff approaches I am officially the loudest and proudest member of the 12th man that Kyle Field has ever seen. We finally make it to our seats just as the starting lineups are getting announced. With the student section’s adrenaline reaching an all time high and Kanye West’s “Power” echoing through the seats at Kyle Field, the crowd lets out a roar that shakes the ground. It’s finally here.

1st half

The first and second quarters fly by as the good guys jump out to a quick lead. The offense is fluid and the defense is dominate. Other than a brief scuffle with an usher who was not too fond of a spur of the moment chest-bump he received from me after a Myles Garrett sack, the half is mostly flawless.


After a short (but vicious) battle with dehydration and sunburn, I quickly recover and make it back to my seat in time to watch the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band continue their streak of dominating halftime. I then rush back for some shade and gear up for another half of football.

2nd half

As the game presses on, the Ags have slowly started to relinquish their lead and the stadium becomes suddenly uneasy. After surrendering yet another big play on the ground, my date grabs my hand and tries to assess what’s wrong. I sternly look at her and respond with “sweetheart I love you, but please don’t talk to me right now”, (Shout out to my beautiful girlfriend Taylor Worley. I’m frequently amazed at your ability to put up with all of my nonsense).

After a litany of miscues, the Aggies find themselves in a tied ball game. I’ve now beeen grinding my teeth from both excitement and anger for upwards of three hours, and my jaw is screaming for a break. My legs soon follow. Much like the Aggie defense, I’m fighting the urge to mail it in. And then all of a sudden, I see the symbol of a yell being passed all the way back to the third deck.

Rejuvinated, I let out a “LETS GOOOO” after the dedicated crowd and I sing the war hymn at the start of the fourth quarter. The 12th man’s energy is contagious and the team finds a way to ride it all the way victory. The day is long, but legendary.

Moral of the story:

Win or lose, the memories made leading up to kickoff are those that should be cherished.  If you ever find yourself with your day or night ruined because of the outcome of a game, you’re doing something wrong. Unfortunately, it took me way too long to realize that.

Next: Game by game predictions for the 2017 Aggie football season

That’s why my advice now to any of you young bucks who are about to embark on this journey in Aggieland is pretty simple: Just enjoy it man. Don’t get too high with the wins or too low with the losses. No matter what that scoreboard reads, at the end of the day you are graduating from the greatest university in the United States; so you just tell me, who the real winner is here?