Why it is on this list: Kyle Field is not a stadium, it is an experience.
The Aggies' Kyle Field (Getty Images)
Face it, there isn't much to do in College Station so the entire town rotates its activities around game day. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It starts with yell practice on Friday night. Picture this: 15,000 fans turning up at midnight to scream their brains out in preparation for ...
The spring game!
The total goes up to 40,000 for regular-season games.
|Year built: 1927|
|Did you know? On game days, the students stand the entire game, except of course when the opposing band performs at halftime.|
There are simply no other fans who get into their team more than Aggies. While that will cause a nationwide revolt at other schools, consider these points:
- No other school has Reveille, the border collie mascot. The five previous Reveilles were buried facing Kyle Field so they could see the field. At one time a cadet was assigned to the burial site each home game armed with a radio so the Reveilles could "hear" what was going on. When renovation to the stadium blocked the former mascots' "view," a small scoreboard was built outside Kyle Field facing the cemetery so they could "see" the score.
- No other crowd stands from kickoff to final gun (except when the opposing team's band plays at halftime).
- Cadets play tonsil hockey with their dates every time the Aggies score. If it's a good year for the A&M offense, it's likely the birth rate goes up ninth months later in College Station.
- The 12th Man. Students try out to earn a spot on the kickoff coverage team. The lucky winner gets to wear No. 12, a salute to the fans.
Throw in the state-of-the-art facilities, the addition of Dennis Franchione and the best conference in the country and College Station is current Mecca for college football.
Personal experience: How loyal are the Aggies? I once watched a game at Oklahoma where the Sooners were up by 30 points in the fourth quarter and the Yell Leaders on a hot, muggy day were still leading loud cheers out in the Aggie cheering section.
Quoting: "I've coached at the University of Washington when the head coach was named coach of the year and we won the Rose Bowl. I have coached at the University of Southern California where tradition probably reeks with the white horse. I've had the opportunity to coach in an environment with tradition where you could cut it with a knife at the University of Kentucky. It wasn't in football but in basketball, but it boils over. But I've never been around a university that exhibits the amount of tradition or pride or love for an institution than here." -- the late Ray Dorr, former quarterbacks coach of the Aggies.