The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Best of Aggieland: Fan-favorite tradition

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

The night before every Texas A&M football game, thousands of Aggies attend Yell Practice either in Kyle Field for home games, or at an away-game location.

A cannon, a “Whoop!” and the bright shining lights of Kyle Field are staples of Texas A&M’s Midnight Yell tradition.
Held every midnight before a football game, Aggies gather in Kyle Field to perform yells, tell fables and prepare for the upcoming game. The tradition of Midnight Yell dates back to 1931 when a group of cadets gathered on the steps of the YMCA Building at midnight to practice choreographed yells. Today, the tradition brings together more than 25,000 Aggies each week.
Education freshman Madison Hardwick said Midnight Yell is a chance to be with friends, family and fellow Aggies, and is a special time to reflect on what students past and present love about A&M.
“The feeling of Midnight Yell is electric,” Harwick said. “I get goosebumps every time, and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of the 12th Man.”
Civil engineering senior and Traditions Council member Drew Dorsett said the goal of the organization is to ensure everyone has the opportunity to learn about A&M and what makes it great, which includes traditions like Midnight Yell.
“The most important part about Midnight Yell is we are, as a student body, the 12th Man,” Dorsett said. “We are willing to put it out there for our team. We’re willing to step in if they need us. It’s just a way of coming together as a group of Aggies and putting our best foot forward, [and being] there for our university and just showing that we are still the 12th Man in spirit.”
Yell Leaders, a group of five students who are the official spirit organization of the university, play a special role in Midnight Yell. Former Yell Leader Will Alders, Class of 2017, said these late nights were a favorite memory of his time in Aggieland.
“To know that, come Friday night, Saturday morning at midnight, thousands of Aggies will gather at the stadium to practice yells and enjoy some light-hearted fun at the other team’s expense makes the whole week exciting for the Yell Leaders,” Alders said. “I would have butterflies in my stomach the whole week leading up to Midnight Yell, particularly if I had to deliver one of the fables that week.”
Dorsett said Midnight Yell is the main tradition that sets A&M apart, as it is a unique way of showing support for the team that is unlike any other school’s pregame prep.
“We keep to the same tradition of telling a fable and the Yell Leaders coming out in their overalls. It’s been this way for so long that it ties us to the fact that we’re a traditional university, but it’s also fun, and people like to go to Midnight Yell at the same time,” Dorsett said. “It shows that just because something is traditional, doesn’t mean it isn’t a fun thing.”
Alders said A&M has a reputation for being different, not only in the state of Texas, but across the nation.
“I think Aggies like to embrace this difference and wear it as a badge of honor, knowing no one else is like us,” Alder said. “Perhaps that’s part of what makes A&M better than the rest. Midnight Yell is one of those traditions that few people understand if they’re not an Aggie.”
Alders said he sees Midnight Yell as a way to show love for the university and support the football team before a game.
“When most everyone else is sleeping or partying, [we] practice yells and have a great time together,” Alder said. “Not only does this help the student body, the 12th Man, get prepared to yell their hardest at the game the next day, but it also creates excitement on campus that carries over to gameday, making the whole game day experience that much better.”
Midnight Yell is a time to see future, current and former students come together to participate in a tradition they love, Hardwick said, and no other school can get as excited for football games.
“Midnight Yell is a huge part of the Aggie Spirit,” Hardwick said. “You see everyone involved, and the fans bring it all to Kyle Field. To me, Midnight Yell is a time to be with my friends and contribute to a tradition [with] all of our hearts. It’s where I met new friends and made so many memories I won’t forget.”
Dorsett also said Midnight Yell embodies the Aggie Spirit and shows how the community is willing to go above and beyond to support fellow Aggies.
“It shows that we are willing to sacrifice our Friday night to show up and be there for our football team,” Dorsett said. “If you win or you lose, the important part is we’re willing to go out there and sacrifice some of our valuable time as college students to come together as a group of Aggies and show that we are here to support the team that will be playing the next day.”
Alders said he still enjoys traveling to College Station for a game day weekend and attending Midnight Yell.
“I love to watch the current Yell Leaders do a terrific job of leading the 12th Man in preparation for the game on Saturday,” Alder said. “Watching and participating in Midnight Yell as a former student is always exciting for me as it causes the memories from when I was a current student to come flooding back. I will always think Midnight Yell is one of the most special traditions in college football.
“The commitment to each other, the camaraderie, the passion, the tradition all combine at Midnight Yell to display the Aggie Spirit to all who attend.”

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  • Yell Practice features stories from the Yell Leaders, poking fun at the opposing team and calling on the Spirit of the 12th Man.

  • Opinion writer Lilia Elizondo is tired of two-percenters tarnishing the legacy and spirit of Aggieland and encourages the renaissance of red-ass Ags. 


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