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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M starting pitcher/relief pitcher Emiley Kennedy (11) hands the ball to starting pitcher/relief pitcher Brooke Vestal (19) during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 25, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ comeback falls short in 9-8 loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 25, 2024

As the fifth inning drew to a close in Texas A&M softball’s Super Regional matchup with No. 1 Texas on Saturday, the Aggies found themselves...

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Outside Observer | Unexpected attitudes of die-hard fans

In 2002, during my 30th year with the U.S. Army I was serving as the deputy commandant of cadets for the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Before I retired I wanted to return to my home state of Texas to reconnect with family and friends. The highlight of that trip was to be the OU/Texas A&M game on the 9th of November.
I was raised to be a rabid Sooner. Is there any other kind? Oklahoma was ranked number one in the country and had just crushed Texas, Iowa State, and Colorado enroute to a showdown at the Fiesta Bowl with either Ohio State or Miami. A&M was a speed bump that required a detour through College Station.
Wearing my Boomer Sooner shirt and my Big Red cap I parked with my dad at the Bush Library. My father and I had been to enough OU/UT games when I was a kid that I knew what to expect. Foul language and challenges to fight were the norm during the second Saturday in October at the Cotton Bowl.
What I found was something totally unexpected! Literally hundreds of the students and alums we passed greeted us with either
“HOWDY” or “Welcome to College Station.” Total strangers who were decked out in every sartorial permutation and combination of maroon and white waved us over to their tailgates.
When we entered Kyle Field, I was stunned by the sight of more than 84,000 Aggies swaying back and forth while Yell Leaders in crisp white uniforms directed them in complicated “yells” that apparently everyone in the stands knew by heart. When the “Star Spangled Banner” was played people actually sang…loudly, if not well. At halftime I saw the finest marching band in the world and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of marching bands.
I don’t want to linger on the game. An unheralded quarterback by the name of Reggie McNeal came off the bench, threw four touchdown passes, and just for good measure scampered 16 times for 89 yards. At the end of the game it was A&M 30 and OU 26.
As we left the stadium I knew that it would start, the trash talking and the expletives. Instead, alums and students, no less, walked up to us and asked us to drive carefully going home and to come back to College Station. Dozens of people told us how proud they were to have played us. One coed specifically could see that we were down and commented on what a great team OU was and what a pretty campus we had.
The next day I flew back to West Point. When I stepped off the plane I told my wife where I wanted to work when I grew up. That night we surfed the web for job openings at Texas A&M. For the last five years I have worked for the Texas A&M University System. There is not a single day that goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars to be a member of the A&M family.
I hope that the students of this great institution never forget what a profound impact they can have. My life has been changed by their spirit and love of school. College Station is an exceptional place to live and it is filled with exceptional people. I encourage Aggies everywhere to never lose sight of that fact.
I am sorry that it has taken me so long to express these sentiments. Recently I was eating supper with some Old Ags at the Chancellor’s Century Council Dinner and they encouraged me to publicly share this story. As I listened to our exceptional and brilliant new President, Elsa Murano, my eyes grew misty as she told her story of what America means to her and how proud she was to be a part of this family of Aggies. She inspired me to share my feelings for this national treasure we call Texas A&M.
Gig’em Aggies and beat the Hell out of tu!
Lanny Smith is the director of system policy and planning activities

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