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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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Opinion: Ticket-pulling changed my mind

Poultry+science+senior+Ryder+Nielson+and+computer+science+senior+Roope+Raikaa+talk+in+the+ticket+pull+line+outside+Kyle+Field+on+Sunday%2C+Oct.+1%2C+2023.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Ishika Samant

Poultry science senior Ryder Nielson and computer science senior Roope Raikaa talk in the ticket pull line outside Kyle Field on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. 

When I pitched this piece, I was prepared to verbally eviscerate the ticket-pulling system. Armed with my paper and pen, I was going to blow this popsicle stand — but now, I’ve realized that maybe the ticket pulling system isn’t that bad. It’s far from perfect and not as efficient as it could be, but maybe, just maybe, it does a lot of good for the comradery of the student body.

Previously, my experience pulling tickets has generally been one of sweat-stained clothes, incredibly long lines and only a mediocre ticket as my reward. With 75,000 students, the 12th Man Box Office is best described as a university-approved warzone that countless students are expected to dutifully serve their time in.

And yet there are those whose dedication to the time-honored ticket tradition is nothing less than admirable — but also clearly strange. A week before ticket pull even began for the Alabama game, students were camped outside the ticket windows in their popup tents with 100-foot extension cords powering their computers and personal cooling fans.

Surely there are better places to be, such as class, than outside Kyle Field in the sweltering College Station weather. What exactly makes these ticket-pulling enthusiasts tick?

This is the question I set out to answer.

So, as a true investigative journalist would, I took to the ticket-pulling line and asked the devoted students what they thought. With the 90-degree heat, I figured the students would be frustrated with the inefficiency of the system. But much to my disbelief, everyone was in high spirits.

Economics freshman Caden Andarsio said that being there shows dedication, and the main goal of camping is to get tickets but also “to make memories doing it.”

After asking if online ticket-pulling would be preferable, economics freshman Brady Peters said it would take away from the tradition and pose its own set of problems.

“For the sake of tradition, it should stay the same,” Peters said. “If the website crashed, [it’d be] crazy.”

These dedicated fish make a good point. They’re here to make memories and to enjoy the traditions that came before them. If that means enduring the elements, then hey, at least they are having a blast doing it.

For some, it’s all about the sense of community within the ticket-pulling line. Biology senior Noah Franklin said the competitive aspect makes it all worth it because of the friends he makes during the experience.

“There’s a reason we do this, and it’s so we can make friends and be competitive,” Franklin said. “At this point, it’s more than a tradition.”

When I asked if the student base was too big for this type of system, Franklin rebutted, “If you want to worry about the student base being too big, that’s what makes this competitive and fun.”

Although all of the students in the pulling line disagreed with my online pulling proposal, accounting junior Adam Anderson offered a compromise between the two extremes.

“We can still keep the physical pulling-system, but for those who aren’t wanting to stay outside all night or for a whole week even, they can just do it online, and the people who want to stick with tradition, they can do it the traditional way,” Anderson said. “I think it’s a good balance.”

An interesting idea. A hybrid system could keep all parties happy while still ensuring the traditional system stays intact. A win-win between the professional pullers who crave that ticket-pulling high, and more of the skeptical people like me who feel the monetary costs of a sports pass should be the primary sacrifice to getting into the stadium on Saturday.

After all of these interviews and countless conversations about tents and pulling schedule Excel sheets, I wondered if maybe this system is doing some good for the university.

I know. I just did a complete 180. But these testimonials gave me a new perspective to the time-honored tradition of ticket-pulling. Despite the inefficiencies of the system, every student there had a smile on their face, and that should be worth a thousand words.

Maybe the next time I’m in line for the coveted Aggie football ticket, I’ll use it as an opportunity to meet new friends and connect with my fellow Aggies who are suffering alongside me.

Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough ], Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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