The Texas A&M Aggies are one of the two newest members of the Southeastern Conference. When they and Missouri were added to the conference in 2012, the move was widely celebrated as an astute, necessary one that was beneficial to all parties involved. SEC football fans, known for their keen perspective and pragmatism, thought Texas A&M a natural pick for the league. The University of Texas and its supporters heralded the news as one that was to be a boon for football in the Lone Star State. ESPN’s Mark May was especially pleased with the move. The Aggies were loved; the Aggies are loved.
But, even then, we are still left scratching our heads a bit at this maroon and white band of Texans, because we still just do not know what the heck is going on with their mascot situation!
The Missouri Tigers have a simple mascot. When they, alongside Texas A&M, joined the SEC in 2012, they joined a conference that already had a pair of tiger mascots, making their mascot transition easy and smooth. “Tigers?! Oh, we know all about this,” we said. “We’ll be fine with some more tigers around here, ‘here’ in this sense being the Southeastern Conference.” Mizzou showed up, brought Truman the Tiger with them, and nobody thought twice of this.
Texas A&M though, well they brought this unusual “Aggies” moniker with them, as well as a (good) long-haired dog and five men all cloned from the same petri dish of proto-Aryan DNA. They also claim a preference to beef over pork, which seems like contrarianism for contrarianism’s sake.
So what’s the deal? So you’re Aggies? You grow things and go to a land grant school? Neat. Mississippi State already does that, and they do it with charm and humility. You wear overalls? I guess those are practical in many situations, but at a football game? And you’ve painted them I see, which belies the impression you’re attempting to give off as being somewhat of a working man, one who isn’t too concerned with the conceit of high fashion. I, for one, am not fooled. You stand around and wiggle your arms and yell at midnight? That sounds fun I guess but is that an agriculture thing? I guess in a pagan ritual sense it is. Same goes for sawing a bull’s horns off. Is this a Wiccan school?
Reveille is a good dog. She’s fine.
And the yell leaders? What is their deal? They’re elected? Who runs for that? Who votes for something like that? Why is there any sort of democratic process involved? Why would any college undergraduate willingly go through with any of that. And the hand signals and yells are strange to me, like dark, demonic incantations. I am easily startled and do not like unfamiliar things.
And then there’s the whoopin’ and hootin’, the jackboots, Ozarka water, frog gigging references, Buc-ee’s, Von Miller’s chicken farms, using the word “fightin’” to describe almost everything, Whataburger, brandishing a sword against an SMU cheerleader, Rick Perry’s totally fake glasses, Johnny Manziel—what does any of that have to do with being an “Aggie”? Why is there a pseudo military running around on campus? Why a (very good) rough collie symbolizing something in Texas? Yell leaders?!
Texas A&M should be more like other SEC schools whose mascots make sense, whose team names and various other associated traditions are quite linear and literal, and not the sometimes grotesque result of decades of inexplicable stupidity and silliness. We in the Southeastern Conference do not do things for the sake of doing things, nor would we justify such things by labeling them “traditions” and suggesting that their timeliness and permanence are paramount to our cultural identity. That is not our brand here, and the Aggies would serve themselves well to recognize this.
Fins up, RIP Admiral Ackbar, Hotty Toddy, and beat the Aggies.