Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The More You Know, 12th Man?

"The More You Know" is an almost daily antidote for all Penn State faithful regarding their upcoming bout with the the Texas A&M Aggies. As Confucius says, "In order to kill you enemies, you must learn to love them"...or something like that.

The More You Know, Coaching Edition
The More You Know, It's Back!
The More You Know, Thursday Edition
The More You Know, Part II
The More You Know, Part I

Listen to this nonsense. Texas A&M is home of the 12th Man. That's a capital "M" motherfuckers. They are such a strong force, and are so entrenched in tradition, that they registered the tradename and later sued the Seattle Seahawks. Thus pissing off Seahawks fans everywhere:
"Apparently the 12th man thing is big in Aggieland, having been a central part of their football tradition since the 1920s. They even have something called the 12th Man Foundation. I'm not sure what this Foundation does ... perhaps they're charged with raising money to support lawsuits?"

"Yo, Texas A&M, one word for you — chill! Cease and desist with your whining. Get a life. Get 12 of them."

They later settled with no interesting repercussions.

Anyway, the 12th Man is such a big deal at A&M some people go as far as to say it qualifies as the "best tradition in college football":

That's right folks, you just heard the ex-head coach of the Aggies call his three-quarters-full student section "the best tradition in college football." Um, while I still think this is infinitely cooler than a tuba player taking a bow, I have to call bullshit. So let's do a little research, per the ultra reliable wikipedia:
In Dallas on January 2, 1922, at the Dixie Classic (the forerunner of the Cotton Bowl) A&M played defending national champion Centre College in the first post-season game in the southwest. A&M had so many injuries in the first half of the game that Coach D. X. Bible feared he wouldn’t have enough men to finish the game. He called into the Aggie section of the stands for E. King Gill, a reserve who had left football after the regular season to play basketball. Gill volunteered and donned the uniform of injured player Heine Weir. Although he did not actually play, his readiness symbolized the willingness of all Aggies to support their team to the point of actually entering the game. A&M won 22-14, but E. King Gill was the only man left standing on the sidelines for the Aggies. The 12th Man has evolved into an Aggie tradition. The student body, known as the "12th Man", stands throughout the entire game, "ready to help the team".[111]

Let me get this straight, your team showed up to a football game in 1922 against the best team in the nation with, let's say, 15 people. Good start. Four of them get hurt, so now you have, presumably, 11 guys playing both sides of the ball. Then, you point to the crowd of, um, shit I couldn't even guess, probably not very many people. You find a guy who used to play football, he stands next to you for two hours, and, despite there being no subs except this Gill character, he doesn't set foot on the field. The greatest tradition in college football is born.

And that's the more you know.


Paterno Lives! said...

I didn't know where else to put this, and leaving comments on my own blog is kind of lame, but fuck it, I think it is interesting.

A&M used to actually put together a kickoff team of only walk-ons. The whole thing. That, to me, would be the best tradition in college football.

But, as seems to happen with anything worthwhile, some coach who's name I can't remember and don't feel like looking up decided that it would be better to have just one walk on on the kickoff team...he wears the number 12 (it sounds like this is a different player every week, the "rudy of the day" kind of thing), and, maybe still gets to play on the kickoffs, although I can't confirm this is still the case.

Anyway, that's "the morer you know".

Mark said...

I laughed out loud. Your blog is now a daily read.

Paterno Lives! said...

Thanks man, I've been working hard (in stead of actually working)...hope you continue to enjoy.