Among the first to stir Thursday around Williams-Brice Stadium were the occupants of about two dozen RVs in a section of the S.C. Fairgrounds set aside for opposing team fans.
Karen and Howard Barrow of Dallas had been to the Midnight Yell practice at the State House, but they were up before 8, enjoying coffee under the awning of their RV.
Karen Barrow, who lived in South Carolina for two years as a child, had told Aggie friends how friendly people are here.
So she was disappointed that some University of South Carolina students disrupted the traditional yell practice.
“They were cussing,” she said. “I know they’re college kids, but show a little respect.”
Texas A&M fans by the thousands swarmed the State House steps and lawn late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, wrapping around the east side of the building and even spilling over to the sidewalk across Gervais Street for their traditional Midnight Yell Practice. It’s considered among the most storied traditions in college football.
The tradition dates back to 1913, when cadets would gather to “learn heartily the old time pep” as a post-dinner activity. In 1931, the first Midnight Yell Practice as it is known today was held, when cadets held a pep rally the night before a football game. Aggie fans traditionally fill the stands at A&M’s Kyle Field for Midnight Yell Practice the night before home games.
Some A&M fans said they were disappointed with the USC party-crashers at the State House, whose overlapping cheering they found disrespectful. Other Aggies, though, appreciated thecompetition among the opposing yellers.
Karen Barrow said the incident wouldn’t spoil her trip.
She was looking forward to a beautiful day Thursday and a great game, whether her team wins or not.
“I always look through my little heart-shaped glasses,” she said, referring to the specs she was wearing in the bright early morning sun.
Carolina fans just couldn't resist a chance to show their ignorance last night at Aggie yell practice.— Nathan Swords (@coachswords) August 28, 2014
In my experience the people who try to disrupt an #Aggie yell are people too worried others will find their team support lacking...— Quentin Coryatt (@GhostOfQC44) August 28, 2014
BTW, next Aggie Yell in South Carolina....may need to only distribute the location via Varsity.— Charles F (@charlesf11) August 28, 2014
Staff writer Sarah Ellis contributed.