Susan "Sue" Owen '94 October 9, 2018 6:31 PM updated: October 9, 2018 6:40 PM
The University of Kentucky hadn’t played football in College Station since 1952, when “in a moving gesture of sportsmanship,” A&M’s cadets “carried the victorious Wildcats from the field on their shoulders.”
It’s good to see not everything has changed.
Kentucky alumni and other members of Big Blue Nation were happy to find a warm welcome in Aggieland before and after the Oct. 6 game (which this time, A&M won).
“If the world treated everyone the way Texas A&M treated us this weekend the world would be a better place!” tweeted a member of the Kentucky cheer squad, Kyle Steele.
“It was truly the best experience any of us have ever had,” Steele added. “Cheering for us upon arrival, as we warmed up, wanted pictures with us, continued to ask if we needed anything.”
Two Kentucky alumni wrote a letter to The Battalion thanking Aggies for kindness: “When we had a need, we weren’t asked whether we needed help — the need was simply addressed. This is a lesson that should be taught and exported.”
Phil and Cookie Foster wrote that they were interested to see the Corps march, “but could not see behind the crowd that had formed. Aggie fans John and Renee recognized our dilemma and offered their front row vantage point, and then invited us to their tailgate party. We were welcomed not as competitors but as friends.”
Several Aggies helped them get a wheelchair through the crowds and into the stadium by lifting it down from a curb and even helping push it up a long ramp.
The Fosters also appreciated “the ‘Welcome Kentucky Wildcats’ sign in front of the Rudder Tower’s ‘Howdy’ topiary. That was very classy and set the tone for the rest of our day.”
Kentucky fan Jason Oaks tweeted that Aggies were “the absolute best hosts I’ve ever seen for a sporting event. Unbelievably nice. Like over the top nice.”
Wildcats writer Nick Roush of Kentucky Sports Radio wrote, “Every UK fan I spoke to had never been treated so kindly on the road,” in an article titled, “Give me the College Station Kool-Aid.”
“Kentucky fans everywhere were greeted with a ‘howdy.’ If you were hungry, they fed you. If you were thirsty, there was a cooler of beer or a tap for you to enjoy,” Roush wrote.
“Most SEC football fans are nice to Kentuckians before football games because they are confident they will win. A&M fans are nice because it is the right thing to do.”
Roush also described Aggie traditions including Midnight Yell from a visitor’s perspective:
“At least 25,000 people filled two lower bowls of Kyle Field the night before the game. Aside from the corny trash-talk, it warmed my heart to see the unity and camaraderie between Texas A&M fans.”
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