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A&M students drive Aggie basketball fan traditions

Susan "Sue" Owen '94 February 1, 2023 9:02 PM updated: February 16, 2023 9:49 AM

LEFT: A special gameday page printed in The Battalion filled the stands in 2007. (Photo by Spencer Selvidge ’07/The Aggieland, 2007).
Free throw distractions circa 2014 in the A&M student section – featuring giant players’ heads. (Photo by Texas A&M Athletics)

Aggie students “parting the sea” and chanting “Brick! Brick!” added to a dominating atmosphere as the A&M men’s team beat Florida on Jan. 18, 2023. It all helps to psych out opposing players – a “brick” in basketball means a bad shot. (Video by Texas A&M Basketball.)

As Texas A&M’s basketball teams rock Reed Arena this season, you’ll see Aggie students engaging in a whole range of yells, distractions and encouragements.

What are all those moves and sounds from the student section? 

If you can’t get to a game to find out, here’s a list to get you started, compiled with help from Reed Rowdies gameday executive Luke White ’25. Most apply to both the men’s and women’s games, he said.

Many traditions are carried on from A&M history. Whether you attended games in Deware Field House (1924-54), G. Rollie White Coliseum (1954-98) or Reed Arena (1998-present), you’re likely to find something familiar!

The Reed Rowdies student group, the student Hullabaloo Band (founded in 2004) and the Texas A&M yell leaders all help build the spirit in the stands.

  • “Sit down, bus driver”: This yell had its origin at 1950s Aggie basketball games and grew so popular it’s been adopted in other A&M sports. Read how it began at “When the opposing coach has a play reviewed or argues with the referee, the yell leaders lead this yell,” White said.
  • Reading the Batt: Pretending to read a copy of The Battalion while the opposing team’s lineup is announced. This tradition goes back at least to the ’80s, and might have reached a peak in the 2000s. It’s still around today, and the Reed Rowdies use other props during the game, too.
  • Free throw distractions: Many fanbases create movements or noise to distract free throw shooters, but it makes a big difference when you have the A&M yell leaders helping you synchronize. In one move that’s been called “parting the sea,” half the student section moves left while the other half splits right on the yell leaders’ signal.
  • “Roast sheet”: Just like at Aggie baseball, heckling is a part of the game, and the Reed Rowdies do their research. They compile a Google document before the games full of details about opposing players that can be used to distract them. 

Others you may see or hear this season, listed by White:

  • Yelling "AAAAAA" or "Defense" during opposing possessions.
  • When an opposing player commits a foul, pointing at the player and yelling "You" five times.
  • When the Aggies make a three-pointer, the yell leaders count to three and the audience jumps.
  • Yelling "Ball" repeatedly when the opposing team passes the ball back in bounds.
  • When a timeout is called, shouting "Chairs" repeatedly towards the opponents’ student managers as they bring out seating for the players.
  • On A&M free throws, clapping when the ref bounces the ball to the player, then holding up hands in an “A” (like the passback for the yell “Aggies”) as the A&M player shoots.

White encouraged more Aggies to come attend basketball games in person. 

“Reed Arena is a special place, and we're hoping students and the 12th Man show out and show their support at men's and women's games this season,” he said.

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