Texas A&M football came into the weekend ranked No. 6 in the nation. After a brutal loss to unranked Appalachian State, that is no longer the case.
The Aggies paid the Mountaineers a lot of money to travel to pull the upset in College Station and the students back in Boone, N.C. went absolutely bonkers. It was absolute scenes.
To make the loss even more demoralizing, Texas A&M’s yell leaders made themselves look ridiculous with terribly hypocritical jokes on the night prior to the game. Their performance could not have been more uncomfortable in real-time, but it’s even worse after losing.
Texas A&M’s Yell Leaders Are The Cringiest Tradition In College Football
If you are unfamiliar with the Yell Leaders, let this be an introduction. Each week, prior to games, Aggies fans gather at Kyle Field — or at a predetermined location on the road — to practice their cheers and organized chants for the next day.
Five ‘Yell Leaders,’ basically just male cheerleaders, are in charge of the ‘yells.’ It’s a huge deal, but it could not be more painful to watch.
Take this past weekend for example.
Prior to the App State game, which A&M lost, Yell Leader Zac cracked some jokes about the ‘Neers while pacing back and forth in front of fans in the stands. It is so incredibly uncomfortable that you can feel the cringe in your bones.
Zac Cross ’23 opened his attempt to diss the Aggies’ opponent by saying he had to Google App State. That’s a shame, because any true college football fan is very familiar with the program. Especially after its famous upset over Michigan.
He then proceeds to joke that Appalachia is not a state, despite the school’s name. It wasn’t funny.
And then Cross went on to call App State a “hillbilly college.” He does so while wearing overalls at an Agricultural school in College Station, Texas. Think about the irony there for a second.
From there, Cross jokes that the football team can’t read the name on their jerseys or read a map. This is especially funny because App State’s high school GPA requirement for admission into the school is higher than that of Texas A&M’s. Oops!
To close things out, he jokes that the Mountaineers’ only two remaining brain cells will be knocked out by the Aggie defense. And then App State went on to score 17 points and win, so……
Take a look at the incredibly uncomfortable attempt at a stand-up routine. The cringe starts with Cross off of the top and just keeps going as the other Yell Leaders take the mic.
This is not the first time that this has happened either.
Cringeworthy Disses Are What The Aggie Yell Leaders Do
Here is another example of the awkwardness that is the Texas A&M Yell Leaders from 2021, prior to the Mississippi State game.
Oh, and then the Aggies went on to lose that game too. Brutal.
Somehow, nobody has put a stop to this lunacy. You would think that somebody in College Station would say “hey, this is terrible,” but no. Instead, it is a heralded tradition.
Yell Leaders typically wear all-white coveralls and engage in some very strange hand signals. They encourage the fans to do specific, pre-organized and practiced chants. They are weird.
This Yell Leader tradition dates back to the 1900s. Texas A&M was an all-male school and the football team was getting beat badly. The Aggies got blown out early and often.
As a result, the female guests from Texas Women’s University would leave the game early. To try and keep some semblance of a ratio in tact, and not lose their opportunity to interact with a member of the opposite sex, the upperclassmen forced the freshman to entertain the women.
To do so, the freshman raided a janitor’s closet. They took the outfits from the closet and started the tradition of “yells.”
Thus, when you really get down to it, the all-white coveralls that are a storied, proud tradition at A&M are really just janitor clothes. Yikes.
Some Additional Background Into Texas A&M’s Yell Leaders
Here is the full story, per A&M’s official school website. It explains the weird pacing back and forth and the tradition does not sound like something that should be so highly celebrated.
“Yell Practice became a regular after-dinner ritual in 1913, but the first Midnight Yell wasn’t held until 1931. It began when a group of cadets was gathered in Peanut Owens’ dorm room in Puryear Hall, when someone suggested that all of the freshmen should meet on the steps of the YMCA Building at midnight to practice yells.“
“The freshman asked the two senior yell leaders at the time to attend. The two said they couldn’t authorize the event, but they just might happen to show up. Word about the midnight gathering quickly spread, and that evening, Midnight Yell was born. When Owens became a yell leader, it became a tradition to walk back and forth. This was because Owens’ feet were too big to fit on the steps of the YMCA Building, the original location of Midnight Yell, so he paced in order to keep his balance — and the other yell leaders joined in.”
So to recap, the thing that makes Texas A&M so special is a clumsy, big-footed freshman wearing janitor clothes who couldn’t keep his balance on the stairs. That is now an Aggie tradition.
And if the Yell Leader tradition and the App State loss isn’t cringey enough, here’s a throwback:
Could not be me. Tough look, A&M.