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K-State Road Trip: College Station, Texas

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Today, I had one of those moments where I was sitting around and thinking that I should try to be more helpful on this site.  At about that point, it struck me that I have been to football games at College Station before, and thus could offer a visiting fan's guide to the town and campus.  Note that I don't consider myself anything approaching an expert on the town, so if Beergut or Jarrett from I Am The 12th Man want to chime in and supplement or, more likely, correct me, they are more than welcome to do so.

First of all, I love going to games in College Station.  I've said it before, but I really am one of those nostalgiac types who loves the history and tradition and pageantry that goes along with college football.  Now you can probably tell why I like going to games at Kyle Field.

General Recommendations

Walk around the Texas A&M campus.  It's pretty much humongous, though, so make sure you get a map or know where you're going.  Go see the Bonfire Memorial and swing by the Sul Ross statue in the Academic Plaza.  A visitor to campus should remember a couple things.  First, the grass on the Quadrangle is a memorial, and you will really anger the hosts if you walk on it.  If you're not sure where you are on campus, it's probably a good idea just to stay on the sidewalks.  Also, don't be surprised if someone takes offense to you wearing a hat inside a campus building.

If you're going to be in town on Friday night, you may want to head over to Kyle Field for Midnight Yell.  At the risk of offending some of my Aggie friends, I didn't find Yell to be particularly exciting, but that's probably because it's pretty much a pep rally for the home team.  It is considered one of the great traditions in college football, though, so you may want to check it out.

Other things to see would include the athletic venues, particularly Kyle Field, Reed Arena, and the massive Bright Football Complex.  Money is a wonderful thing.

Food and Drink

Much like Rusty's in Manhattan, the Dixie Chicken is the legendary bar in College Station.  The similarities probably end there, though.  I have had some great times at the Chicken, as well as a lot of beer.  Don't bother asking for a gin and tonic here, it's all beer.  Order pitcher after pitcher (NOTE: BOTC does not advocate irresponsible consumption of alcohol) of your favorite beer, but for God's sake don't drink it out of the pitcher.  I got yelled at last time for this particular offense...repeatedly.

The Chicken also serves food, and I found their burgers and fries pretty tasty.  But when you're in College Station, you can't miss Freebirds.  Think Chipotle, but way better.  Both the Chicken and Freebirds are located in Northgate, which is College Station's version of Aggieville.  I just realized how confusing that previous sentence could be for a non-K-Stater, so I will note that Aggieville is the bar district in Manhattan, Kan., for those who don't know.

Gameday

If you're going to this game, you probably have a tailgating idea already set up, but I would strongly recommend you wander around the designated tailgating areas around Kyle Field and mingle with the Aggies.  They are, without a doubt, the most genuinely nice fans in the Big 12, and will probably be happy to talk football over a beer (in a Solo cup) with you.  Wear your colors proudly, they aren't going to throw insults or batteries at you.

Make sure you get to the stadium a little early so you don't miss the pregame festivities.  I highly recommend getting into the act for the Aggie War Hymn, which means putting your arms over the shoulders of those next to you (right foot back, left foot forward), and swaying back and forth.

Also, enjoy the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band at halftime.  For me, this is always the highlight of A&M's visits to Manhattan.  They put on a great show.

If you have any other questions, post them in the comments and I'm sure Beergut or Jarrett won't hesitate to help you out.

I also wanted to post this video, because I think the song and the video give a good overview of Texas A&M for those who haven't been there before.  You may also want to check out the longer version of the song/video.