It creates identity. It creates excitement. It creates pride.
Down in College Station, Texas, Texas A&M has one tradition that may prevent the creation of future Aggies. Casuals may know it as the “A&M nut squeeze” but the good people at Kyle Field know it as a variation of “humping it.”
Texas A&M’s “Hump It” Tradition
One of the most sacred Aggie traditions is the Aggie yell. Fans engage in synchronized yells to cheer for their team, no matter the sport.
As you can guess, football is the sport where fans are the loudest and yelling with all your might requires a lot of air.
What is one way to increase lung capacity? Apparently, the trick is to bend over and grab your knees. Reddit user “tamuowen” broke it down for us:
“When we do our coordinated group yells (led by our all-male cheerleaders) all the students ‘hump it’ by bending over and grabbing their knees (note: nut-hugging is not encouraged). Supposedly it’s done to increase your lung capacity and make you yell louder, but like many things around here it’s become a tradition.
“Our yell leaders start the yell by passing back a hand signal — you’ll hear the student section yell, ‘Pass it back Ags,’ followed by, ‘Hump it Ags,’ and then the yell leaders commence the actual yelling.”Advertisement
That’s good and dandy, but to show solidarity with the boys on the field some fans take it to another level, specifically the Corps of Cadets.
The Cadets bend and grab their knees, only they also have been known to grab their junk at the same time. Allegedly, the yell leaders shout “Squeeze Ags!” to commence the shared bond.
Why Do They Do It & When Did it Start?
No one knows for certain when the nut-squeeze twist of “hump it” started. My best guess is some 19-year-old thought it was funny back in the day and somehow convinced everyone else it was to “share pain” with the players on the field.
That guy was laughing until his nuts were sore every Sunday of his college career, but hey, no one can ever question his Aggie spirit. Plus, I’m not sure how women can join in on this tradition.
Do They Still Do It?
“Humping it” appears to still be a part of Texas A&M tradition. The “nut squeeze” not so much.
The latest video evidence I’ve seen is from the 2006 football game against Texas Tech. The Corps of Cadets squeezed up 27-24 with one minute left in the fourth quarter.
Their efforts were squandered when Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Robert Johnson to win the game. A last-second touchdown is as good a reason as ever to discontinue the painful tradition.
One thing is evident, Texas A&M fans’ dedication to their team is up there with the best of college football. They’re willing to put their entire bodies on the line to prove it.