One of the most well known and popular traditions at Texas A&M is Midnight Yell Practice. Yell Practice began as a post dinner activity in 1913, when different corps companies would gather together to “learn heartily the old time pep.” However, it was not until 1931, that Yell Practice as it is known today, was held before the t.u. game. It began when a group of cadets were gathered in Peanut Owen’s dorm room in Puryear Hall. Someone suggested that all of the freshmen should fall out and meet on the steps of the YMCA building at midnight. The cadets notified senior yell leaders Horsefly Berryhill and Two Gun Herman from Sherman, who could not authorize it, but said that they may just show up. Well, needless to say, the word spread quickly, and when the freshmen began to arrive, there were railroad flares and torpedoes stuck in flower pots around the YMCA building to light the area. The first Midnight Yell Practice was held!
Today, Midnight Yell is held the night before a home game in Kyle Field and is regularly attended by over 25,000 people. For away games, a site is designated for a Midnight Yell in the city of our opponent on the night before the game. For a yell at Kyle Field, yell leaders lead the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band and the 12th Man into the stadium.
The yell leaders lead the crowd in old army yells and the singing of the fight song (War Hymn), and they tell fables of how the Aggies are going to beat the everlivin’ hell out of our opponent for the next day. Lastly, the lights go out, and Aggies kiss their dates. If they don’t have a date, all they have to do is flick their lighters. As the story goes, the flames make it easier for two dateless people to find each other, and maybe they won’t be dateless anymore! The purpose of Midnight Yell Practice is to pump up the 12th Man for the next day’s big game.