The first test of the 12th Man Team would be the University of California, the team that had scored on the last play of the previous season when they returned a kickoff into the Stanford band (an historic play). David Beal, the graduate assistant in charge of the kickoff team was not intimidated. He simply said that if the Aggie band had been on the field, California would not have scored. Cal had no better luck with Beal’s 12th MKOT.
This 252 page hardbound book is filled with action shots from games and many other related photographs from the era. An interesting epilog includes a “Where Are They Now” section to which I referred frequently. The cover painting is by Rick Rush, America’s Sports Artist.
Jackie Sherrill became head coach at Texas A & M in January of 1982 and stayed there until December of 1988. The 12th Man Team took the field for the first time in September of 1983 and during Sherrill’s tenure never gave up a touchdown. Opponents seldom got past their own twenty yard line and only Sam Martin of LSU got past the fifty. Sherrill resigned in an effort to keep the turmoil of an NCAA investigation of the Southwestern Conference away from the field. He eventually went to Mississippi State and led them to unprecedented success. Sherrill was never personally found guilty of any NCAA rules violations at either Mississippi State or Texas A&M. So, like the special team he had originated and cheered on, Sherrill has never been licked.
Dennis Mudd, a twenty year veteran of the Mobil Corporation and a member of the 1983 12th MKOT says, “Opposing players didn’t quite understand why in the world people would volunteer their own time all week just to play football on Saturday. They didn’t understand what it meant to be an Aggie and represent Aggies all over the world.” Once completed, readers of this book will know.