The 13th Man

The Texas A&M Aggies are famous for many things: Friday night yell practice, the yell fish, kissing your girl after a score, kissing someone else’s girl after a score, Dat Nguyen, remarkably high ranking collies, so forth. A&M’s most famous aspect might be the idea of the 12th Man: an entire stadium standing at attention, just in case someone’s injured and a student (or reasonably non-flabby being) is called upon to descend from the stands, shed his work-a-day garb and don the maroon and white uniform of an Aggie to shuffle around on the field and not get in the game which is, basically, how the tradition started. It’s noble in ideal and, because the original 12th man E. King Gill never got to actually play, certainly noble in practice. This is Division I-A college football (!!!), and it’s scary enough letting walk-ons miss tackles against Allen Patrick. Still: 12th Man. It’s pretty cool.

There is a 13th Man at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field. That Man is named the University Police Department. I was arrested by the 13th Man sometime around 12:30 a.m. on the morning (or night) of Monday, November 19th, for hopping a fence and walking into the stadium and taking pictures and, generally, being the incaculably foolish fan that I am. But I did get some pictures, one of which was taken by the security guard who called in the four police cars that eventually showed up. He was a decent human being who took pity on a poor schmuck about to be hauled off into the awful waiting game of Dial-a-Bondsman.

So now I’ve got a charge of criminal trespass, a Class B Misdemeanor. I also spent 12 hours in the Brazos County Jail. My arresting officer – a reasonably decent Panamanian named Dalton – answered my question, posed from the back of a squad car because I was after all arrested, concerning the relative excitement of the morning shift at Texas A&M University by saying, very prophetically: “Well, you get your typical student dumb shits. Drunk, partying, dope [author's note: I haven't heard the term "dope" outside of interviews with guys like H.S.T. and Muhammad Ali and Lyndon Baines Johnson], that kind of thing. Then you have [the town of] Bryan, which isn’t too nice.”

Me: “Lots of crime?”

Dalton: “Oh, yeah. You know those lists they put together at newspapers or U.S. World News and Report or whatever?”

Me: “Yeah, you mean like ‘Nation’s Safest City’?”

Dalton: “Yeah. Except Brazos County ain’t on that list.”

My holding cell mates when I left were: a chunky white man about 34 years old with an $11,000 bail – accrued, anecdotally, through things like fraud and other less glamorously violent charges – and no hope of posting after being there since Saturday and who was well versed at using a roll of toilet paper for a pillow and his jacket as a blanket/night-simulator; a mid-twenties black man transferring from Sandy Creek prison named Chris, who’s served 3-and-a-half years on an 16 year term for aggravated assault which, as he explained to me, “ain’t no small shit. You don’t even sniff parole until year eight man, ya dig me? Thass why I’m here paying it off, man, you got-ta pay it off else you’ll be in this motherfucker forever,” with “paying it off” a catch-all phrase for coming to terms with whatever shit you’ve got yourself in, a kind of karmic koan to help concentrate the necessarily fickle idiot winds of human consciousness into a relatively efficient force capable of dealing with court appointed lawyers and the ugly realities of the Brazos County Jail baloney sandwiches, and let me emphasize that Chris, with his rolling bass thunder of a voice and his impossible to understand pitch-oscillation, was a helluva pro bono adviser because he gave me an absolutely sterling mental tour of the surrounding incarceration industries; a Guatamalan man picked up for hitting another car and being Guatamalan, which is to say illegal immigrant – a fact confirmed for us by the Gautamalan whose only English words seemed to be “free?” while pointing at the collect call phone, “taxi driver” in explanation of his (illegal) occupation, and “deportation” in reference to his fate. The Gautamalan slept like a baby most of the time, a man deeply in touch with his destiny and completely serene with whatever was going to happen to him in the terribly strange country we call America.

I was bailed out by a Mr. David Hargrave, whom I’ve never met. David is the brother of Daniel Hargrave, a family friend for many years, a staunch Texan and one of the best human beings I’ve ever eaten In ‘n Out with (there are literally thousands of human beings I’ve eaten In ‘n Out with, and Daniel is in the .001 percentile which, due to my math skills, might actually make him into a fractional person but whatever). The loose network of support I call my Mobile Ozone Layer began to branch out into the dark corners of the bail bond universe and, from all the way by LAX in Los Angeles, a spark was set forth that would eventually become the all-mighty raging inferno of a miracle personified by David when he drove, from Houston on the way to Fort Worth, to pick my ass up from County.

Also: my mom rocks.

So I now have a $1015 bail bond fee and a $143 towing charge to add to the growing list of horrors I call a budget.

Am I bitter? Certainly. But I am also realisitc. Every officer of the peace I met told me, “Yeah, it sucks, but it’s our job. If you had done this any other time besides the Texas game you probably would’ve been fine.” This last part rotated in with things like “before 9/11″ and “the whole Bush library thing”.

So it appears that once again the unholy trinity of the Texas Longhorns, George Herbert Walker Bush and Osama bin Laden have conspired to make my life painfully, painfully interesting.

Finally: 5’8″?!? That’s bullshit. I’m 5’9″. That’s just egregious misrepresentation of the facts. I demand a lawyer.

15 Comments

Filed under Big XII, One CFB Road Trip to rule them all

15 responses to “The 13th Man

  1. Jay

    You couldn’t get arrested while you were in Knoxville, you know, going to a football game with 2 lawyers?

    Dude. Timing is everything.

  2. Condor

    Some friends of mine were arrested breaking into Notre Dame stadium. They used a grappling hook.

  3. I R A Darth Aggie

    D’oh!

  4. beast in 'bama

    College Station: the living embodiment of the notion that some of the Nazis got away and formed a new “society.”

    Not sure which would be more dangerous to your manhood – the Brazos County Jail or the Aggie Yell Leaders.

  5. Mark

    I would bet on the Yell Leaders, have you watched those nut jobs?

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  7. I am under court order to not discuss this case, and also to eat as much In ‘n Out as I can. That’s what the judge said and that’s what I’m gonna do.

  8. I’m hoping to avoid arrest during the completion of the UFP. Of course, I’m planning on seeing these stadiums when they’re actually open for business. :P

    Sucks that you got arrested, but it’ll spice the book up quite a bit. Gotta put a positive spin on that shit you know?

  9. Much easier to put a positive spin on this than the whole ULM thing. And I think I’m being serious.

    Also: damn am I asymmetrical. Cauliflower doesn’t help.

  10. Yeah, there’s no way to spin that….at all. I didn’t even try. I even told all of my friends that are fans of rival teams that I’d be making fun of them if the same thing happened to them so they should live it up. That somehow took some of the pleasure of it for them and any shit I got for that loss was kept to a minimum.

  11. Sorry to hear of your legal troubles brother. That really sucks donkey dick. Hope everything is ok. BTW, you’re taking this WAAAYYYY to well.

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  13. ‘m sure you’re all familiar with the Twelfth Man and its symbolic significance pertaining to the Aggie fan base and their readiness to support their team at all times. Like the 12th Man, the 13th Man also supports the Aggie football team with religious fervor and extreme prejudice, but in a sort of misguided way. The 13th Man is easy to recognize because he is often seen wearing three different shades of Maroon, jean shorts, and, when properly lubricated with Boones Farm or Antifreeze (usually depends which one is on sale), talks more trash than any two actual A&M students put together.

    The irony of the 13th Man is that he didn’t actually attend Texas A&M but he feels his backwoods, East Texas upbringing warrants an honorary Doctorate in Animal Husbandry anyway. And since he never actually attended Fish Camp, the 13th Man rarely fully grasps the true meaning of the traditions being displayed around him and frequently “whoops” at the wrong time (like at my wedding) and sways in the wrong direction. When asked to join pinkies in the traditional satanic love call, he often offers the wrong finger, usually the more vulgar and banal middle finger.

    Moreover, the 13th Man has never actually been to Austin but considers it the gateway to hell. And though he has no clue as to who or what “Ole Varsity” is, he keeps an 18-volt cordless circular in the back of his pick-up just in case he ever meets him and needs to saw his horns off. And though his acute dyslexia probably prevented him from completing the 6th grade, the 13th Man is often credited with coming up with the saying: “Beat the hell out of T.U.”

  14. Ok sorry E4E but this is going to be a bit negative.

    Does anyone else thing the 13th man flag is dumb? Do the Esks think that raising a stupid flag on the pole, that should have the Grey Cup flag on it, will make up for the way they treat us? Then man, are they out to lunch.

    They did such a poor job of raising it at the Sask game that they had to explain it on their Esks Insider email. If they really think a flag and a stupid ceremony before the game will appeal to the fans they are so far out of touch that it scares me.

    One more thing (Sorry E4E) why do they have a picture of McMahon stadium on the Insider email? Don’t they have one of Commonwealth? Sad.

    On a positive note I am really looking forward to the Kick off of the CFL season tonight! No watching Finding Nemo tonight!

  15. Is this spam? I am deeply, profoundly confused.

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