It has finally arrived: the week that every commentator has been talking about since mid-November. While the Aggies are not completely unfamiliar with the spotlight, the level of media hype and scrutiny we are about to experience is beyond anything in recent history. Gameday is coming. The SEC Game of the Week is coming. Darren Rovell is currently purchasing a pair of glasses with a fake nose and mustache in order to walk freely among us, none the wiser. Everyone is coming.
In light of this sudden influx, Texas A&M University and the College Station Tourism Board1 have contacted me - a known ambassador of good will - to compile this handy-dandy guide to being a Fish2 out of water in the BCS metropolis3. Armed with this information, an iron constitution, and a self-removing hat you can be sure that your visit to College Station will be relatively incident-free!
1 - Not a real entity.
2 - A&M jokes! Stick around, it gets better!
3 - Does not meet Sim City 2 requirements for metropolis.
WELCOME TO TOWN!
Highway 6 runs both ways, and you have selected the correct direction friend! Welcome to Aggieland, home of Texas A&M University, the George Bush Presidential Library, and the most hated fan base in the most hated state in this great union!
WHERE TO EAT
It's important to set a base layer of meat and grease to fortify your stomach before engaging in the brand of binge drinking specifically discouraged by TABC. Fortunately, College Station has no shortage of food that will put Texas-sized clogs in your arteries without breaking into your bail money.
- Looking for the best burger in town? Try Koppe Bridge, a favorite Aggie hangout. Each location is conveniently open for 3 non-consecutive hours two days a week.
- For a true college eating experience, chop a microwaved hot dog into a cup of ramen noodles. Consume while seated on a couch in a filthy apartment alone watching Girls Gone Wild.
- One of College Station's many high quality sushi restaurants will serve as a welcome respite from Alabama fans.
WHILE ON CAMPUS
Though your visit to Aggieland will no doubt be a whirlwind, make time to tour the campus before heading into the game. You'll be rewarded with the kind of experience that only a large state school in Texas can provide!
- Tour the beautiful A&M campus and see architecture inspired by some of Germany and Siberia's most historic prisons.
- When visiting the Memorial Student Center, please be respectful and observe the rules by not wearing a hat indoors, walking on the grass, or riding a bike outside, which serve as a constant reminder that you should maybe just not bother visiting the Memorial Student Center.
- There is a little-known network of steam tunnels running underneath the campus. If you're feeling adventurous, consider breaking into them, exploring for hours, getting lost, and eventually settling down and founding a dystopian society down there.
A&M celebrates its history as a military school, and the Corps of Cadets is the remaining bastion of that storied past. Today the Corps prides itself in being the keepers of tradition, the embodiment of the Aggie Code of Honor, and the guys who can really screw up a color-coordinated-t-shirt-day in the Kyle Field student section.
- Composed entirely of cadets, the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band is a must-see for anyone new to Aggieland. However, be aware that consuming LSD and then watching the "four winds drill" has caused vibrations so bad that they resulted in the creation of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. This crime against humanity must be avoided.
- While it is only a rumor that class must be dismissed if Reveille barks during the lecture, it is a little known fact that having Reveille hump your leg is the only way to be promoted to dean of a department.
- The Corps has never done anything embarrassing. Ever.
THE KYLE FIELD EXPERIENCE
The historic home of the 12th Man is an imposing and staggering sight to behold, and this will be the last year to see it in its current iteration. Here are a few helpful hints and interesting tidbits for your first visit to the Hate Barn.
- No, that's not the shrieking of a mule with its gonads caught in a bear trap. It's the Aggie faithful performing their "wildcats"! Seniors and juniors have the privilege to let loose the trademark "Whoop!" that Aggies use to show approval, hail cabs, sign legal documents, and lull their children to sleep. Sophomores emit a noise that can only be described as an AMC Gremlin trying to start in an ice storm on bad gas. Any freshman who speaks in public is shot on sight.
- That smell is the guano created by the protected colony of Mexican Free Tailed Bats that has inhabited Kyle Field for many years. In return for being left alone, the bats provide the service of dispatching the occasional plague of crickets that swarm all decks of Kyle. The annual migration of these creatures to their native land marks the only time you will hear someone in College Station talk about someone going back to Mexico and it being even remotely acceptable.
- It can get pretty hot in Texas! Be sure to visit the concessions stand to settle on Pepsi products and convince yourself that they're good enough I guess.
The game is over, and it's time for a night out on the town to toast your victory or drink until you can't feel feelings anymore. In College Station that means you're off to Northgate, the historic bar district immediately north of the main campus.
- Almost any venue will serve you a cold beer or a crowd-pleasing Flaming Dr. Pepper, but the savvy tourist will order one of the local faves. These include the Fran - one Little Debbie Zebra Cake washed down with all-you-can-drink well vodka straight, or the Sherman - a two part drink that's so smooth you'll barely even know it's there the second half.
- Northgate is a relatively casual area, and flip-flops are certainly acceptable footwear provided that you enjoy the relaxing feel of strangers' urine lapping at your feet as you relieve yourself into a trough filled with ice. In Northgate real estate, that qualifies as a water feature.
- Should you be accosted by the CSPD, be prepared to present multiple forms of ID indicating multiple dates of birth.
You're now a savvy visitor to the Biggest Little Sliver In Texas! Go celebrate with a suitcase of Lone Star while sitting in the bed of a moving truck. Just remember to leave the truck outside of city limits, as there is nowhere to park legally within a 6 mile radius of the campus.