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In football, the 12th man is commonly known as the fans or the crowd. They are usually made famous because of the ear drum blowing noise they create. It's like having a 12th man on your offense or defense.
The tradition of the 12th man has grown into entire stadium sections, dressed in a sea of the home team colors, often wearing jerseys that proudly display the number 12, and the "12th man" across the top of it.
But the 12th man tradition didn't start that way. In fact, the tradition of the 12th man was born on the 2nd of January 1922, when the underdog Texas A & M Aggie football team was playing Centre College, at that time the nation's top ranked team.
As the hard fought game wore on, and the Aggies dug deeply into their limited reserves, Coach Dana X. Bible remembered a squad man who was not in uniform.
He had been up in the press box helping reporters identify players. His name was E. King Gill, and was a former football player who was only playing basketball.
Gill was called from the stands, suited up, and stood ready throughout the rest of the game, which A&M finally won 22-14.
When the game ended, E. King Gill was the only man left standing on the sidelines for the Aggies. Gill later said, "I wish I could say that I went in and ran for the winning touchdown, but I did not. I simply stood by in case my team needed me."
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