The best play during Saturday’s football game between the Texas A&M Aggies and SMU Mustangs didn’t occur on the field.
As the Mustangs’ Der’rikk Thompson raced toward the end zone, Aggies defensive back Nick Harvey pushed him, causing the wide receiver to go sprinting out of bounds — and directly toward Reveille VIII, the mascot known as the “First Lady of Aggieland,” who was napping nearby.
Ryan Kreider, a Texas A&M sophomore who serves as the “mascot corporal” for Reveille, immediately sprang into action. With his right side, he blocked Thompson and pushed him off in another direction, away from the Collie.
“I was just doing my job,” Kreider said in a video by Brent Zwerneman. “He was coming straight toward Rev, and the first thing that comes to mind is, ‘I’ve got to protect her,’ right? So football instincts took over. I went ahead and lowered the shoulder, and made sure he wasn’t going to hit her.”
Kreider said Thompson seemed surprised, but then ran back onto the field without speaking to him. “He was like, ‘Oh! Well, hopefully I won’t go back here again — I might get hit harder!'”
Reveille VIII is cared for by Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets Company E-2, known as the “mascot company.” Reveille is considered the cadet general and must always be addressed as “Miss Rev, ma’am” by the cadets, according to Aggie Traditions.
Each year a sophomore is appointed mascot corporal and becomes Reveille’s main caretaker — this year, the honor went to Kreider. Reveille accompanies the mascot corporal everywhere, and is apparently granted a lot of authority. If she barks during a class, the class is cancelled. If she decides to sleep on the bed, the mascot corporal is supposed to sleep on the floor.
Texas A&M has had mascots named Reveille since the early 1930s. The first one, a mixed-breed stray, got the name because she would howl along when “Reveille” was played in the morning to wake up the cadets. Most of her successors have been purebred Collies who were donated to the university.
Reveille VIII became the First Lady of Aggieland at the start of the 2008-2009 school year. She is now 8 years old and will retire next spring, living out the rest of her days “at the state-of-the-art Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center on campus, where she will be able to interact with the Aggie community,” according to the tamuTimes. And here’s hoping that, just like the original one, Reveille IX will be a rescue dog.
At yesterday’s game, the Aggies beat the Mustangs 58-6, but the real winner — and most valuable non-player — was, by far, mascot corporal Kreider.
Photo via Vine