COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - For 35 years, Alan Cannon has had what others describe as the best seat in Aggie Football - the press box.
While Kyle Field is known for hosting some of the largest and loudest fans, the press box high above the gridiron features a more tranquil atmosphere. There are no whoops. No boos. No claps. There is no room for the Spirit of Aggieland in a working press box.
“I’ve actually asked the vice president of the university several years ago to relocate because he was cheering,” said Cannon, Texas A&M’s associate athletic director of media relations.
Cannon described it to The Eagle (https://bit.ly/1pVFQr1) of Bryan-College Station as “the quietest place in Kyle Field.”
On Dec. 21, the press box and the rest of the west side of the stadium will come crumbling down when it is imploded to make way for the second phase of the $450 million stadium redevelopment. The press will be relocated next season to a press box on the east side of the stadium.
Cannon was one of many sharing stories about their first time in the press box.
Cannon was a student intern at Southern Methodist University in 1979 when he was invited to an Aggie football game by Texas A&M’s sports information director, Spec Gammon.
The game? Texas vs. Texas A&M.
“I was amazed,” Cannon said, talking about his first impression of the press box.
The Ags beat the Longhorns that year, and Cannon has spent every home game since in the press box.
“I’ve basically grown up here,” Cannon said.
Greg and Marla Gammon remember seeing their father, Spec Gammon, running the press box from a command post in the 1980s, when it was constructed. The siblings spent most of their lives watching Kyle Field change and grow.
Greg said he remembered getting off of the elevator and the first thing he saw was his dad sitting behind the command post.
“It was a new era for him. A new era for A&M,” he said, adding, “The thing that comes to mind is everything looked so much bigger back then.”
Marla recalled eating many Thanksgiving dinners in the press box. She and her brother both were glad they got to spend one last Thanksgiving in the press box.
“I thought I’d be sad,” Greg said.
“It’s just nice to see it one last time. I have a lot of memories and they’ll go down with the press box.”
The one part of the press box that will continue to receive mixed reviews even after it’s gone is the swaying that occurs when the Aggies “saw varsity’s horns off.”
“For the longest time, there was a discussion: Is the press box actually moving or is it just an optical illusion,” assistant media relations director Brad Marquardt said. “Eventually, it got worse to where you could see the movement in glasses of water.”
Marquardt has attended every Aggie football game - home and away - since 1995. He said it’ll be strange to spend his Saturdays on the opposite side of the field.
“I won’t miss how high it is. But the new press box is just as high,” he said. “It’ll be a new look over there, that’s for sure.”
Information from: The Eagle, https://www.theeagle.com
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