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Texas A&M Football

Author John A. Adams '73 discusses new book, "Standing Ready"

May 18, 2022

John A. Adams '73 joined TexAgs Radio Wednesday morning with TexAgs co-owner Hunter Goodwin to discuss his recently released book, "Standing Ready The Golden Era of Texas Aggie Football and the Beginning of the 12th Man Tradition."

Key notes from John A. Adams

  • Coming out of World War I, Texas A&M had more students on active duty - over 53 percent - than any other school in the country. At the same time, D.X. Bible came to coach at Texas A&M. An emotional connection started. At the end of the season, A&M went on to beat Centre College, which was the No. 1 team in the country. The Aggies were the de facto No. 1 team in the country. Out of this game, a connection to sport formed, and Texas A&M got a lot of attention. Among all of this, you have a guy who came out of the stands because of the injuries to join his team on the sidelines.

  • This event took place, unbeknownst to anybody with this guy coming out of the stands. The Aggies only took 15 players, and they were up early. Bible was running two-a-day practices in Dallas, and a player broke his leg. Bible had them practice for an hour and a half before the game.

  • E. King Gill was kept in College Station to play basketball because they were getting ready for basketball season. He’s from Dallas and was released for the holiday, so he hitchhikes home. He hitchhiked over to the stadium and walked in with the team because he didn’t have any money. Gill went up as a spotter in the press box because he didn’t have a seat.

  • The Aggies begin to have injuries. Their quarterback has=d a leg injury, and their best receiver had a concussion. At that point, you had to forfeit if you didn’t have 11 players. Bible knew he might have a significant problem. Gill said he knew he was being summoned when Bible turned around to call him down.

  • When I talked to Gill, he was a very humble man. He went on to be a three-sport All-Southwest Conference selection in baseball, basketball and football. That next fall, he went on to score the first touchdown against Texas, and he almost had a second touchdown in Austin.

  • After they came back from Dallas, Gill was recognized. The way this tradition caught fire was before the Sugar Bowl in 1940. They needed a neat story about Texas A&M and football. They did a three-minute spot about E. King Gill and the 12th Man. It was played dozens of times around the country, and that’s when it was codified and explained what it truly meant to Texas A&M.

  • Visiting Texas A&M Press, You can get the book on the website, but you can also go into the A&M bookstore and find it. Amazon and  other sites have it as well.

Key notes from Hunter Goodwin on Texas A&M University Press

  • I was recently asked by some people you don’t say “no” to about joining the board of the Texas A&M University Press. 30-50 books a year, and we collaborate with the university. We also have a cool show called the “Bookmark” that airs on KAMU.

  • I love history, I love Texas history, and I love war history. I went through my own personal library, and I found 17 books or so publishing by the A&M press. One of my favorite books is “From Leader to Legend” about General Rudder, and my wife and kids make fun of me for how many quotes I have highlighted. Most of you probably have books published by the university press, and you just don’t know it.

  • Go get the book. Read it and understand it. It’s a great piece of history.

Here is the release from Oldham Goodwin on Hunter Goodwin being named to the Advancement Board of the Texas A&M University Press:

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — Hunter Goodwin, President and COO of Oldham Goodwin, recently was named to the Advancement Board of the Texas A&M University Press. The Advancement Board is a group of former students and other friends of the Press who support the Press and its mission, provide ideas, encouragement, and tangible support for the Press’s publishing programs.

“Board members come from a diverse range of interests and backgrounds, but they all share a love of books, big ideas, and Texas A&M University,” said Texas A&M University Press Director Dr. Jay Dew. “The membership committee of the board recommended Hunter to us. We are not only grateful that he agreed to serve but are also immediately impressed by the enthusiasm and ‘Gig’ em!’ spirit that Hunter carries with him everywhere.”

Founded in 1974, Texas A&M University Press is the nonprofit book publishing arm of one of the nation’s leading research and land grant institutions. Publishing an average of 40-60 books each year, Texas A&M University Press has won more than 500 national and regional book awards. The Press is a premier publisher in Texas history, nature, and culture with a global reputation in military history, natural resources, and nautical archaeology.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to be a small part of the fantastic work that Texas A&M University Press is doing,” said Goodwin. “Producing important new resources on everything from the history of the 12th Man to the Cold War to the legacy of Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark, the Press provides an important service to the state of Texas and beyond. It’s truly an honor to join them in their work.”

Among other important new titles, the Texas A&M University Press recently published Standing Ready: The Golden Era of Texas Aggie Football and the Beginning of the 12th Man Tradition. Written by historian John A. Adams, the book offers previously unknown details and insights on Aggie football history, including the legendary 1922 Dixie Classic, where the cherished tradition of the 12th Man was born. Adams uncovers enthralling details: the pregame conversation between A&M coach D.X. Bible and the original 12th Man, E. King Gill, that put Gill in uniform on the sidelines, the diagram of the play the Aggies ran to score the game-winning touchdown, and much more. Read more about Standing Ready and order a copy from Texas A&M University Press.

Learn more about Texas A&M University Press and browse the extensive collection of available books.

Hunter Goodwin is Texas A&M Class of 1996, a 2022 recipient of the Texas A&M Agriculture & Life Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award, and a 2019 inductee to the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Honor. He is President and COO of Oldham Goodwin, a Texas commercial real estate company based in Bryan/College Station.

You can purchase Standing Ready: The Golden Era of Texas Aggie Football and the Beginning of the 12th Man Tradition HERE

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