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We'll miss the marvelous halftime performances of the Aggie Band

We'll miss the marvelous halftime performances of the Aggie Band

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Texas A&M vs. Alabama

Members of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band prepare to take the field for their halftime performance during the Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 game between Texas A&M and Alabama at Kyle Field. View more photos here.

Fans of Texas Aggie football are almost giddy with excitement about the start of the 2020 football season, even though it will be truncated and most of us won’t be in the stands at Kyle Field. That doesn’t change the passion fans have for the Aggies.

There are some things the coronavirus pandemic can change, but can’t stop. Yes, the Aggies will play only other Southeastern Conference teams, which means some much=anticipated games have been canceled.

And when the Aggies open the season against Vanderbilt on Sept. 26, Kyle Field will host only 25 percent of its official capacity of 102,733. The percentage may increase as the season progresses.

For now, A&M officials are working hard to determine which season-ticket holders and which students will get to see the game live. It can’t be an easy task since Kyle Field typically was jammed to capacity before COVID-19 and, absent the pandemic, no doubt would be again this season.

The limitation on the number of fans in the stadium is mandated by the need to social distance to lessen the chance of spreading the virus. We have seen what happens when crowds gather without keeping proper distancing and without wearing masks, as recommended by virtually every health expert in the country.

It will be a whole new ballgame, indeed.

Fans will adjust to the changes since they have no choice.

But Friday, the SEC broke the hearts of fans — both Aggies and supporters of other schools — when it announced that the Fightin- Texas Aggie Band will not be allowed to march on the field at halftime or perform on the field before kickoff. That hurts, that really hurts.

Just last week, we ran a letter from a women who was excited to hear the Aggie Band rehearse in the early morning hours. Her letter made the anticipation for the start of the season even stronger.

In normal years, the stands at halftime remain pretty full until after the band has performed and run off the field. Even fans of other schools acknowledge the joy of watching the Aggie Band perform its mind-boggling intricate maneuvers.

Even worse, the SEC won’t allow member school bands to attend out-of-time games. That will require even greater effort by the players who won’t hear the sounds of the Aggie War Hymn and other crowd favorites to spur them on in away games.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a media release on Friday, “The health of those around SEC athletics events remains in focus and, following advice of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force, we continue to develop policies intended to provide a healthy return to competition.

“Some of these are difficult decisions but are a reality of our circumstances, and we will continue to develop and refine policies as we monitor issues related to COVID-19.”

Sankey indicated the restrictions on bands on the field may change as the season progresses.

Whether it can march or not, we love the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.

Let the games begin!

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