By Arlene Bridges Samuels, CBN—
In a stunning upset on October 9, “The Twelfth Man” seemed to play a significant role in the victory in College Station, Texas, when the Texas A&M (Aggies) football team beat the No. 1 University of Alabama Crimson Tide. It ended Alabama’s 19-game winning streak in a game that Aggies and Crimson Tide fans will undoubtedly discuss and dissect for decades.
Last Saturday, in the last minutes of the fourth quarter, unranked Texas A&M and national champion Alabama tied at 38-38. The Aggies then made football history in a thrilling game from beginning to end when they beat Alabama in the last seconds with a field goal. Final score: 41-38. A big part of their win may have been “The Twelfth Man.”
Who or what is “The Twelfth Man”? It’s A&M’s entire student body—and fans. The expression goes back a hundred years, when the Aggies were faring badly against a top-ranked school. A&M’s 11-man football team was exhausted, with injuries mounting. Hope of a win grew weaker with every yard played.
Their coach, Dana X. Bible, remembered that one of his former teammates, E. King Gill, was up in the press box helping reporters identify the players on the field. Bible summoned Gill to play if needed. Gill suited up under the bleachers in an injured player’s uniform. He stood on the sidelines for the entire game. The Aggies won, cheered on by Gill. He 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.” Gill’s attitude of service and support won the hearts of the student body and has grown into a tradition, a trademark, and a legacy that envelops the entire university.
A 6-foot-4-inch bronze sculpture of E. King Gill stands near Kyle Stadium as a reminder that the Aggie fans are “The Twelfth Man.” They stand for the entire game; they chant, shout, and surround their team with roars of high-spirited support. Their war hymn’s lyrics sing about unity whether they are down or up.
As fans of Israel, our “war hymn” is the Bible. It teaches us how to support the Jewish people—God’s “chosen people”—and His covenants with them that last forever.
When it comes to Israel, the concept of “The Twelfth Man” is a way to describe Christians as Israel’s Twelfth Man and Woman. Cheering with “Next year in Jerusalem” and being ready to do whatever is necessary to support the Jewish state, Christians stand up against anti-Semitism and for Israel. Continue Reading….