The best block of the SMU-Texas A&M game may have occurred off the field, as a quick acting cadet dog handler saved the Aggies’ mascot from being accidentally run over during yesterday’s NCAA football action.
Reveille VIII, the Lassie-lookalike who is the school’s current mascot, might have had a close encounter on the sidelines, but the game wasn’t even close as Johnny “Football” Manziel’s former team defeated SMU by a score of 58-6 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas.
Designated as a Senior Military College, one of only six in the U.S., Texas A&M is one of three public universities with a full-time volunteer Corps of Cadets in an ROTC program. One of the Corps duties is to protect the mascot.
The Dallas Morning News summarized what happened on the sidelines with Reveille VIII’s close call.
“Late in the second quarter of Texas A&M’s game against SMU, Mustangs receiver Der’ikk Thompson stumbled out of bounds after an incomplete pass and was on a collision path with Reveille. That’s when sophomore Ryan Kreider stepped in. Kredier threw a body check on Thompson to knock him off course and leave Reveille unharmed.”
See the video embedded below.
Reveille VIII was actually relaxing on her dog bed when cadet Kreider intervened.
“I’m just doing my job,” he said. “I see a receiver coming by… a little bit of an overthrow by the quarterback… coming straight towards Rev… first thing that comes to my mind, I have to protect her… football instincts took over, went ahead and lowered the shoulder, and I made sure they weren’t going to hit her.”
Reveille has been an important part of the Texas A&M tradition since 1931, when Reveille I came on the scene.
“Reveille, the first lady of Aggieland, is the official mascot of Texas A&M University. She is the highest ranking member of the Corps of Cadets being the only bearer of five silver diamonds… Reveille is the most revered dog on campus. Company E-2 has the privilege of taking care of Reveille. If she is sleeping on a cadet’s bed, that cadet must sleep on the floor. Cadets address Reveille as ‘Miss Rev, ma’am.’ If she is in class and barks while the professor is teaching, the class is to be immediately dismissed.”
About the cadet’s dog-saving block, Deadspin noted, “Just look at that technique. The handler recognizes the threat, lowers his center of gravity, and hip checks the out-of-control SMU receiver.”
Based on veterinarian recommendations, Reveille VIII will be headed for a well-deserved retirement at the end of the Texas A&M spring semester after serving as the team’s mascot since 2008. Believe it not, a 12-member committee will reportedly choose her successor after conducting a nationwide search. Reveille, age 9, “will live at the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center on campus, where she will be able to interact with the Aggie community and receive the care she needs.”