The "12th Man" is one of Texas A&M University’s most renowned traditions. The concept, which refers to the difference-making fans who pack stadiums and play a crucial role in football victories, is also one of its most treasured brands, as Seattle Seahawks fans found out when the university successfully sued for a percentage of profits from adopting and merchandising it a few years ago. In Aggie numerology, it’s downright sacred – and one lucky and very generous graduate will soon possess the talisman in the form of the ultimate tailgating conversation piece.
When CultureMap last reported on the auction for the prestigious 12THMAN plate on MyPlates.com, there were high expectations that bids would top those garnered by the previous record-holder from January, which was emblazoned with the rather generic "HOUSTON." That one sold for $25,000. So have the 12THMAN tags recorded numbers higher than an offense led by Johnny Manziel?
One faithful fan has bid $35,000 for bragging rights, completely shattering the previous record, but any remaining wealthy alumni still have some time to get out their maroon checkbooks; bidding will remain open until noon Thursday, September 12. Can this monstrous bid for a piece of aluminum be beat?
Aggies who don’t have the cash for a dream vanity plate can take solace in the fact that many of the proceeds will go toward their beloved alma mater, as well as the Texas General Revenue Fund. You might also get to see the lucky bidder during a special ceremony to take place when the Aggies take on defending national champions Alabama at Kyle Field on Saturday.
The winning recipient will own the rights to the plate for 10 years and get first dibs on renewing it. Unlike other Texas specialty plates, the 12THMAN plate is completely transferable by the owner, who can sell the rights to it or even hand it down to other family members or heirs, like any true college sports fan would.
The clock is ticking for affluent Aggies, but the real question is what kind of car it will end up on. At 35 grand or more, it doesn’t seem that your standard Benz or Beamer will cut it for these plates. It might fit better on a maroon Maybach with a white leather interior.