‘¡Touchdown, Los Aggies!’
A half-hour before kick-off, Pedro Luna begins his walk up to the Kyle Field press box to prepare for his broadcast. In a booth overlooking the stadium, Luna shuffles his papers, fact-checks his information, and most importantly, moves his desk chair out of the way.
In order for the Aggies to win, he needs to remain standing throughout his entire radio broadcast of the game. This is among the many superstitions Luna has picked up over the years as a sports enthusiast and now as a broadcaster.
For the past three football seasons, Luna, Alejandra Dorbecker and Michel Gonzalez have provided play-by-play commentary in Spanish for each game.
“It is a dream, talking there, seeing the stadium,” Luna said. “Literally, it’s like ‘What am I doing?’ The fact that I can go to a game, the fact that A&M said, ‘Here are the press box keys’ – it is very humbling.”
Luna grew up in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and he has identified as an Aggie his whole life.
When he was six years old, Luna visited his grandparents who lived in Bryan. He remembers learning about his grandfather’s job as a foreman for a construction crew that was working on the Systems Administration Building on the east side of campus.
“It was at that time that I said, ‘I want to go to the school that my grandfather built,’” Luna said. “That is why I decided to come to Texas A&M, because my grandfather was building it from the ground up.”
Luna graduated with a computer science degree in 1990. Since then, he’s continued to be an avid supporter of the university.
“More than anything, it is an honor to be that voice that tells people about Texas A&M,” he said.
Luna travels from McKinney, Texas to each home and away game to give the Spanish play-by-plays alongside Dorbecker and Gonzalez. Luna gives the details of each play, and Gonzalez and Dorbecker provide commentary.
“Being able to feed off each other, and knowing that the people who are listening to us understand the phrases we are using, is humbling,” Luna said. “And if they don’t, then maybe they’ll be challenged to expand their understanding of the Spanish language, as well.”
Luna doesn’t consider himself a role model, but said he understands the responsibility of representing Hispanic and Latinx culture, especially for others who want to do the same type of work.
“My hope is that we continue to grow our broadcast and not just for football fans, but also for Hispanic students throughout the U.S., not just in Texas, to say, ‘Hey, that school is embracing my culture,” Luna said.
Luna said he’s honored to be able to share Aggieland with his audience while putting his unique flair on the broadcast. He’s been influenced by Dave South, who was the voice of the Aggies for more than 30 years, and Roberto Hernandez Jr., a Mexican journalist and sportscaster from Monterrey.
“I’ve always been told I have the gift of gab,” Luna said. “As a kid, I listened to Dave South, all the way in Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico on a faded AM radio signal. We’d turn on the radio to see how the Aggies were doing and there was always Dave South’s voice. And now, here I am. I love football and I’ve always enjoyed watching the game. Now, I am lucky enough to be able to watch the game and broadcast it to others.”
People around the world listen to the broadcast, Luna said. He’s received messages from listeners in Austria, Spain and Central America, to name a few.
“Being able to reach those folks is inspiring, and it helps us prepare better each week to make sure we broadcast a great game for them because we know that we are their only exposure to Texas A&M football,” Luna said. “We are the Aggie Spirit that reaches out to those corners of the world.”