Last year on Saturday, October 17th, I went to the Red River Shootout. A generous upperclassman friend gave me a discount on a ticket. (My brother helped supplement the cost because he's awesome and because he thought it would be an awesome experience. And it was.) After growing up an Oklahoma Sooners fan, I was finally able to go to the big game at the Cotton Bowl. I moved to Fort Worth in 1999, and I've gone to the Texas State Fair many times, but going to the State Fair on GameDay--and going to the game--was awesome.
People at OU have told me that "you need to go to the game at least once while you're here." I didn't expect to go as a freshman, but when the opportunity to see my man Sam Bradford vs. Colt McCoy arose, I jumped the chance. My dad came with me to the Cotton Bowl, hoping that he would be able to buy a ticket outside the gates.
We talked the game to death (and then some) in the weeks leading up to it because Sam Bradford had been injured the first week against BYU and OU had lost to Miami a few weeks after that. The week before OU-Texas, Bradford led OU to an unconvincing victory against Baylor. Needless to say, there was a lot of apprehension among OU fans about the OU-Texas game. Even though Texas wasn't invincible, they were undefeated, and they had a healthy Colt McCoy under center.
The trip to the Cotton Bowl was long. Kickoff was around 11:30am, we left the house around 7:00am, and we didn't make it to the stadium until the second quarter. (We're less than a two hour drive away from the stadium on a good day).
The transportation problems were well-documented by the media--some people who paid over $1,000 for tickets didn't make it to the game until halftime. Naturally, the highway was a veritable parking lot, but the trains were almost worse. My dad and I took the trains, one of which broke down while we were a few miles away from the State Fair.
We--both OU and Texas fans--found ways to keep ourselves entertained, like singing at each other, shouting "OU sucks!" or "Texas sucks!" and then jointly booing any Florida fans who dared to show their faces at this closed party. Florida fans, sorry, you have no business here--it's a family feud.
Most of the fans from both sides were amiable. There were some Texas fans who cheered when word came through that Bradford had been injured (we were stuck in the train when he got injured), but that was a minority. Most of the fans were legit.
When we got to the stadium, my dad went to get a ticket and I went into the stadium. I found my seat (way, way, way up in the Sooner section) and my breath was completely taken away by the sights (and it wasn't just the elevation). You have to be there to fully appreciate what it's like to have a stadium divided in crimson and burnt orange down the 50 yard-line.
Both bands are on either end of the field, drowning each other out with their fight songs. One woman remarked after the game, "I've never heard so many people shout 'sucks!' in my life," because Texas chants "OU sucks!" and OU chants "Texas sucks!"
I had sunscreen smeared stupidly all over my face by this point, because I had hastily applied it while making my way into the stadium, which probably accounts for all the amused looks that I got.
I didn't know about the suncreen and didn't care--I was just worried about the game because Bradford was hurt AGAIN and his college career was probably over and we were about to lose the game and the Big XII and there was no chance of us making it to the National Championship and can Landry win the game and where is my seat and I hope I don't get sunburned and now that I'm settled where's dad and is he going to find a ticket?
OU made it to half time in the lead. In the lead?! We might win this game. We had a chance. It was an ugly game--agonizing even--full of mistakes, but we had a chance to win and as long as we won nothing else mattered.
The halftime show was great--I tried to find all of my friends who were in the band (to no avail, of course, but it was awesome seeing the Pride of Oklahoma anyway).
I won't recount much more of the game, because the game had a sucky ending in an agonizing way. If we had won, Texas would have said the same thing, because it was close and both teams were trying to lose and neither could win or deserved to win until OU finally said "NO, TEXAS! WIN THIS GAME AND GO TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! and Texas said, "KTHNXBAI!"
So after we lost, and all of my hopes and dreams were destroyed and I became disillusioned and disenchanted with life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Texas sang us out of the stadium.
"Go OU! Go OU! Go OU!" (Not in the sense of "Try hard and do well, OU" but "Go back across the Red River, you losers!")
They chanted "OU sucks!" and they sang their fight song and we heard it in the long, slow crawl out of the stadium (it took almost two hours to get out).
On the drive back up to OU, we passed by a ranch with a huge sign that said "Go Texas!" with lots of longhorn emblems and "OU Sucks" stuff. (They had even more people and signs this year.)
Someday, I will go to the Red River Shootout, and we will win, and we will sing Texas out of the stadium and yell "Texas sucks!" and sing our fight song...and all of their little hopes and dreams will be crushed and they'll drive back down to Austin sobbing and they'll never love again. Ha. Haha.
I wait for that day. But today is not that day, because I'll watch OU beat Texas from home.
Boomer Sooner. Beat Texas.