54b Trip Report: Stillwater

TEXAS 38, OSU 35

"If you never go, you’ll never know." That non-sequitur is probably the best excuse I can give for why my friend Brad and I actually made the four hour trip up I-35 to Stillwater last Saturday to see the Longhorns’ latest thrilling comeback win. That’s two miracle 4th Quarter finishes in a row now; one more and "Orange Jesus" might get beatified.

For all intents and purposes, the latest edition of Texas-Okie State had all the makings of a redemption game for the Cowboys who’ve made heartbreaking losses to the Horns a habit over the past four or five years. And with OSU Coach Gundy turning "40" and becoming a "Man," I figured Mack and the boys’ time to get "poked" had finally come.

But, as Jenny Carlson, the apparently "childless" Daily Oklahoman reporter who was the target of Gundy’s post-game tirade a few weeks back, wrote in her column Sunday, "The Cowboys blew their best shot at beating the Longhorns in years and it’ll be another fifteen years before they get another shot like this." Wow, she doesn’t pull any punches or miss any meals.

Anyway, if you’ve never seen the Horns play on the road in person, in my opinion, your Texas Football Fan resume is simply incomplete. And considering the fact that the Horns have only lost five Big XII road games during Mack’s tenure at Texas, you really have no excuse not to experience the thrill of going into someone else’s "house and pushing them around."  

If you’re still not sold, take a gander at my latest road trip recap (on second thought, don’t read this, just go)...

KEEPING OUR HEADS ABOVE STILLWATER
(Road Trip Diary – November 3, 2007)

5:30 am      Dude, it’s early, better hit the pre-flight checklist?

  • Game tickets: check.
  • Hotel reservation: check.
  • Contraband cooler full of Bud Light: check.
  • Denny’s Placemat Map of Oklahoma (with grease stain on Norman): check.  
  • Ultra-White Lincoln Town Car: unfortunately, check.

In true 54b road trip vehicular fashion, the only car left in the Hertz Love Field parking lot was of course, Grandpa’s Chariot. You think you hate it now, wait ‘til you drive it. This tugboat’s optional rally fun-pack came equipped with reclining hernia-massaging lumbar seats, a cozy coffin-sized trunk big enough for a Rascal, and a buttermilk biscuit air freshener from Luby’s.  

6:12 am      Cruising through Denton right passed Fouts Field, home of the University of North Texas football team whose head coach is currently under investigation by the NAACP...rumor has it, Todd Dodge hates mean, green people.

6:37 am     As a person who enjoys beer for breakfast, not much surprises me...though I must admit that seeing five or six cars parked outside the DW Adult Bookstore near the Texas/Oklahoma border this early in the morning was a bit unsettling. Seriously, what kind of people set their alarm clock so they can beat the rush to go buy porn?

6:52 am      Answer: Probably the same people who just lost their Llama Farm in a game of Indian Poker at the Winstar Casino just north of the Red River.

7:32 am      The obligatory Paul’s Valley McDonalds stop...it’s just far enough south of Norman that you can get your McGriddle on without having your McNuggets ripped off by some crazed Sooner fan who’s rented one too many self-defense videos from DW’s.

8:26 am      Currently passing through the belly of the beast right now where the Sooners will play host to the Aggies later tonight. According to my VIP Connection email, A&M’s defense is playing as stiff as a Krispy Kreme and for three easy payments of $39.99, Coach Fran will give you the secret to achieving natural male enhancement. Well, what did you think the "P" in VIP stood for?

Eskimo Joe's: Elastic pants recommended.
9:03 am      North of OKC in the middle of BFE listening to what could easily be the worst sports talk radio show ever on KOKP, 1020AM. It was two guys commenting on high school football scores even though it was painfully obvious they had no idea what actually happened in the games. They never mentioned one stat or even a player’s or coach’s name. Here’s a little playback...

"Up first, the big one, Guthrie 65, Tonka 7."
"Yah-ouch, that’s a big score."
"Yes it is, Tonka just didn’t score enough points last night."
"No they didn’t, they’re going to have score more next week if they expect to win."

9:47 am      Stillwater! Standing in a line drinking what’s left of our Texas beer with a bunch of OSU fans while waiting for Eskimo Joe’s to open. In the spirit of Big XII brotherhood, Brad offers a Cowpoke fan one of our Bud lights while I say in my best Folgers Crystals spokesman voice: "We’ve secretly replaced JoeJon’s 3.2 Okie beer with a beer that has twice the alcohol. Let’s watch..."

10:00 am     Release the pounds...first one to grab a table and order a plate of Chili-Cheese Fries with ranch dressing wins an Eskimo Joe’s t-shirt and a defibrillator. Perusing Joe’s Gameday Menu is like staring into a veritable cornucopia of glutinous delight and lamenting the fact that your pants are sans elastic waistband.

John Davis, professional crazy old guy.
10:47 am    Apparently, we are now sitting next to the "most interesting man in the world." His name is John Davis and he proudly proclaims not to have missed a Texas football game in 44 years. He even has business cards. His business, being a Texas Fan. "He doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, he drinks O’Doul’s." Stay thirsty, John.

12:23 pm     I’ve now consumed an entire plate of cheese fries, a pulled pork sandwich, and three trips to the little boy’s room worth of beer. My stack of colorful plastic beer cups with smiling Eskimo faces on them has gotten so high, I feel like I’m playing "Round-Eye Roulette" on a late night Japanese Game Show.  

1:33 pm      Problem: The smiling Eskimo on my plastic beer cup is now talking shit to me. Bigger problem: I’m calling his bluff. Hey bartender, Muk-Luck needs a refill.

2:02 pm      Asking the waitress how many names the Eskimos have for beer when Brad drags my butt out of there and on to...

THE GAME

Except for the 4th quarter (obviously), sitting in the stands at T. Boone’s Farm was absolutely miserable. I’d say misery loves company, but the Cowpokes, in their infinite wisdom, divided the Texas fans in half, putting the band and the player’s parents in one endzone and the rest of us burnt orange refugees in the other.  Regardless, we all received more than adequate sunlight, like ants under a magnifying glass and if that wasn’t bad enough, we had to endure the OSU public address announcer screaming, "And That’s Another Cowboy....First Down" 29 times. Yeah, twenty-NINE times.

Fortunately, just when we didn’t think we could take it any longer, the Longhorn defense somehow prevented the Cowboys "prolific" offense from getting "another...FIRST DOWN" and as you are all well aware, the Real McCoy (or at least the who can tell you how many fingers you’re holding up) and the Jamaal-American returned to save the day. Oh and Ryan Bailey, thank you. Thank you very much.

By the way, the renovations to the stadium are actually pretty awesome, especially if you’d seen what it looked like just last year. Once they get it done, it’s going to be an even tougher place to play because the field will be completely surrounded trapping in the sound.

And you know what the best part of this game was...knowing that we’re probably going to see a carbon copy of it at the...

NEXT GAME

The only difference between Tech and OSU is the Red Raiders can probably throw the ball better while OSU can run it better. Regardless, I think it’s going to be just as tough for the Texas defense to get the Tech Offense off the field this weekend as it was to get OSU’s offense off the field last weekend - maybe even more so with UT’s anemic pass rush.

Fortunately for UT, like OSU, Tech’s defense is pretty porous, especially against the run. Let’s just just hope it doesn’t take Greg Davis three quarters to figure out that they can use the run (read: zone read) to set up the pass this go-round.

Add it all up and we most likely have another shootout on our hands. But who will win. I’m glad you didn’t ask. On to the...

UNPREDICTABLE PREDICTION
Texas – 52
School For The Bereft - 51

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Dejected OSU fan at the urinal trough in Eskimo Joe’s after the game:

"...that’s the difference between your program and ours, winners win and we lose."

Hook'em,
54b

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