Update: added new location for trophy room video
Had a cool first-time experience this weekend: I toured the athletic center, saw all the trophy rooms, and stopped by Mack Brown's office to take some pictures. Thought BON might be interested. Links at the bottom if you don't want to read.
I drove up from Houston to see the Baylor game this weekend, my once-a-year game. Afterwards I hung around to check out the new construction. On my way out, I walked through the gate and around the bleachers in the south end zone, and saw a bunch of people going in and out of the Moncreif/Neuhaus Athletic Center. I don't know if it was usually like that but a lot of players friends and family members were wandering around inside, some with name tags and others without, all toting cameras and shooting pictures like tourists. So I walked in with them, figuring at worst someone would kick me out. I spent the next couple hours checking the place out and taking pictures, which I'll now share with y'all.
On the bottom floor were lots of trophy cases with mementos of Texas' past glories, including conference championships, bowl trophies, inspirational posters, pictures of All-Americans and Academic All-Americans, and SWC/Big 12 stuff. I went upstairs, and in the stairwell were all the teams we play this year with more inspirational sayings, ending with "Earn the Right" to play in the Big 12 Championship. Somewhere in there I passed Mack Brown, who was greeting some family members of a player.
Upstairs are the coaches offices, with blown-up covers from national magazines with the UT football team or players on the cover (plus VY's Xbox cover) on the walls and more posters. I even found one featuring the Burnt Orange Nation.
I stopped in the Trophy Room and there were 2 Heismans, 4 National Championship crystal footballs (3 awarded after the fact), 3 Outlands, 2 Lombardis, a shared case holding all of Earl's and Ricky's stuff, a case for Derrick Johnson/Vince Young/Michael Huff, and lots more. Wow.
I saw Mack Brown's office, and there were people inside. I asked permission to come inside and take pictures, and whoever was leading the group said it was OK, so I snapped a bunch of shots in there. Holy crap you wouldn't believe what he's got in there. Rings, balls, caps, photos, books, and a big-ass fish tank. After that I made my way to the Players' Lounge, with four big screen projection TVs, home theater chairs, a pool table, and a big wall with helmets for all of the NFL players who are or were in the pros.
On the way out I passed a set of horns on the wall right next to the door that the team exits on their way into the stadium. Above the horns reads "Don't Mess With Texas".
At no time did I go anywhere I wasn't supposed to, I never went into any room where there weren't any people, and did ask permission to go into Mack's office. I simply played another tourist just like all the other people there.
The pictures can be found at http://sports.webshots.com/album/568564239UKNvmv and start with some general fun shots at the game and the stadium. Feel free to leave comments!
Here's a video panorama of the newly-refurbished stadium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtLPtI3nyD4
Here's a video tour of the big trophy room: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-457219115889394537