Mine is actually a basketball game. I did not grow up on burnt orange, so my freshman year--2002-03--was my first season as a big Texas fan. Don't get me wrong, the football season was a lot of fun. But I grew up on SEC football, so it's not like I had never been to a big stadium with insane fans and unreasonable expectations. Basketball, though--that was special in 2002-03. I'm sure everyone on BON remembers that TJ Ford-led team and what it accomplished in the postseason, and I (along with my writing partner) was there for the Final Four.
But my first major Longhorn memory came several weeks earlier in the Drum. Texas was hosting Oklahoma for a Big Monday showdown on Feb. 2, and I was just learning to disdain the Thieves. The hoopster Sooners also had an eight-game winning streak over Texas. Back then, the student seats worked like this: you could get there early and get a wristband to sit behind the baskets in the O Zone, or you could show up anytime before tipoff and be almost guaranteed of a ticket upstairs as long as you had an ID. Well, a few friends and I, for whatever reason, couldn't get there early for this one. We showed up about 20 minutes before tip and got tickets to sit upstairs, and then snuck into the back row of the O Zone after noticing some empty seats back there.
An usher called over a supervisor and pointed to us, clearly noticing our lack of wristbands. They must have decided that they'd handed out too few bands, because they left us alone so we got to stay downstairs. That ended up being huge; after a tense 67-61victory, we students spilled out onto the Erwin Center floor to celebrate with the best Longhorn basketball team anyone had seen in a very long time. I stood about 2 feet from Brian Boddicker, right on the Texas Panhandle painted on the court, to sing the Eyes. It. Was. Awesome.
What about you, BONizens? What's your earliest recollection of a great--or heartbreaking--Texas fan experience?