Thursday, October 12, 2006

OKC-Dallas: Caught in the Red Tide of OU/Texas Weekend


After successfully negotiating our way out of the OKC metro area, we continued relentlessly southward. Top still down, the day getting warmer. It was Friday afternoon now and those getting an early start on the weekend began to clog the roads. Many of the cars were flying flags and festooned with all sorts of University of Oklahoma logs and such. Red, assumedly the school colors, was everywhere; like the red tide of the sea. "It looks like the Okies are invading Texas", I remarked while passing a van flying several OU flags, everyone inside dressed in some sort of red. "Damn!" Michael exclaimed, "it must be OU/Texas weekend." I felt a chill in the warm open air... this must be serious.

Every year rival college football teams Oklahoma University and University of Texas play an important game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The game has been held in Dallas since 1937 traditionally on the second Saturday of October. Dallas is somewhat neutral territory being between UT in Austin and OU in Norman. Without exception it has been a complete sell-out every year since 1945 thus tickets are not easy to get. The seats are split between the two schools, but with total seating of only about 75,000 in the Cotton Bowl, each school has only about 35,000 tickets available, some are held out for VIPs and such. Since both schools regularly have sell-outs (Texas seats about 80,000 and OU about 72,000) there is far more demand than available tickets.

That did not stop the Okies, it seemed the whole state was going.

The weekend is billed as the World's Largest Beer Bust. YEE HA! I hope no where near me. College rah rah-ism is so annoying. Get a life folks. But in this case, it is their life. Football is big business in both Texas and Oklahoma. The game brings in multi-millions for Dallas restaurants and hotels. It is also said the fans can damage that much if their team loses. I say play the game in an open field somewhere north of Denton.

Traffic slammed to a halt just north of Denton and Michael said a normal 20 minute drive was now over 1 1/2 hours. I was not amused. My butt hurt. "The Mercedes" has orthopedically designed seats. The orthopod was a sadist. If I had a Mercedes, the seats from the Queen Mary would be installed immediately. My butt never hurts after a long cushy ride in the QM.

Everything is big in Texas except this highway, which inexplicably had only two lanes and a shoulder wide enough for a truck or two. The new interchanges however are temples in the sky. They pile the lanes higher and higher to impress I suppose. Higher than a 5-10 story building, the lanes criss-cross over the highway below, I wonder if they have warning lights for aircraft?

We finally wheeled our way to our destination. Michael was using "The Mercedes'" GPS system and she talked us to Pat's house, even announcing that we had arrived. Arrived indeed. Pat was waiting with a dirty martini for us and I was relieved to exit and get on dry land. The fun was only beginning.

Tomorrow: Turtle Creek Chorale welcomes the Heartland Men's Chorus

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