Around the Country, Big 12, College Football

Cotton Bowl Stadium: Home of the Red River Rivalry

‘Tis the season for fried food and carnival rides! October is the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, Texas – and I am a terrible Texan because I have actually never been before. So I figured I would change that this year given that the game was going to be a good one! My cousin got married on Saturday evening, so luckily it was an 11:00am kickoff so that I could make both work. Her only request was that we didn’t tailgate too hard! Luckily for her, we’re not much of tailgaters in the first place.
Back in 2015, I was still working with the Cotton Bowl Classic over my Christmas breaks in college and we got to host the first College Football Playoff National Championship game for Ohio State and Oregon. We got to watch the game in an empty suite, which I absolutely had no complaints about! But guess who ended up in our suite? Mack Brown, former head coach for Texas. Now, some might not think that’s a big deal. But let’s review: I grew up in Austin, Texas as a Texas Tech fan. Mack Brown was the head coach for most of my childhood. So I was basically raised to despise this man! The Texas Tech fan in me wanted to continue that rivalry hatred for the man that beat us up for so many years… but man, it’s impossible to despise Mack Brown once you meet him! He is the nicest man. So talkative, so friendly, and incredibly funny. The only thing I hated after that night was the fact that I actually liked Mack Brown! … and that Ohio State won.
Mack Brown brought a few of his former players with him to the suite, one being Quan Cosby who played for Mack Brown on his 2004 National Championship team. Quan and I have become good friends over the years and I have him to thank for the awesome seats this weekend!

So like I mentioned, I’m a terrible Texan and this was my first time to the fair! My childhood best friend lives up in Dallas now, too, and she took herself a little sick day on Friday so we could have some fair fun before all the Red River Rivalry chaos!
Our only mission for the day? Find fried cookie dough. We searched and searched the fair grounds for friend cookie dough. I’m shocked and appalled at how hard it was to find! Like, how do you even have a fair without fried cookie dough? Yet there’s all sorts of out-of-left-field things like fried butter, fried bubble gum, friend beer… fried PB&Js… and some other very odd stuff that I wouldn’t dream of touching.
But we finally accomplished our mission on the way out, and it was absolutely worth it!
Fried cookie dough
Big Tex picture

Considering I had a long day ahead of me on Saturday, I opted out of getting up at the crack of dawn to come check out the College GameDay show. Instead, I watched it from the comfort of my couch!
Once we did make our arrival on the fair grounds…

Leave it to Quan to, of course, stick me in the UT section! But when it’s UT and OU playing… it’s the lesser of two evils, right?

The Cotton Bowl is actually one of the longest running bowl games in college football, starting in the early 1900s. Up until the opening of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this was the home of the Cotton Bowl. Now the game and the staff has relocated to Jerry World and the game is played there every year! So, this is the only major football game still played in this stadium.
The list of Cotton Bowl legends is definitely not a short one! Around the main concourse of the stadium, they have these banners displayed for some of them, but definitely not all. In fact, a lot repeated. They could (and should, in my opinion) take down the duplicates and update them!

The day itself was pretty cloudy, but no rain thankfully. But it’s also Texas in October which means it’s still boiling hot! My hair was not happy, that’s for sure. Luckily, our seats were in the shade under the upper tier seats. Life saver!

Bevo made a grand appearance as well. Growing up, Bevo was my favorite! Before I knew any better, of course! I have actually never gotten to see Bevo up close and personal until this game!
Hate to admit it, but he’s still pretty cute.

The game itself was a rather intense one to start off! And then became all UT fairly quickly. I actually didn’t think the game would be that close. I still can’t decide if that means UT is underrated or OU is overrated, but I’ll go with the latter.
You can’t expect a Tech fan to wear either of these colors, no matter who hooked you up with the tickets! So you can bet that I wore red and black and my Tech stickers to the game. Most people’s reactions were the exact same phrase – “You’re at the wrong game.” I’d just laugh and shrug and say that we had a bye week (which we did). The couple sitting behind me tapped me about half way through the game and said the same thing. After a couple laughs, they admitted they were actually Texas Tech grads themselves, but have lived in Austin the last 20 years. My only question? Who do you root for when they play each other. And of course they had the right answer!

UT’s band is definitely not one of my favorites. I didn’t get to see OU’s band play. I personally am not a fan of their uniform and their song choices are pretty subpar. They did Enter Sandman by Metallica for the halftime show… can you imagine how odd that was? A heavy metal song wouldn’t be my first choice…

UT really started running away with it in the 3rd quarter, so I headed out so I could have plenty of time to get ready for my cousin’s wedding. Of course, that was a mistake. OU almost came back and won the game. It didn’t happen but it was close.

Then there was this precious little girl sitting beside us with her horns up the whole time. I couldn’t blame her, she doesn’t know any better yet!

Rivalry games are always the best and this one was no exception. I didn’t realize it at the time but your game ticket on Saturday was also a ticket to the fair. So I have a feeling I’ll be making a stop here every year or two for some fried food and good football!




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