Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week 8 - I've never been to Heaven, but I've been to Oklahoma

Mrs. Tailgate's theme song

The last time I attended an Oklahoma Sooner home football game Ronald Reagan was President, I had no daughters, was engaged to be married and donned a full schlock of follicles on the now ever present dome. Barry Switzer wore mink and graced the sidelines of what was then simply called Owen Field. I attended that game in 1988 with my bride to be and now wife of 26 years and my more senior sister Patricia. We were treated to an Oklahoma thrashing of a then hapless Kansas State team. Oklahoma’s Star QB was a young man named Charles Thompson whose escapades would eventually land him in jail and help lead to the demise of Barry Switzer as Head Coach at OU. We were also treated to a heavy dose of plumber butt a mere five rows to our front.

Fast forward to present day...I attended the Oklahoma - Kansas State Homecoming game this past Saturday. Also in attendance was my bride of 26 years, affectionately known as Mrs. Tailgate, my # 1 daughter and recent Boise State grad, daughter #2, a Freshman at OU and my college fraternity brother Buck Hampton. The stadium is now named Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium. Barry Switzer has a museum named after him, Charles Thompson’s son just transferred out of OU, and Kansas State is pretty darn good these days under Coach Bill Snyder.  And did I mention, everyone covered their plumber butts this game….at least from where I could see.

Oklahoma football is rich with tradition, history and a quench for victories and championships above all else. Since the end of World War II, Oklahoma has won more games (598) than any other College Football Team. Among the wins are seven National Championships (second only to Alabama during that time), thirty five 10 win seasons, a 47 game win streak (Longest in Division 1 CFB history), five Heisman Trophy winners, and too many bowl victories and All Americans to mention. The Sooners have been coached by Legends Bennie Owen (stadium formerly named after him), Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer and now Bob Stoops for the last fifteen years. The key is obviously to get a coach whose first name starts with the letter B. Duh! Country superstar Toby Keith regularly paces the sidelines on game day. The campus is historic with old buildings and new buildings that mesh perfectly. An assortment of greenery, flowers and statues adorn this beautiful incredibly massive campus. The Greek Row is one of the most amazing you will ever see. The passion the school and the community have for its Sooners is unmatched in most parts of the Country. Oklahoma football is a deity in these here parts!
The Mundings start the indoctrination young!

With an 11 AM start time we missed the annual homecoming parade in which # 2 was a participant with her Delta Gamma Sorority and their float: “The Giving Tree”- very fitting for those of us paying for their tuition! Instead, we opted to head to our Tailgate that was hosted by Mike and Lauren Mullica, and was attended by many of my extended family members and friends, mostly OU diehards. Mike is the proud owner of one of the sweetest Tailgate rigs known to mankind: The half ton, 20 foot rig contains two grills, a deep fryer, warming drawer, Tailgater satellite dish and two flat screen TV’s.  Great grub was served including something called “Man Candy” (see recipe of the week on the sidebar), cross cut ribs, breakfast burritos, sausages and many more items I can’t remember. We mixed up several batches of modified “Bawstun Pops” Bloody Mary’s that elicited instant grins on those who partook in one, two or more.
Master of Ceremonies Mike Mullica and his magical Tailgate rig

The In Laws and their Outlaw
The Men of DFT going all out for Sooner Nation
The Ladies of the DFT OU Chapter
Boomer Sooner!

Good lawwwd Mrs Tailgate, it's only 9 AM and there are children watching!

OU Matt and Sooner Mav Chris having the first beverage of the day with me

Outstanding Chow was prepared and served.

4/5ths of the Tailgate family.
A true family gathering
Can you pick out the real Sooners and the OSU imposters?
What are these called again asks the Colonel?
The fellas enjoying the short ribs.

Three Kicks, two picks and a DC who can’t coach a lick!

At 10:40 AM we headed into the majestic Cathedral amongst a sea of crimson and cream for the 11 AM kickoff. Although the fan base was confident in their Sooners, they were also respectful of their opponent coached by the great Bill Snyder. I mean come on man; he is the only active coach who has a stadium named after him! Another spectacular day in Norman, OK weather wise as blue skies provided us a perfect overhead fresco along with temps in the low 70s. Seats provided by our Tailgate’s Hosts were on the 20 yard line, 21 rows up. When I attended games at OU in the 80s, the crowds were docile and entitled as they expected to win every game by 40 or more. Not the case anymore. The student section was engaged in chants and shenanigans throughout the game. The Band belted out catchy tunes and the rest of the stadium was very vocal and animated during the contest. 

A classic Cathedral in all its glory.

Oklahoma jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then KSU took the lead with a few scores against a talented but under coached OU defense. Time and time again, the Wildcat offense ran the same set of plays with success in the first half. OU QB Trevor Knight also made one crucial mistake on the day with a pick six from his own one yard line early in the game. Other than that mistake, T Knight played brilliantly throughout the day. With seconds remaining before half, the usually reliable OU Kicker Michael Hunnicutt missed a chip shot that would have cut the Wildcat lead to 1 point going into the locker room. In the second half with OU still chasing, the Defense finally tightened up and only allowed 10 more points. However, it was not meant to be for the Sooners with a blocked PAT, an untimely pick on a trick play and a complete shank on a 19 yard game winning attempt by Mister Hunnichoke. Apparently, the FBI has been sent game film to further investigate the normally Mr. Automatic. Along with T Knight, OU’s stud receiver Sterling Sheppard had an outstanding game with 15 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown. Final outcome: KSU 31 – OU 30. So back to the Tailgate we headed to drown our sorrows.

Around the country (in games that matter) – In a game that lived up to its billing as game of the week, The Criminoles bested the Irish in Tallahassee after a controversial call negated the apparent game winning TD for ND. Jameis and the fellas went out and celebrated with free crab legs and jumped up on tables and shouted out with glee.  These Irish eyes are still crying. A scorned Nick is a dangerous Nick as coach Saban and the boys from T Town turned Kenny Trill into Kenny Nil with a devastating 59 - 0 beat-down at Bryant Denny Stadium. In Morganhole, WV, Mountaineer Stadium proved to be inhospitable once again as the Eers knocked off #4 Baylor by two TDs. Free Moonshine and possum stew for all as the hillbillies trashed the town afterward!  A merry band of DFT tailgaters “garage gated” for the BC - Clemson game wearing their stylish DFT polos only to watch Clemson narrowly win. The Cowpokes of OSU seemed to be more worried about going into the “Hot Zone” of the DFW Metroplex than they were about playing the football game at TCU as the Horned Frogs plastered the pokes 42-9.  In the late, late game – the Sun Devils delivered an impeccable performance against a sluggish Stanford Cardinal scoring a 26-10 victory. A brief shout out to the Marshall Thundering Herd as they are now 7-0.
Bieber Award – Again, many candidates to sift through but one stands out a little more this week. Always fun to pick on USC so I enjoyed this one: Apparently former Trojan Great Lendale White ripped the Trojan DC Justin Wilcox after a recent game via Twitter. His words were not one you would expect from a person who matriculated through such a prestigious institution like USC. Mr. White decided to attend USC’s home game this Saturday against Colorado. As is customary in LA LA land, former athletes and celebrities get passes and watch the action from the sideline. Upon entering the field, Mr. White was greeted by USC AD Pat Haden who shook his hand. Minutes later Lendale was escorted out by the stadium Po Po.  He immediately took to Twitter blaming Pat Haden for his personal tour of the stadium tunnel to the parking lot. He called him a Coward, called for his firing and used other words and names that don’t appear in Webster’s dictionary. Well Lendale, you may now have to start paying for your own Trojan tickets, but you my friend have earned this week’s Bieber Award. #fightonwashedupoverweighthasbeen !

Next week – Thursday night the Tailgate will be in Blacksburg, VA and then we move on to the smoky mountains for the Bama – Tennessee game on Saturday.

Happy Tailgating!

Twitter activity and pics from others
The BC Garage Gaters donning their DFT wear.

Sun Devil Kevin O'Connor has pre-purchased his next retirement home