Pigskin Pursuit

An eight year odyssey across the backroads of America during the ultimate College Football roadtrip.

Tag: Oklahoma State (page 1 of 2)

Cowboy Up!

What do you do when you’re a billionaire with an ego?Name a stadium after yourself of course!And at $110 bucks a pop for seat, it would appear that ol’ T. Boone Pickens didn’t get into the “B” club by giving away his football tickets cheaply.

Luckily, earlier in the day we had only paid seventy dollars apiece for our seats on the 25 yard line of the newly re-dedicated T. Boone Pickens Stadium (and may have had them even cheaper if we weren’t preoccupied with pre-game festivities with our friend Dale).Everything shimmers in this newly expanded stadium, and it’s hardly been around long enough to collect any dust on the internal girders.Nevertheless, it’s an impressive facility, and the brick façade blends in quite nicely with the Georgian style architecture of the OSU campus.

 

The game was an entertaining one, with both teams coming out like a ball of fire in the first half (41 points of scoring).Both Missouri and OSU weren’t in the mood to play much defense in the first half and it was analogous to watching a game of Tecmo Bowl except for the Bo Jackson part.The Cowboys defense shored themselves up a bit in the second half, however, getting a few key stops while Mike Gundy’s gunslinger offense made sure they stayed out in front.


If you notice above, the stadium is unique in that the fans are quite literally right on top of the players.There is only about 8 feet separating the edge of the field from the stands, leaving hardly enough width for the team benches.The net effect of this design is that the thunderous sound inside the stadium belies its relatively small capacity, with a full crowd on this night of 55,752.

I will also add in a positive word for the OklahomaState fans here, where the entire stadium (including the traditionally uninspired fogey and family seats) were on their feet, standing and cheering unbroken for four quarters.Fans retired to their seats only during halftime and extended time-outs. I have never seen this kind of fan devotion in another stadium I have been to.

Combine the smaller confines of the space, with the rabid enthusiasm of the orange clad Cowboy faithful, and Boone Pickens stadium plays much louder than it actually is, and makes for one rowdy night of premier college football.

FinalScoreOklahomaState 33 Missouri 17

Orange Pond after the game.


**A special shout out to our friend Dale for showing us a good time around his old stomping grounds at OSU. Much appreciated Dale!

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Don’t Mess with this Mascot

A word on mascots for a minute.

I don’t usually spend much time writing about mascots, unless it’s something unusual.LSU was one such exception, because bringing a live tiger anywhere (even if it’s in a cage) is such a train wreck waiting to happen that it bears mention. OklahomaState has another such claim, with the extraordinary story of their of mascot “Pistol Pete”.

 

I say this unequivocally: Pistol Pete might be the coolest mascot story I have ever heard.

The inspiration for Pistol Pete came from a legendary Oklahoma lawman named Francis Eaton, who was born in 1860 and lived to the ripe old age of 97.His true story reads like a piece of western folklore.

“As a boy, young Frank witnessed the murder of his father, a Yankee, at the hands of six Confederate outlaws. Vowing to avenge the murder of his “pa,” Eaton became an expert marksman by the time he was a teenager. True to his word, he tracked down and killed all but one of his father’s assailants in true gunslinger style. The final desperado died before Eaton could get to him, but the ever-vigilant marshal attended the man’s funeral anyway, just to make sure he was dead. Eaton, who lived to be 97, recalled this quest for frontier justice and other fabulous tales in his 1952 autobiography, Veteran of the Old West.”

 

More in depth stories on Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton can be found here:

http://www.okstate.com/trads/pistol-pete.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Eaton

http://osu.okstate.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=284&Itemid=96
If you can find a better mascot story than that, by all means let me know so I can make a drive out to that school.

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Friends in low places…

I felt compelled to offer a small sidebar post this week on another eerie encounter with Garth Brooks.

Garth has been a peculiar subthread throughout many of our travels thus far.In week three we listened to the entire Garth Brooks Greatest Hits album played front to back at Spanky’s in Lubbock.In week four, we sang along to the Garth Brooks hit “Callin Baton Rouge” with 93,000 other LSU fans in Tiger Stadium.
And in week five, we had another odd encounter with Garth Brooks…..this time Garth Brooks himself!We just can’t get away from this guy.Then again, he doesn’t appear too busy these days, so hamming it up on the OSU sideline is probably good way to fill his ample time.

 

 

Garth Brooks was honored on field during halftime by OSU along two other famous OSU alums; Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura.If that third name seems odd, it’s because it is.Let me run this down for you.
Garth Brooks: Arguably the biggest country star of all time.

Barry Sanders: Heisman winner and arguably the greatest NFL running back of all time.

Robin Ventura: Arguably the biggest MLB speed bag of all time (yes that Robin Ventura).

(Here they are on the field)

 

 

Lest you forget, Robin Ventura’s sole claim to fame was getting pummeled by a forty something Nolan Ryan in the twilight of his career, after Ventura thought it would be a good idea to charge the mound on the Texas legend.

(This is the best video I could find, the fight starts at :45)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMn2IMZXjWA

 

Something about seeing Robin Ventura in the same context as Barry Sanders and GarthBrooks gave me a chuckle.
But getting back to Garth Brooks for a minute, at the rate we are going this year, I think next week we might be lined up for a personal concert from the “shameless” man himself.

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Eskimo Joe’s

Through the years Eskimo Joe’s has grown from a small idea started by a couple of friends, to a landmark in the town of Stillwater (or StillH20 depending who you talk to).OSU alums are quick to point out that you will recognize the infamous Joe’s shirts all over the world.As if one bar wasn’t enough,Eskimo Joe’s has also extended their powerful brand name into a local Italian joint “Joseppis” and, naturally, “Mexicojoes”.One can only hope that “GyroJoe’s” is on the way.

 

 

Eskimo Joe’s lives up to its reputation as the quintessential college sports bar. On gameday it’s stuffed to the gills with flat screen TV’s bellowing out a Big 12 game, free flowing taps of cheap swill (in collectible plastic cups of course), and hordes of spirited OSU fans munching their way through indulgent pub fare.Almost as impressive as the size of Eskimo Joe’s numerous tap rooms, is the equally roomy t-shirt shop.This might be the only bar that I have downed a pint in that has a gift shop rivaling the size of the bar itself.Be sure to pick up your collectible Joe’s shirt in any color of the rainbow which you prefer, though I’m told that orange is politely encouraged in this neck of the woods….
http://eskimojoes.com/

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