The vote came down to Oklahoma or Oklahoma State last year and the crashers decided to be Cowboys. Whether it was the earlier season game with a promise of warmer tailgating weather, the Big 12 Rivalry aspect or the cowboy boots, we packed our bags for Stillwater as Oklahoma State hosted Texas.
Over a dozen guys descended on the Stillwater campus. I spent a night in Oklahoma City first and then drove to the campus to meet everyone. Every year, we all arrive excited for the weekend many in our group circle as a must. Some veterans have been to more than 10 campus crasher college football games; this was my fourth.
Friday in Stillwater, OK
The first stops are usually simple and similar in any college town we crash. We find a local college bar to eat lunch and ask for more suggestions on where to go (it is also well researched by our organizers). Then we proceed to walk around campus a bit and wonder how different our undergraduate life might have been if we attended this university or really a university with a college football program of this size, purchase a token souvenir from the book store (usually a hat) and eventually all meet up for dinner.
For Friday night we met and dined at the famous Eskimo Joe’s, Then the crashers avoided the line dancing bar (sadly) to head straight to JJ Wileys for a wild night.
Game Day – the OK State Tailgate
Every campus holds different rules, but at Oklahoma State all you need to do is essentially pitch a tent and claim your space after a certain hour ( night before). We did and found ourselves with great neighbors. For the 7pm game, we arrived just before 11:30am and by 2pm the field was packed. With the late start, it was the most amount of time we spent in a pre-game and we met some great fans right away. We were offered everything from king crabs, shrimp, brisket, ribs, burgers and more. All of it was delicious.
The hospitality at Oklahoma State certainly exceeded our expectations and proved to make for a great long afternoon before the loss.
Rex Holt Radio Show
After a few hours of tailgating, a few “crashers” headed back to Eskimo Joe’s for the pregame radio show with Rex Holt. We were asked general questions about how and why we picked Stillwater and what we were doing over the weekend. And of course they wanted to know some of the best games, best campuses, and best stories from all the prior years. We shared our story.
After the radio, just like at Texas A&M, more people knew about our trip and some stopped by our tailgate.
Oklahoma State Football at Boone Pickens Stadium
Upon entry to the renovated stadium, I immediately noticed an escalator. I tried to think, have I ever seen an escalator in a college stadium? I couldn’t recall, but I rode it to my seat.
It was a close first half, and although the Cowboys might have had the overall better of play a few mistakes allowed Texas to be in control at half time. But everyone left at halftime.The stadium emptied.
Yes, you can leave and return for the 3rd quarter. Ticket holders exit with a stub and get stamped can return for the third quarter. What else? – More tailgating.
I returned late in the 3rd quarter after another beer and conversation at the tailgate and the game intensified. The tight back and forth game saw Oklahoma State score to take the lead in the final minutes, but they apparently left too much time on the clock. Texas countered and scored to win on a last minute drive.
But the loss didn’t affect the post-game. It never does. We don’t have many rules, and although we tend to root for the home team… it’s win or lose, we still booze. They can’t all be wins like South Carolina over Alabama a few years ago, but they can all be great Saturday night’s on campus and this was certainly one of them. In fact, although we returned to a few of the cowboy type saloons, we still found a way to take a stretch limo back to our place. Nicely done as always.
Adventure Mindset Moment
Guys weekend. I’d almost rather call it a friends weekend honestly. As mentioned many of us don’t see each other all year, but most of us circle the weekend as a must take trip. The college football isn’t as important as taking the time with friends and doing something. The outside BBQ in the summer is nice, so are holiday gatherings, but it is getting outside the normal and spending time together exploring and enjoying a new place or activity that can make for the best friend bonding experiences.
Don’t just read this and wonder when you might get together with your friends, take initiative and plan something. And if you are lucky, maybe it can become an annual event.
Stay Campus Crashing, Craig
Follow us this year under #CampusCrashers as we return to the SEC and the state of Alabama to see Georgia at Auburn on Saturday November 16, 2013. Also, this post is part of the Adventure Travel Mindset Series.