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Oklahoma-Texas Football Weekend 2006
We went to the Oklahoma versus Texas football weekend in October 2006. This game is one of the biggest football events of the season. It is held on neutral ground at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Cotton Bowl site puts the game almost equidistant from the Oklahoma campus in Norman, Oklahoma and the Texas campus in Austin, Texas (just under a 200 mile road trip).
The seats in the stadium are divided 50-50 with Oklahoma's crimson colors filling half the stadium and Texas's burnt orange colors filling the other half. This means that during the game when a big play occurs, half the stadium is screaming with delight and the other half is wringing their hands in despair. Another great plus for this game is that it is held during the Texas State Fair and the Cotton Bowl is in the fair grounds. The combination of the fair and football is simply marvelous. It is hard to believe that the Texas and Oklahoma schools have been considering changing the game to a traditional rotating home/away game in Austin and Norman.
We checked in to the Adolphus Hotel (the Plaza of the Plains) on Friday afternoon. We then put on our Oklahoma colors. The weekend starts with a big street party located in the historic west end of Dallas. We lucked out and snagged two seats at the bar in the Palm Steakhouse where we had dinner and then proceeded to tour the West End party scene as observers because we were a little old to participate.
We arrived at the Texas State Fair grounds about 11:00 am on Saturday and visited some of the attractions and toured the Midway. The game began at 2:30 pm. Sadly, Texas beat Oklahoma 28-10. Oklahoma had five turnovers and 70 yards in penalties, which is a sure way to lose to Texas. I used Candace's professional digital Canon camera with a telephoto lens and concentrated on taking pictures of Oklahoma's great running back, Adrian Peterson. I was able to capture Peterson's big run of the day, a 29 yard masterpiece that tied the game at 7 - 7. After the game, we hurried back to the Adolphus, changed, and had a great dinner at the French Room, which I think is the best restaurant in the United States.
The following photographs show the color and excitement of this great college football weekend. For those school officials who were thinking of changing the location, if you do you will join the pinheads who tried to get rid of San Francisco's cable cars because they weren't cost effective transportation. It's good news to hear that the game will still be played in the Cotton Bowl during the fair until at least 2010. See y'all next year.
On Friday night, the Oklahoma and Texas fans party in the West End historic district of Dallas.
|The excitement and color of the game is enhanced by the Texas State Fair.|
|I loved the look of this Midway ride.|
|Fans head towards the Cotton Bowl stadium as game time draws near.|
|You can see down into the Cotton Bowl from the top of this ferris wheel, and the tickets are cheaper.|
|The Texas University band.|
|The Texas State Flag, for those who haven't seen a Willie Nelson concert.|
|The Oklahoma University Band.|
|The Oklahoma State Flag.|
|The Texas Longhorns enter the field.|
|The Oklahoma Sooners enter the field.|
|The start of Adrian Peterson's 29 yard touchdown run. Note how he is at least 9 yards back from the line of scrimmage.|
|Adrian Peterson takes the handoff from quarterback Paul Thompson. The eyes of Texas are upon him.|
|Adrian Peterson approaches the line of scrimmage with a small opening ahead but with Texas defenders closing in rapidly.|
|At this point, Peterson has a four yard gain but another Texas defender is drawing a bead on him.|
|This is the final shot in my series because the OU fans in front of me started jumping up and down and ruined my view. Adrian Peterson is at the 10 yard line and heading for a score with one Texas defender left to deal with. Peterson scored by stretching the ball into the end zone with the Texas defender around his waist.|
|Adrian Peterson scored this touchdown in the Texas end of the Cotton Bowl. I selected some of the Texas fan's reactions to his fabulous run from the high resolution image and made this composite that captures the fans anguish at the instant of the play shown on the field. The OU cheerleaders are the one non-anguish exception.|