Football and tailgating is all fun and games until your team breaks your heart. Luckily, the Sooner fans saw that heartbreak coming after just one quarter of football Saturday night. Boy oh boy did Ohio State deserve that win. An elderly man hat standing in the student section Saturday said it perfectly late in the first half, “Ohio State 35, Oklahoma Sooners standing around watching!” Now where to even begin talking about this game?
Lets start with the fun stuff–tailgating all day long. Reserved tent locations and parking spots started going up Wednesday evening. The line to get unclaimed tickets started forming around 3 am Thursday. And the real tailgating experience began around 7am Saturday morning. Grills cooking up breakfast, lunch and dinner for the fans. Tailgates filled with mimosas for the morning and the hard stuff for the evening. The Oklahoma fans, as well as the Ohio State fans that traveled, were prepared for a 12 hour day of football fun. A 6:30pm kick off was going to be the perfect scene setter for a hard fought game under the lights.
Until Oklahoma weather hit. 5pm rolled around with 60 mph winds, blown down tailgates and cops parading the streets telling all 80,000 people to take cover. Now, what are the chances that thousands of drunk people are going to leave the free alcohol to go sit in a school building with no alcohol, surrounded by a bunch of people smelling like wet dogs? Lets just say, the tailgates stayed full.
Soon enough the streets of Norman, like with any other rain, were flooded. You had kids forming mud slides (not the fun, boozy kind) down the streets and others locking themselves in port-o-potties to stay out of the storm. Luckily for the guys in Norman, half of the girls were wearing white shirts. After two hours of downpour and a handle of Fireball being passed around like the wine at church, they decided on an 8pm kickoff.
Unfortunately, that’s about where the fun ended for Sooner fans. Starting the first drive marching down the field, it looked promising. However, then we got a flashback to Hunnicutt missing field goals for us. Except it isn’t 2014 and we weren’t playing Kansas State. With Seibert missing a 27 yard field goal attempt, the ball was right back in the arms of Ohio State. Then Main Man Mixon returned a kickoff from the 3 for a touchdown. But was it really?
No. Luckily for Sooner Nation, the officials did not review the play and OU got their first score of the game. However, Joe Mixon let go of the ball about a yard before reaching the end zone. Really?? Take the ball out the back of the end zone. Run it all the way into the stands. Hell, hold that ball and run it all the way back to your damn house. But for God’s sake, DO NOT let go of it because you want to celebrate early. After an erupting Gaylord Stadium and fireworks booming, the fans would soon realize this would be our biggest celebration of the night.
Just as Ty Darlington had asked for, the student section and all Sooner fans created a ruckus. Never have I heard the stadium that loud, never have I experienced the bleachers shaking on not only third down, but every single down of the game. When those 60 mph winds and torrential downpour came through, the students were holding strong to their seats inside the stadium. While the Buckeyes came out for warmups in their rain jackets, the Sooner fans were getting soaked in the stands, loud and proud. But it isn’t the fans on the field playing. No matter how loud we get, how many delay of game penalties we cause, we cannot win the game for them. The Sooners would go on to lose the game 45- 24.
With a now 1-2 start, the dream of playoffs and a National Championship are over. All they can do now is show that they learned something from their losses. While I do not have much to say to the coaching staff or players right now, there is so much to say to the fans. We showed up this week. The turnout for that game was unbelievable. All day of tailgating, a monsoon and a postponed game time, there were still more fans there than ever before. Setting a record of almost 88,000 people in attendance this was a game that will go down as one of the best. Not the outcome of the game, but the outcome of the fans.
Forever proud to be a Sooner.