Overheard last Saturday outside the Cotton Bowl, where the Texas State Fair raged on, and inside the stadium, where the Texas State Unfair was played out--with No. 2 Oklahoma aiming to barbecue No. 5 Texas for the fifth straight year.
Unidentified Oklahoma fan, walking past the fair rides before the game: "You think if we beat 'em again, a Texas fan will climb to the top of the Ferris wheel and jump?"
His buddy: "Nah, he'd quit halfway up."
Beer-guzzling Texas fan, just inside a stadium gate: "You know what you get when you put 30 Oklahoma fans in the same room? A full set of teeth."
October 17, 2004
Beer-guzzling Oklahoma fan, not much later: "You know what happens to a Texas fan when he takes Viagra? He gets taller."
OU flag girl Becka Smith, after she ran onto the field during the presentation of the Big 12 team flags with the Texas flag purposely rolled up tight on the pole: "I wanted to hang it upside down, but they said I'd get kicked off [the flag team]."
Gray-haired OU fan, realizing that he was seated smack dab on football's 38th parallel, the 50-yard line that divides the Cotton Bowl into perfect burnt-orange and crimson-red halves: "I don't like sittin' this close to a Texas fan, but he seems pretty nice. I guess their manners have gotten a lot better since we're always whuppin' up on 'em."
The goateed Texas fan stuck next to him: "Hey, we got 17 more wins than you [in the 104-year series history]."
Burly Texas fan Gabriel Pineda, sitting in the first row, as OU takes a 3--0 lead: "The problem with this game is it starts so dang early [11 a.m. kickoff, CDT]. There's no time to get enough drinks in you."
Guy behind him: "The way you guys are playin', you need it."
Red-draped OU fan Carson Thompson, 65, seated next to his burnt-orange-swathed 71-year-old brother, Marlin: "Why you keep holdin' your fingers like that [in the Hook-'em-Horns sign]? Oh, yeah--it means you guys are Number 11, right?"
Marlin: "What can I say? They're his tickets."
Carson: "We've promised ourselves we'll only do this 30 more years, then we're stoppin'. He'll be 101, and I'll be 95. They'll wheel us in on stretchers with IVs hooked up to us."
Marlin: "Yeah, full of beer."
Ryan Maxwell, one of the student Ruf/Nek caretakers of the Sooner Schooner, the pony-powered covered wagon that careers around the field at home games after OU scores: "We don't get to take it out at the Cotton Bowl until after the game, and only if we win. But it's better than holdin' on to a cow that doesn't do anything."
Wales Madden, Maxwell's glum counterpart, holding on to longhorn steer Bevo XIV in the other end zone: "So they take care of a couple midget ponies. Big wooo! Bevo's a grand champion."
Maxwell: "Used to be they'd have to walk Bevo past us and we'd shoot off our shotguns [with blanks], and he'd crap all over!"
Maxwell: "If we win, we take the schooner out and run around and hang off the back. What do they do if they win here?"
Madden: "I don't really know. I've only been here four years."
T-shirt on Sooners fan at halftime: lose carbs. eat longhorn.
OU fan Jennifer Zuyus, sitting on the 50-yard-line boundary and pointing to the empty seat next to her, vacated by a Texas fan, just as OU took a 12--0 fourth-quarter lead: "He left after we scored. I waved bye-bye to him with five fingers."
Random Sooners nut, upon seeing a Texas fan with a T-shirt that read keepmackbrown.com: "Yeah, keep him! We love kickin' his ass!"
Texas high schooler, to his dad, upon leaving the stadium after the Longhorns' 12--0 loss and wading into the madness of the fair and a sea of OU fans: "Are we gonna catch crap?"
Dad: "Nah, you lose to them five times straight, they just feel sorry for you. Maybe they'll buy us a snow cone."
Hangdog-faced Texas husband: "Y'know what the worst part of losing is? We can't stay and enjoy the fair. Too much abuse."
His wife, perhaps remembering the fair's alligator sausages on a stick, tamale balls and whirling, spinning rides: "Who cares? Either way, you wanna throwup."
If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to email@example.com
The 50-yard line divides the Cotton Bowl into perfect burnt-orange and crimson-red halves, making it football's 38th parallel.