clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Road to Game Day: Tough Tickets in Norman

New, comment
Words by Keith Arnold, who ↵is touring the country with his brother Phil as they invade a different ↵college campus each Saturday during the football season. They’ll be reporting back in this space with their various adventures. You can also keep tabs on their vagabonding over at RoadtoGameDay.com. This week they're in Norman for the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game.
↵
↵
We’re here in Norman, ready for our biggest game of the year so far when Texas Tech takes on Oklahoma tomorrow. There hasn’t been a harder ticket for us to get. We have zero connections in Lubbock and zero connections in Norman, and thankfully we haven’t had to spend much on tickets the last three weeks, because the prices for this game are insane. Who says we’re in a recession? But on the 15th eBay auction we bid on, we finally won tickets. It only cost us a kidney, two bags of plasma, and a few hundred bucks to get them. (Every other donor joke I came up with either made us look really bad or would’ve gotten edited anyway.) Sprinkle in the added degree of difficulty that the internet at this mediocre Days Inn we are staying at created, and I feel like I’m Glass Joe fighting Iron Mike Tyson in the first two minutes of Punchout. Just one slip and I’m down and out. ↵

↵Is there anything that makes you feel like a loser more than winning an eBay auction? Holding my laptop in the air, thinking that it might help get the wireless signal better than it was two feet lower on the motel desk, and counting the seconds down as my top bid is holding on by a measly four dollars. After many near misses, Phil wasn’t even humoring me by counting along, as he just got called up to the first line on NHL ’09 for XBox 360, and he had his +/- rating to worry about. Needless to say, there isn’t a whole lot going on in this town. ↵

↵

↵I’d like to say plenty of complimentary things about Norman, but I’m not sure where to start. Since we arrived, the flag has been rippling, with the wind howling arctic air. Walking around campus today, clutching a coffee to keep my hands from going numb, I was amazed at how flat this place is. The campus looks nice enough, but it certainly won’t win any awards for being picturesque and wouldn’t rank in the top 10 of any of the places we’ve been. That said, with the stadium gates open, I walked in and checked out Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. It looks pretty awesome, and the athletic facilities look really impressive. There is no doubt what pays the bills for OU. ↵

↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵That said, this stadium could be in the middle of a nuclear testing facility and we’d be going. I’m shocked that this game isn’t getting even more national attention. But I guess that’s what happens when the two teams are located in towns with a combined population smaller than Bakersfield, CA. After watching Oklahoma earlier in the year at the Cotton Bowl in their only loss, there were times during that game where I thought the Sooners looked unbeatable. Yet somehow, they ended up blowing that game. If you look at Oklahoma these last couple of years, that seems to be their story in big games. Darren Sproles running all over them in the Big 12 Championship game in 2003. The USC demolition in 2004. The epic loss to Boise State in 2006, and getting beaten by a Bill Stewart coached West Virginia last year in the Fiesta Bowl. Not to mention that Texas Tech has beaten Oklahoma two of the last three times they’ve played. I’m half expecting Bob Stoops to start getting a twitch if Tech scores a couple of quick touchdowns. Could you blame him? ↵

↵

↵As someone who thinks of and coins slogans once said, “that’s why they play ‘em.” And when you fill a stadium with 85,000 fans, a lot of crazy things can happen. At least we hope so. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.