"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

9.10.2006

when the music had ended & the crowd dwindled down

Well, to quote Billy Joe Shaver, "It was fun while it lasted, but it didn't last long."

Sigh. Yesterday was really fun. I've been alternately looking forward to and dreading this day since about January 6, whenever it was that Vince said he'd be leaving us. The game day atmosphere was unbelivable - people had been tailgating since Tuesday and there were thousands and thousands of people out in the streets from about noon on.

We got our favorte parking spaces along San Jacinto around 8:30 in the morning and headed over to Game Day Live. It was, as ususal, a blast.

The best signs we saw:
  • "Tressel, sweater-vests went out of style with your defense."
  • "Tarell, say hello to Maurice for me."
  • And this one, which was really funny, even if it turned out, um, not to be accurate:

But the best part was that my signs were on tv, which I think technically means that I was on ESPN. Oh, yes it does!

Basically, it just turned out that we were standing in exactly the right place to be seen over Chris Fowler's shoulder. You could see it better when there weren't graphics over it.
Unfortunately that was the point when my camera battery ran out. Oops. Anyway, at the end of the show, right before the picks, they showed a shot of Fowler and we had this sign right over his shoulder. Allison saw it at home, so it really did make it on!!!!

Unfortunately, that turned out to be the highlight of the day. Well, that and the full day of tailgating and hanging out with friends. It was a such a fun atmostphere. We were in a garage on San Jacinto, at a perfect spot for people watching while P fired up the grill. We also had a very entertaining view of this unique product, which goes really fast.

As for the game, I don't want to talk about it. Sigh. The stadium atmosphere was so charged - more than the Cotton Bowl ever is. It was jam-packed half an hour before gametime, which never happens. Our seats are right at the north end zone and we thought the fumble call was a bad one, but they reviewed it and found otherwise. And it was clear by the half that OSU had the better team. We have a freshman quarterback who has lots of potential and who made some bad decisions.

The stadium was dead-silent by the time OSU scored its third touchdown. It was really different from the loss three years ago to Arkansas. Then, people were angry. This time, we were all just quiet, because we knew we'd been beaten by a better team. Although Austin Austin and I just about died laughing, when, not 2 minutes after the game was over, the guy behind us started ranting about how we need to fire Greg Davis. (And Mack Brown, too, right?) He and I walked back to the cars, talking about the game and how far we'll fall in the rankings (he thinks #12, I think #10).

It was such a depressing end to such a fun day. We hung out in the garage until about midnight, waiting for the traffic to clear, then made an appearance at my department's welcome back party. I asked if we'd really spent 16 hours at a football game, and P just said, "Yes." By the time I got in the car to head home, KVET was playing the saddest songs they could find ("Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her" was the first one I heard. Seriously.) and the tower was dark.

That said, I really love football. I love to cheer for my team, but I also love to see really good football. We got to see an outstanding team play last night, and our guys got the challenge. Troy Smith threw a couple of beautiful passes, and our defense managed to stop Ted Ginn enough times to keep OSU from scoring 56 points. Our usual run of September games (Rice, Louisiana-Lafayette, UNT) is always so boring. Even Sam Houston State will only be marginally more interesting if Bomar gets cleared to play. The season is a lot more fun when we have a big home game to look forward to before playing Tech or the Aggies near the end of the season.

Problem is, there's no incentive whatsover to schedule big games like this, except for pure love of the game. I would love to see us play USC, Miami, or Notre Dame in home-home series in the future. That probably won't happen, but it would be fun, and it would settle a lot of nonsense about which conference is stronger before we all have to watch West Virginia play for the national championship.

At the end of the day, though, we lost. There's not much else to say.

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