Saturday, November 28, 2009

Road trippin with the Tigers

I must admit, I did not plan on going to Hennessey to watch Talihina play in the quarterfinals.

Instead, I planned on listening to the game on the radio to avoid the four-hour plus trip to and fro.

But that all changed Thursday evening when my buddy Andy Perdue called and asked if I wanted to go with him. He did not disclose how far down his list I was, but I told him I would think about it and give him a call back Friday morning.

I didn’t want to drive or ride all the way to Hennessey. I doubt anybody actually did. But after thinking about it for about two minutes, I called him back and said I was in.

We departed from his house yesterday around 1 p.m. for the long journey. Off we went, Andy driving, thank goodness, and I perched in the passenger seat.

Since I am obviously not a female, I do not recall every word that was discussed, not that it is that important. Instead, I will summarize our conversations:

1. Football
2. Golf
3. More football
4. Coaching football strategy
5. Golf courses
6. Funny stories, most not appropriate for a family-oriented blog

We took 59 up to I-40 and headed toward Oklahoma City, after a short full-bladder inspired break at Sallisaw. Around 4, we made it to OKC and headed to Bricktown to visit Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar! or whatever it is called.

Andy said the grub was good and I trusted his opinion. He does know the best places to eat throughout the state.

I had never been in Toby’s eaterie before. It was nice and not as crowded as I feared, since the Hornets were playing at home that night.

Toby was singing Christmas songs over the loudspeaker. Now I like Toby, but I am glad he is not relying on his Christmas songs to make a living.

We got some chips and dip and ordered. I selected the 10-ounce sirloin, since it was steak and I do like my charred flesh to eat. Andy followed with the same choice after considering the chicken fried stead, which he assured me pretty much covered the whole plate.

They had a screen about the size of Hodgen showing the Alabama and Auburn game. The wait staff was very efficient in making sure the iced tea did not go empty. I’d take a gulp and before I knew it my drink was topped off.

We quickly devoured the chips, salsa and some other stuff I did not try while wishing Alabama would screw up and Auburn would win. Some goober at the next table actually cheered for Alabama, not that many others were interested in anything other than moving food from their plate to their mouth.

The steak quickly arrived. I was amazed how quickly the food got to our table, then realized since we were not pounding overpriced alcoholic beverages, they probably wanted our money and the table for the next group.

I must say, it was one of the better steaks I have tasted. It had some kind of seasoning or cooked on something that made it taste like it was cooked over charcoal, which was probably how it was cooked.

We devoured the dead cow, paid the bill and headed up 35. Luckily, the traffic was light and we got out of the metro area without anybody flipping us the bird.

Soon, we realized we were going to be early for the game. Like, way early. Hwy. 51 arrived and we headed to the west. We got to Hennessey 75 minutes before the game, but there were already a bunch of people on the Talihina side.

The stadium was one of the nicer ones I have seen. The lights were awesome, which meant no flash on the old camera! The turf looked like a dormant fairway at a plush golf course. Even the people were nice! I was wearing a black and yellow hoodie, but nobody wearing blue said anything negative or felt the need to flip us off.

Sadly, the game was not good for our friends from southern LeFlore County. The Tigers made a bunch of mistakes and that is not something you can do against a team ranked second in the state.

Talihina played hard to the end. Toward the end of the game, I talked to a guy from Hennessey to enquire about two friends from there I went to school with. He knew one of the guys and said my friend was alive and well.

I also got some good pictures! A win would have been nice, but it just wasn’t meant to be this night.

Andy and I expertly made our way out of the stadium and were among the first to leave! We headed back east on 51 and stopped at a nice convenience store to empty bladders once again. One poor representative of Oklahoma, who looked like a poor-man’s Joe Dirt, wore a hat that said “Show me your _ _ _ _ _ _ _”. His hat used another word for a woman’s chest region. I wanted to take his picture for proof, but realized that would be immature and probably dangerous.

Our conversation on the way home was similar to the one on the way up, except we did talk about Foot Hunting. Don’t ask. Got back to Poteau at around 2, as in the a.m.! I arrived home about half an hour later, exhausted and glad to be home.

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