This was the first college game I have been at in some 15 years as my preferred method of watching college football is sprawled out on the old coach since: 1. I am usually the only obnoxious fan in the vicinity; 2. The bathroom is roughly 10 feet away and never a line to wait in!; 3. No driving and traffic!; 4. I can sit down and watch the game on a comfortable seating place without having to stand the whole game; 5. food and drinks are close and very affordable.
But I found out an old buddy Ron Mears was now on the sports information staff at Rice and got in touch with him. He happened to mention that Rice was coming to Tulsa and Ron got me sideline passes to take pictures for Rice Sports Information.
So the Coach Ed and I made our way out fairly early Saturday morning, packed up with my aging laptop and camera equipment. This trip was our first one since the famous trip to Hennessey last year for a Talihina playoff game. The trip was fairly routine, the biggest surprise was that he could get driving directions on Google Maps once we hit Tulsa and the 3G kicked in.
We found the stadium and drove past a lot of people wanting us to pay to park, as if. We turned right at the stadium and found a spot only about a football field away, in front of some person’s house. I carefully avoided the driveway and made sure there were not any “No Parking, Idiot!” signs and parked.
We made our way to H.A. Chapman Stadium. The last time I was at what used to be called Skelly Stadium, it was a dump. Chapman Stadium was much nicer. Honest. The Chapman family must have been loaded.
Our passes were clear at the other end of the stadium. As we entereed the stadium, the attendant made us open the computer and camera bag, but thankfully passed on the body search and we were in!
Andy and I made it to the press box after a lengthy wait at the elevator, one that was worth it since the press box was four floors up. I was wearing one of my Journal t-shirts and while riding the elevator, a writer from the Tulsa World looked down to read my shirt.
I could tell he wanted to say “Wow, you’re with the LeFlore County Journal!” or “What the _ _ _ _ is the LeFlore County Journal?”
We found my old OSU buddy Ron and since we had not seen each other for some 20 years, endured an awkward man hug.
We talked for a few minutes and found the food. After chowing down, we made our way to the field and tried to get Poteau’s Garrett Klutts to look our way. He is a freshman playing footbal for TU. He didn’t look our way, so we walked around and as I was trying to take a picture of TU’s band, the cheerleaders rudely got in my way and ruined the picture as you can see on the right.
We did get a picture of Garrett as TU was coming out on the field and later on the sidelines.
Rice jumped ahead early and then it was all TU. While standing on the Rice sidelines, we were not exactly entertained by the people behind the visitor's bench. This one fat kid who looked like Bobby from King of the Hill, was more concerned with shouting insults at the Rice players. I thought he needed a good spanking. So did the adults alongside him.
Another scrawny kid who looked like he probably liked to eat boogers, saw me taking a picture of the Rice coach. “Hey, you’re taking a picture of Rice!” like it was a crime.
A mature Craigman would have ignored the statement, of course, instead of saying “better than taking pictures of you.”
There were plenty of other adults being just as rude. I wondered what made a person be this ignorant. I seriously doubt they would dare shout some of the things they did if they were face to face with the players. One obnoxious TU student, who acted rather drunk and looked like he had never stepped foot on a football field, was on the Rice guys hard.
I wanted to mention something to him, but didn’t want Andy and myself to have to take on an entire section of drunk college kids and embarrass them with a whipping.
The weather was great. I kept hoping we would somehow appear on the jumbotron so I could take a picture of us on the jumbotron, but it didn’t happen.
We went back to the pressbox at halftime for more nourishment and to download the pictures and give them to Ron. Still plenty of food and diet pop!
The game continued to be a blowout. We enjoyed the second half from the pressbox and Ron asked if I got a picture of Rice’s best running back, who just happened to be having a career game.
“Uh, no,” I said. Heck, I had plenty of pictures of Tulsa, including the one on the left I was fairly proud of. But the Rice guys just weren’t doing a whole lot. He didn’t seem to be too upset. We said our farewells with a couple of minutes left and actually made it home in time for the OU game.