"Cult" of Personality
So I'm stealing a line from one of my most favorite songs of all time, Living Colour's Cult of Personality.
Although the cult I'm referring to are the fans that inhabit Darrel Royal Stadium at the University of Texas, Austin.
I was last at a Longhorns game about 5 years ago and was amazed by how every single fan knew every single chant and battle hymn. Coming from a I-AA football school, we were lucky if students remembered when the team was actually at home.
Anyway, I had the chance to go to another Longhorns game this past weekend, as we were down in Austin celebrating Rich's bachelor party. We saw UT take on perennial powerhouse Nebraska, who themselves have been struggling of late.
The hotel we stayed at (the Days Inn University) was packed full of Nebraska fans who made the trip down south. However, not wanting to be the enemies of 80,000 fans that pack into the stadium, we decide to don the home burnt orange and white.
The crew donning the burnt orange and white
We ended up tailgating at Sholz Garten before the game...which was this huge facility with a large backyard picnic type area with hundreds of peeps packed in. They had a large indoor hall with a big screen TV, where diehards were glued to one of the games. Outside they had a few bars with bbq grills. After waiting in line for 20 minutes for a pulled pork sandwich at one of the pits, I grabbed a seat and took a bite. However said pulled pork was kinda cold and very fatty. Definitely not an appetizing snack whatsoever, especially added to the fact I waited 20 minutes to get it.
The disappointing pulled pork at Sholz
Other than that the beer was great (kudos for having Spaten Oktoberfest on draft!) and the atmosphere was pretty kick ass!
(side rant coming: everything in Austin is made to order. Nothing is cooked ahead of time. While this is a nice touch, it adds completely unnecessary delays, especially at a tailgate or even at the game itself. The lines all day were ridiculous, because even soda from the fountain was made to order. They even ran out of hotdogs and pretzels before half time because they didn't keep filling the machines. At Sholz, they made the burgers to order. So they waited for someone to order before throwing it on the grill. Now, when you have a line, of lets say 50 people or so, good planning dictates more than half of them will be getting a burger when it's one of the 5 items you offer up. Dont'cha think you should have a bunch grilling and ready to rock, instead of having people stand there for 20 minutes? I mean I appreciate the "human touch", I really do. But let's talk about efficiencies here people. Think ahead. Prepare. Don't run out of fuckin hotdogs at a football game. Thanks).
Back to football. Even though the team is struggling a bit this season, the fans were rapid from the opening ceremonies. The old PeeWee favorite "The Stars at Night are Big and Bright...Deep in the Heart of Texas" gets the crowd singing along, young and old alike. Not even at a professional football game will you find the crowd as pumped up before the game even starts than you will at UT. Case in point, when the players emerge from the tunnel and head across the field for a pre-game prayer, the fans pray with them.
It's not all that surprising considering that in a state like Texas, football and god go hand-in-hand.
The Longhorns ended up winning the game 28-25. Nebraska actually had a lead in the second half with momentum, but couldn't capitalize on a Interception around midfield as their drive stalled and ultimately UT took advantage of their superior talent in the game.
There's some more stories to share, including how it took us over an hour to get food served to us at two different locations over the weekend...so stay tuned!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
"Cult" of Personality