I’m not a sports writer, but I am a proud Baylor Bear. I attended the much anticipated football game between ranked Baylor Bears and conference rival Oklahoma Sooners at Waco’s Floyd Casey Stadium; it was more than I could have hoped for. It was an incredible experience.
Background: I attended Baylor from 1991 to 1995. We had J.J. Joe and Santana Dotson and Coach Grant Teaff! Until we didn’t. My perception of Baylor football is that a slow, sad decline into some slow, sad years began in my junior year. Meanwhile, other sports like soccer, softball, basketball, and baseball had a lot of success. This being Texas, football gets a lot of publicity and attention. When Art Briles started a slow and steady turn around of the football team, I enjoyed the growing success!
This year is the last year for Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium, in which all my football memories of college are set. The very last home game in the Case was sold out in July or August, so I got tickets to the next-to-last home game, hosting Oklahoma University. This season has been phenomenal, but the naysayers are pointing out how our season has been easy so far, how few conference games we’ve had thus far, the teams left to play historically beat us …. All true.
These are some of my impressions of the the Nov. 7, 2013 game experience, in which the Baylor Bears smacked down the Oklahoma Sooners.
The tailgate was INSANE. There’s no way I could capture the whole of it on camera. We walked all over the place and saw all kinds of areas. Mostly Baylor fans, but plenty of Sooners were included. There was a line to get into the game. Like, 20 minutes.
While standing in one of the lines that wrapped around the end zone to enter the stadium, I spottThe Baylor Line (freshman) piling into line the field. I walked over to take a picture of this “Just Say NO” sign, and they posed for me. They were so friendly. It was great! They waved, I waved, they cheered, I got emotional.
They were so friendly. It was great! They waved, I waved, they cheered, I got emotional.
Baylor fans were requested to wear black, and they did not disappoint. The stadium was a sea of black with a few ribbons of Sooner red. The team wore black helmets, jerseys, and pants. Cheerleaders and Songleaders were in black and gold. I wore my black-on-green-on-black shirt, and my boyfriend wore a Back in Black shirt.
I tried to capture some images of the sea of black from my location fairly deep within Sooner territory:
I think that was in the third quarter, but I’m not sure. But look at that sea of black on the home side! I have several images of the student area that really overwhelmed me. I hope those kids appreciate how awesome their football experience is now — and from what I saw, students are there to root on their team all the way!
I’m not sure when I took this, but apparently the Baylor Line ripped off their gold jerseys at the first touchdown, and used their jerseys as growl towels for the rest of the game in their black shirts. The gold was awesome! Way to go, Baylor Line!
The Golden Wave Band was incredible! I wish I could find a link to it, but so far no one has posted the tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces. It was as good as the phenomenal Ohio Buckeye band videos that have gone viral this season.
A quick note about sportsmanship: I’ve heard that Baylor fans are the most hospitable, and I was determined to be friendly to everyone I met. A few Sooner fans were more trying than others. We started out in the wrong row, which is actually an easy mistake to make when you walk up one aisle but your seats are on the other, but a Sooner mom instructed her kids to push me out of my seat. Despite my meek attempts to show her my ticket to figure out the seating issue, she simply yelled at me to MOVE! because they have all the seats from 26 on! A nice Baylor couple pulled me into an empty-ish seat by them and checked my ticket. He figured out where our seats really were, but they were occupied by another couple, so he helped them into their proper seats, too. We ended up next to a Sooner brood including three adults and three kids, including their three-, four-, and five-year-old sons, all packed into only three seats in two rows. I played human jungle gym to some of the worst behaved and least-parented kids I’ve ever seen. As the kids constantly climbed back and forth between the two rows, they stepped all over my suede boots, kicked me, climbed on me to get from one parent to the other, pushed me, pushed each other, spilled Sprite everywhere, and tripped and fell more than once when I was the only adult catching them and picking them up while their parents watched the game; it was all I could do to keep it together when the mom at one point turned to me and said, “Is it windy down there, or does your kicker just suck?” My response to her: Shrug. What I said later in reply after recounting this to my boyfriend: Yes, he sucks as much as the rest of the OU team.
The Baylor fans were just as I remembered them: You need a hand getting to the aisle? Ask somebody! You almost trip? Someone will catch you! Someone needs to use your shoulder to get by? They can grab it! We help each other, even Sooners. I sat pretty deep into Sooner country, and the only negative comments I heard were from Sooners. I’m so proud that I was able to be gracious, despite the annoying neighbors, and that my Baylor family was super-kind and gracious to me while sorting our seating error.
We got down onto the field after the game, for which I’m grateful. It’s my last time at Floyd Casey Stadium, and I have many memories there. I can’t wait to go to a game in the new stadium, but last night was an experience of a lifetime.
Also random, for Vickie:
In celebration, we checked out the bears today (I’m elderly and I still think of it as the Bear Pit), and both ladies were out, but sleeping. It was great to see them! Sic ’em Lady! Sic ’em Joy!