Party, Party, Party
In this specific post I’m going to stray from the discussion of Oklahoma State “Athletics” attire and take a different approach. This post is going to be all about the Cowboy Faithful and what we decide to sport when we’re cheering on our beloved Pokes. As it is football season, I will point out some interesting facts about tailgating, pregaming and game time. What do we like to wear? Eat and drink? What activities do we enjoy leading up to the big event?
I first would like to discuss the expansion of “tent city” in recent years. I began attending OSU football games in the mid-90’s, or as some would rather call, the Bob Simmons Era. I fondly remember the days when a mid-level donor family was able to park just across Hester Street (the road ran continuously from H.O.F. Ave. through the heart of campus) on the west side of Lewis Field and play parking lot football until game time. Sure, there were tailgaters, but it was mostly just that; groups of people with some lawn chairs and the occasional grill and small television set.
Now you can’t walk anywhere near the stadium without having to fight your way through hundreds of tented tailgates. Flat screens, satellites and massive smokers have replaced the more primitive tailgating supplies of old, and Cowboy fans aren’t looking back. The pregame activity has grown into such a fast-growing phenomenon that one can see resemblances between the parking lot south of the Architecture building and “The Grove”, the tailgate Mecca of the world, located in Oxford, Mississippi.
OSU tents, OSU chairs, OSU grills…pretty much anything and everything you can think of that you might need at the ultimate tailgate, you can find in orange and black these days. Crazed fans begin marking their territory as early as Tuesday during a game week, all in hopes to get prime tailgating position. Fraternities fly their flags high, guiding alumni to their tailgate like a lighthouse beacon in the dark, foggy night.
I’ve noticed a trend sweeping across the Midwest, particularly in the Big 12. Many fans, especially students, are grasping a more SEC-style approach to the way they tailgate. From the clothes they wear to the activities they partake in, everything about Oklahoma State pregaming is becoming a little bit more Southern. One Ole Miss student claimed that football games are a social event and are grounds for dressing in your Sunday best. Cowboy students, particularly of the Greek persuasion, are growing more and more fond of this style of dress. Ladies are wearing orange and black dresses with cowboy boots; gentlemen in polos or even oxford dress shirts and ties.
Don’t worry; there are still plenty of hardcore fans that are willing to risk their skin to body paint. There are paddles reserved for those people on the very front row.
What to do?
So you went three days ago to find the perfect spot to set up your tent and you’ve picked out the perfect outfit for the game, what do you do now? Cowboy fans have come up with countless ways to pass the time before the big game, from grilling steaks to drinking beer to playing games. Some of these games are as simple as throwing a hacky sack into a hole. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to tailgating. It’s not so much the game you are playing as it is the experience you are having with fellow Cowboy fans.
So there it is… I hope that was insight enough for you to go out and enjoy the greatest season of the year: college football season. Happy tailgating everybody.