TEXAS — The Texas Longhorns are preparing to face the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry game Saturday in Dallas.
From the bus ride meandering through the state fairgrounds in Dallas, fans greet the team buses on either side of the roads leading to the Cotton Bowl stadium with friendly greetings like, “Texas sucks” and “OU sucks.”
After both teams endure through insults and chants from fans while exiting their respective buses, the Sooners and Longhorns eventually find their way to their locker rooms through the south side entrance of the Cotton Bowl. The next step in the annual process is the walk down the storied tunnel of the Cotton Bowl prior to kickoff.
“I love coming out of the tunnel. You’re in enemy territory,” said Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
The south side of the Cotton Bowl stadium is occupied by Sooner fans. It’s all part of the unique Red River Rivalry experience, especially for those Sooners and Longhorns who grew up in Dallas.
“I use to go to the fair and see all of the big plays and all of the hype around it,” said Texas receiver Jordan Humphrey.
And for the Sooners and Longhorns from other parts of the country, like Texas defensive lineman Chris Nelson, they quickly figure out this isn’t just a game.
“When I came out that tunnel for the first time, I was like dang this game is real,” said Nelson.
Legends are also born during this great game. Individual performances made during this game are discussed for decades. Some of these Red River Rivalry performances are sparked by trick plays.
Texas receiver Colin Johnson was asked if he has a good arm in case his number is called to deceive Oklahoma.
“I do. I’ve been waiting on them to call a reverse pass for me,” said Johnson.
The big receiver may join the list of Red River Rivalry legends like former Texas defensive tackle Stonie Clark, who made a game saving tackle at the goal line in 1994. Other legend examples include quarterback Peter Gardere, who beat the University of Oklahoma four consecutive years in a row with his arm and Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin, who scored six touchdowns in a route of the Longhorns in 2000.
Legends of this great game have one thing in common — a golden hat.
“All I care about is having that Golden Hat Trophy on my head on Saturday,” said Humphrey.
That Golden Hat trophy is a one size which fits all, I think.
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