The road to hitting every game on the schedule isn’t fully paved with classics. This weekend in Waco, certainly wasn’t one of them.
This trip was handled a little differently. Instead of staying Friday night and Saturday night in the game city, we actually did something a little differently this trip. We just drove to Waco in the morning and drove back to stay in Plano after the game. I’m going to give myself a pass here; I’ve been to Waco before and with the town not exactly being the coolest stop this year, I decided to save some money better used on State Fair coupons for OU-Texas.
We started our trip under the pink-orange Oklahoma sunrise at about 7 am. This trip had a road trip skeleton crew compared to Columbus; it was just me and Bar Review vet Mike Bussow. It was a quick shot down I-35 and we rolled into town just in time for lunch at one of my favorite road trip stops.
Vitek’s Barbecue was introduced to me in 2015 by some of my girlfriend’s close friends who go to Baylor. Vitek’s is a Waco treasure that has been around for over 100 years. Most barbecue joints focus on the basics: brisket, ribs, pulled pork, sausage, sauce, solid sides, cold beer (if you’re lucky). This place puts everything good into a styrofoam container and mashes it all together in something known as a Gut Pak. It’s a beautiful symphony of brisket, sausage, cheese, Fritos, beans and barbecue sauce. I recommend getting the half pak in a large container, it gives you more space to mix all the ingredients up.
However, a funny thing happened on the way to the checkout counter. As we got in line, my phone started blowing up thanks to a group text with my old high school friends (we actually, legitimately refer to the group as “The Group Text”, real creative, I know). Adrian Wojnarowski, the czar of breaking NBA stories, was reporting that the Oklahoma City Thunder were in talks to acquire Carmelo Anthony. By the time I got through the line, Carmelo was a member of the Thunder and my college football Saturday had been invaded by the NBA. My mind was the farthest place from my Gut Pak.
Right after finishing our ‘cue and a couple Lone Star’s, our crew (which now included Mike’s sister and her friend) found a rare free parking place and make the trek across the Baylor campus to McLane Stadium.
I don’t care if the stadium is four years old, walking up to McLane Stadium over the Brazos River is one of the coolest entrances in college football. The stadium on the river is really cool and the concept of sailgating makes me wish OU had a water feature to drink on.
The vibe on campus was kinda eerie. Compared to 2015, the atmosphere on campus was completely dead. It was almost sad in a way.
The pregame hangout in Waco is this big tailgate tent called George’s. If you don’t have friends with a tailgate, this is the move to get some beers. You can domestic beers here for $4, including Shiner. This is Texas, after all.
After meeting up with some friends at George’s and spending all my cash, we got word of a tailgate hosted by alumni of my fraternity’s Baylor chapter handing out free beer. We couldn’t miss out on this. We approached the tent about 30 minutes before we needed to hit up will call and immediately were told to shotgun some beers. We aren’t talking Natty either; these crazy Bears had us downing craft shit. My poor buddy Matt downed a tangerine IPA.
Once we paid our dues, they handed out some more casual drinking beers. Apparently they have a sponsorship from a brewery called Southern Star Brewing in Conroe, Texas. In other news, I would like to immediately announce that The Schooner Blog is officially accepting beer sponsorship offers so hit me up.
The game itself was absolutely brutal. I didn’t do a quick reaction, so here are my thoughts: OU had a great start but the Defense blew it. MVP is Trey Sermon, LVP is Jordan Thomas. The refs were particularly terrible. Honestly, that game was just aggravating to watch. The last part of the 4th quarter felt like it drug on forever. My recap is basically just this Curb Your Enthusiasm gif on an infinite loop.
Leaving the stadium less than enthusiastic, we made the same long, brutal walk across campus dreading the hour-plus drive back to Plano. Going out was out of the question. The only things that mattered were getting the win, getting to bed and hitting up In-N-Out in Plano. On to the next one.