You know, I think I’d like Stillwater a lot more if I wasn’t an OU fan. From the unbiased eye, it kinda feels like a more country version of Manhattan, Kansas (that is saying something).But after so many Bedlam trips, I just am tired of the town. All that charm is tainted by that neon orange, desperate attempts to look relevant and lines at the bars.
Oh god, the lines at the bars.
Due to how close Stillwater is to Norman and a certain date party the night before, we made the early morning drive up I-35 that Saturday. The pregame for this game always feels like a bit of a high school reunion for me. My group was mostly my friends from back home, as we all were staying with our mutual Poke friend, Chase.
First move was grabbing some beer (of course). When you road trip with friends at the specific college, the move is always house party jumping over bars. Not only can you obviously bring your own stuff, it just is a better way to pregame.
I gotta say this about Stillwater; they have the coolest liquor store/gas station thing ever. The Barn is a drive through where you can pick up a 30 of beer from the comfort of your own pickup. We walked through, grabbed some Coors and made our way to the Sixes.
The Sixes is a group of apartment just south of The Strip, OSU’s bar district. There was a massive house party group right out front where apparently half of the people I’ve ever known are. It was like one of those wild scenes from something you’ve seen on Barstool 5th Year. Actually, Barstool 5th Year was there for that matter!
As kickoff neared, it was time to make the move to the tailgates south of Boone Pickens Stadium. All the fraternities gather together and make a wild scene with some of the best tailgate food i’ve ever had. I’m talking jambalaya, boudin and sausage that tasted like they came straight from Bayou country.
Unfortunately, the tailgates also presented the biggest problem that day; the lines. Trying to pee in the heart of tailgate country is impossible. The port-a-potty lines were at least a thirty minute wait. I tried everything; the nearby bars were packed, the school buildings were locked and my friends were unwilling to form a circle (understandable).
The only remedy was to go in an hour early and use the stadium restrooms. Such a waste of some good pregame time.
I forget just how awful OSU’s stadium setup is. The endzones run East-West instead of North-South. While this seems like a minor detail, try staring in the sun for a full game and get back to me.While I was happy my feet didn’t freeze (as is Bedlam tradition), the weather was brutally hot.
The game was an exhausting offensive duel. After Baker’s 4th quarter pick my heart gave out; I though there was no way we could stop Rudolph. Then, all hope returned with that last Oklahoma interception. I freaked out; the Pokes had choked again.
Of course, after that came the slow, insufferable drain of realizing we were screwed; we all became targeting rulebook experts that day. Thankfully, the Cowboys choked, as is tradition and a Trey Sermon touchdown got us out of the woods.
The important thing is, OU is firmly back in the Playoff race.
The long slog back to Chase’s was almost as draining as realizing how bad the food lines would be for literally everything. Me and my crew settled for Jimmy John’s (Editor’s Note: apparently now the official postgame meal of The Schooner Blog, we ate there after TCU too) and attempted to rally for the postgame.
We thought about going the house party route again; the bar lines were ungodly long. But when the party ended up blowing, we returned to Chase’s and were prepared to call it quits. That is, until Chase’s roommate called us out and brought us to The Copper Penny.
The Copper Penny is a wonderful place. Half is outdoors, half is a little quaint indoor bar. The outdoor portion was pretty cool, but what separated the bar from anything in Norman is The Limey, a 32 oz drink with what has been described as “an 8 second pour of McCormick’s Vodka”. The drink is for two, but for those not exhausted by the night, one should be the perfect kickstart for the night. You can barely taste the vodka; it is beautiful.
We ended up crashing early after meeting friends at the Penny. We got lucky by having some friends ditch out on riding back with us, so we got a bit of a treat by going to the Original Hideaway Pizza the next morning, which provided a nice bow to wrap up this trip.
As we merged back onto I-35, I realized something crazy; there was only one road game left on this wild, wild ride, with everything from here to Atlanta ahead of us.