Cotton Bowl over Jerry World any day


October brings the arguably the biggest rivalry in college football. Oklahoma and Texas. Two teams rich with history and tradition that continues to this day. And one part of what makes this rivalry so special is the setting for it. Dallas, Texas.

It is nearly the same distance from Norman and Austin, with a slight edge to Oklahoma. However, it is Texas’ state fair. And it is Dallas’ Cotton Bowl that hosts these two teams for just four hours every 365 days.

Something about the fried food, pre-game trash talk, and the coupons make it something so special that I could never picture this event anywhere else.

Now, the Cotton Bowl is not some glorious, magnificent stadium by any means. It is not state-of-the-art. It is not the prettiest site in the world. And it is not in a great part of town. But it contains so much history and graced by so many legendary Sooner and Longhorn teams, there is no comparison.

This past May, the Cotton Bowl extended its contract with Oklahoma and Texas through 2020. And this week, the Cotton Bowl has announced it will make renovations, which are scheduled for completion next September. And even though I could never see it anywhere else, what if it went to the new Cowboy Stadium?

What if the biggest game on OU and Texas’ schedule every season was relocated to Jerry World?

It certainly would not be the same experience. There is nothing like waking up early, getting to the fair before the sun comes up, and enjoying the fried food and rides. Hopefully, not in that order.

And I have so many fond memories at the Cotton Bowl. I had watched it since I was a young boy, and was so amazed by how they split the stadium in half. Sooner fans on one side, Horns on the other. It was a spectacle for a young Sooner fan.

However, I didn’t attend a Red River Shootout game in person until 2005. Which there may have been a reason I got tickets that year. Somebody knew something that I was too optimistic to see.

The Sooners got smashed that day. And I went the next year as well. Another bad idea. And then the next time I went was in 2009. Which was heartbreaking to see Sam Bradford’s last down as a Sooner quarterback.

It wasn’t until 2010 when I finally saw in person a Sooner win in the Cotton Bowl. Oklahoma finally let me leave Dallas with a smile on my face. And not singing the Texas Longhorn fight song.

Regardless, it is a stadium that I have grown to love. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing, but the aftermath I could do without. Thousands upon thousands of fans filing out of the Cotton Bowl is a pain in the rear. Especially with my OU-Texas record of 1-3. And if you didn’t know, Longhorn fans are relentless. Each fanbase hates each other, though, I have met a few classy Horns fans over the years.

But maybe it would be different at Jerry World. It would not be as confined, and there wouldn’t be thousands of people outside of the stadium that couldn’t get in to the game. But if you are higher up at the Cotton Bowl, you still have a pretty decent view. At Jerry World, you may be looking at that gigantic video board more than half the time.

I have never been to Arlington and been inside the new Cowboy Stadium, but from what I hear, the parking is expensive, and so is the food. But that comes with the territory. People have been jacking up prices for years, so you have to come prepared for the spending.

It is just an interesting question, would moving the game to Jerry World change the rivalry in any way? Though, a better question might be, do people care as much about the Cotton Bowl as me? I have been an Oklahoma season ticket holder for the past eight years, and when I get to go to the Cotton Bowl, it is awesome.

However, I don’t lose sleep if I can’t, because it is expensive. It is a bit of a pain. Though, when I get tickets, it is incredible. I love circling that weekend on my calendar, and remember, the Cotton Bowl is exclusive to Oklahoma and Texas.

They moved the “Cotton Bowl” game to Jerry World, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they eventually moved OU-Texas to Jerry World. If I’m being brutally honest with myself, though, it just wouldn’t be the same Red River Shootout. Future generations wouldn’t get to experience the fair, get to eat the horrible food, and see Big Tex. College football is all about pageantry. And taking away the Cotton Bowl would be sad for the rivalry.