View From the Seats: UT vs. FAU at DKR Memorial Stadium

What an excellent weekend of college football! Alabama upset Clemson, East Carolina surprised Virginia Tech with a blocked punt win, and the Longhorns beat FAU. Despite not being able to carry my super awesome Canon 5D camera into DKR, I nabbed some interesting shots with my girlfriend’s camera phone from the University of Texas vs. Florida Atlantic University game. Below are some panoramas/pics taken prior to and during the UT – FAU game.

Randy and Rafael enjoy the pre-game tailgate

Randy and Rafael enjoy the pre-game tailgate

Jamie, Lindsay, Lindsay and Lou tailgatin'

Jamie, Lindsay, Lindsey and Lou tailgatin

New DKR end zone seating

New DKR end zone seating

Opening kickoff cell phone panorama - UT vs. FAU

Opening kickoff cell phone panorama - UT vs. FAU

Interesting kickoff reverse panorama - UT vs. FAU

Interesting kickoff reverse panorama - UT vs. FAU

First Tailgate of the Season

It was an absolute  privilege to tailgate with some true Longhorn fans this Saturday, including ex-players Roderick Babers and Octavious Bishop.  The first tailgate of the 2008 season – a practice tailgate in appreciation of all Longhorn fans – was a success.  With a little cloud cover and some neighbors, we all had  food, drinks and fun under the TicketCity canopy.  Not to mention, Rafael’s oversized Jenga was a blast!  A special “thank you” goes out to Chris and the NFL Alumni for putting this together, the UT Longhorn footballers who came and showed their support, and Rafael here at TicketCity for putting us right in the action.  Now, time for some pictures:

Thomas tries his skill at oversized Jenga

Boy tries the oversized Jenga

Aftermath of oversized Jenga

Our UT tailgate neighbors

Rafael pours up the BBQ sauce

A proud UT fan shows off his autographed mini helmet

Octavious Bishop signs an autograph

Roderick Babers (right) throws up his Horns

Anticipating the Kickoff

For some reason, I woke up this morning and was excited.  At what, I am not sure. Maybe I actually slept last night. Very often I stay up late and get up early, tossing and turning in between grabbing at the blanket that has started slipping to the floor.  Or maybe I just woke anticipating the weekend – it is Friday you know, and I tend to romp a bit when I have the time.

More than likely I feel this great because I am rested, ready for the weekend and dreaming about another football game.  I still can’t imagine a better way to spend my Saturday.  Oh yeah, tomorrow’s Saturday.  If you see some fool driving circles around Darrell K. Royal stadium tomorrow in a white 2002 Mustang, you can be assured it is me, lonely for some football.  If you are cute and wave, I might pick you up.

In my entire 23 years of existence, I have only attended four college football games (slapping my wrist as I write).  Now, don’t get me wrong, college football is the bread that nourishes my entire family.  Just to take a stab at it, I would guess that I have spent at least a 1,000 hours sitting in front of the tube, praying my receiver would catch that Hail Mary.  I would imagine I have consumed over 20 lbs. of Thanksgiving Day turkey, screaming at the television between mouthfuls.  However, the fact remains that I do have some regrets – namely, that I was so poor in college that it was better to scalp my ticket and catch the game at a friend’s house.  God knows I’m not the only one who has been in those shoes.

When I was junior at the University of Texas, I got my chance to see my first live college football game.  As a photographer for UT’s yearbook, The Cactus, my first ever experience was directly on the field, in the absolute core of the breathtaking action.  I was able to experience the expansive cheers of the crowd, the deafening roar of the touchdown cannon, the sea of burnt orange color that were the fans, and the crack of helmets and shoulder pads as big sweaty bodies mauled each other right in front of me.  (I was nearly killed by a sideline play that game, and it was awesome.)  Texas walloped OSU 36-10, and I was officially addicted to the experience.

I photographed a few other games as well.  You can see some of my pictures from last year’s Cotton Bowl here.

I guess the whole point of this post is simply this:  if you have never seen a college football game at the stadium, you are not taking the right vitamins.  Get out of the house, go hang out with those guys in the parking lot under the colored tent, and have some real fun.  I don’t care how young or old you are, don’t give up the opportunity to be a fan – NCAA football is priceless.  We have the best tickets to every major NCAA game, so go.  You may not get to stand on the field, but we’ll get you pretty darn close.  Please, whatever you do, don’t end up like this guy:

Kid needs a ticket -Texas vs. OSU pregame
Kid needs a ticket -Texas vs. Ohio State pregame