Not far from the ROTC building on the OU campus was the football stadium. Some of you may remember that I have mentioned before something about my childhood. For whatever reason when I lived in Rockford, IL we always received the Big 8 game of the week. Probably a result of how the TV deals were structured back then, before the days of ESPN and other cable networks. In fact, we didn't have cable at all where I lived. IIRC Keith Jackson usually did the play by play and these games were usually on ABC.
As a result of this I got to see Oklahoma a lot and became somewhat of a fan. These Big 8 games were my first introduction to big time organized college football. I absolutely loved the wishbone offense that OU ran. To this day I am still a huge fan of the "wish" and any other offense that utilizes some sort of option. Needless to say I am thrilled with the Illini's offense this year, an option attack (it is almost like a T formation at times) combined with the occasional pass play.
With all of this rolling around in my head I came upon what I remember as being called "Owen Field" as a youngster. The name has changed a bit, but the place is the same. The first thing I saw was this memorial to the fallen of OU in all wars.
It was a somber place and reminded me that football isn't the end-all, ever. I think it was a nice gesture to put this place next to the football stadium so lots of people have to walk by it every football Saturday. This day, a Monday, I was alone in giving the dead a moment of silence.
From the memorial I moved forward to the main gate. The Gaylord Family must have thrown a ton of money into their stadium renovation fund as that name was plastered all over the place.
I went inside and saw a security officer at the front desk. I politely asked him if I could enter the stadium and snap a few quick photos. He was less than enthused about this and I just said "never mind" and walked away. I had my own plans.
I remembered that the previous Saturday there had been a game between OU and Texas A and M. The cleanup crews and maintenance people were all over the place and nobody really seemed to care about what I was up to. The doors were wide open, so I simply walked in. Here is a shot of the underside of the east stands. It would be pretty cool to park INSIDE the stadium on game day, but I can't imagine how much those spots would go for. They are probably all for staff anyway.
The ramps to the seating areas were all gated shut so I sauntered through here for a while looking like I owned the place, waving to security guards as they passed. They waved back and really didn't seem to care about me too much. I finally got to the end of the stadium. No luck getting in for a few photos.
Then I stood around at the end of the stadium and observed. Students were using a short cut through the end stands to get from one place to another. I followed one and before I knew it, voila! I was in. More to come.