The son, John, and I had an unexpected treat laid at our feet during the holidays. My daughter, Megan, called to ask if we wanted to come up to Dallas to watch the Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the Ole Miss Rebels at the Cotton Bowl on January 2nd. Jumping in the pickup and travelling 3 1/2 hours wasn't something that I was planning on doing the first rattle out of the new year's box, but free tickets to a Cotton Bowl was just too good to pass up and the fact that it was the last Cotton Bowl game to ever be played at Cotton Bowl stadium made it a "must do". Also, I like Megan's father-in-law, Wes Knapp, and enjoy his company and haven't seen him in awhile and I knew that as a Tech season ticket holder that he would have some kind of good seats.
We ventured up on New Year's day and met up with Wes and his father-in-law, Wes Masters, at Brad and Megan's. He related the tale of his trip from Amarillo, pulling a trailer with a friend's 1974 Chevy Suburban, which he said was the ultimate Tech Cruiser tailgater special. He said that the Red and Black machine drew quite a few stares along the route, including a few thumbs down from a car load of Aggies.
Now, John and I are far from die hard Texas Tech fans, but we decided that when in Rome, do as the Raiders do and we trekked over to where the Alumni faithful were partying and selling Red and Black stuff for us to buy. Of course, we have been tagged as traitors by my Aggie daughter, Erica. If her and her husband, Danny, had been invited, I know that they would have worn maroon, regardless who was playing. Of course, I've been an Aggie fan since I was a young pup, but I'll root for any Texas team against any out of state team. That's not necessarily true with a lot of Aggies.
We rolled into the Cotton Bowl parking lot around 9:30 and found the Techmobile that was everything Wes had said it was. Painted in Red Raider red and black, this model Suburban sported only three doors (no door behind the driver's side). The owner, Walter Riggs (who's fraternity supplied the groceries) said that those Suburbans were designed to serve small West Texas schools as school buses. The Tech Cruiser sported a Bud Light beer tap handle coming out of one side with a keg-o-lator tapped into a keg of Bud Light. He kept a remote in his pocket that would sound out the Tech fight song from the horn and he click it freqently as folks walked by and it was amazing how many stopped to have their pictures taken--as I did (some may notice an incognito Aggies gig 'em thumb in my pose).
Daughter and Son Flank Dad At The Tech Cruiser Provided By Walter Riggs
Well, as I said before--this was much more than just another Cotton Bowl outing. The 73rd Bowl game was the last one ever, with the largest crowd ever at close to 90,000 fans that were pretty much evenly divided in the stadium. The Ole Miss fans were pretty impressive in their co-ordinated cheers. The view from the 7th row behind the Red Raider's bench was outstanding and it was a Great football game. Even though the Raiders came out on the short end of the 47-34 contest, Wes and Wes, who are both Tech alumni, conceded that the Rebels just whipped Raider butt. As Wes Knapp said, when you are a realistic Raider fan, you await the inevitable let down. I know quite a few good Aggies that would accept an 11-2 season or a decent bowl game. Thanks, Wes. John and I will always remember the Last Cotton Bowl.
This post is not completely devoid of blues music because Brad & Megan gave me a copy of Johnny Nicholas' Thrill On The Hill, that they had pick up at his Hill Top Cafe that I mentioned in the previous post. I've been listening to it as I write this post and it is a fantastic example of good Ol' Texas Jukejoint blues. I'll come back with a few impressions of that one, soon. Anyway--