STILLWATER, OK - Orange-clad fans watched the Texas-Oklahoma game on TV’s. Every time Texas made a good play, most of them cheered. Popular sports bar Eskimo Joe’s had a tent across the street from its restaurant where more people could watch the game. A few minutes after the game was over, a man stopped his truck and announced to anyone who could hear that Oklahoma had lost.
These are Oklahoma State fans. They share some qualities with Texas fans. They wear the color orange, they dislike the Oklahoma Sooners, and many of them wear cowboy boots and/or cowboy hats. They watched the Texas-Oklahoma game as they tailgated before the Missouri-Oklahoma State game.
Jeff Hinkle and Matt Myers find tailgate food monotonous. Despite their love for tailgating before Oklahoma State football games, they got tired of eating hamburgers and hot dogs before every game. Their solution has been to declare themes for each game’s tailgate. The food is then dictated by the theme.
Some opponents provide obvious themes. When Troy came to Stillwater last season, the group ate Greek food because of the school’s Trojan nickname. This season, the plan is to eat beef products before the Cowboys play the Texas Longhorns. When the Colorado Buffaloes come to town later this season, the plan is to eat buffalo burgers.
The Missouri Tigers didn’t bring with them an obvious theme.
“For Missouri, we couldn’t think of anything,” Myers said. “You can’t really eat Tiger. So we’re like, ‘Eh, Oktoberfest.’”
Hinkle went on eBay and found a German flag for $7. The flag flew on the group’s flagpole just below the Oklahoma State flag. The food was a full array of German cuisine. The group had strudel, bratwurst, schnitzel and German potato salad, among other dishes.
“It’s October and everyone loves Oktoberfest,” Hinkle said.
When Gayle Stone got Barry Switzer’s autograph more than 30 years ago, a passion for collecting autographs was born. The Woodward, Okla., resident regularly gets autographs from various coaches and athletes at both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. But he keeps only a very small percentage of his collection.
Stone donates the autographs he gets to various charities around Oklahoma so the charities can use them for fundraisers.
“I think something people should really realize, OU and Oklahoma State both represent the state of Oklahoma,” Stone said. “You should be for both teams until they play each other and then you pick one.”
The front license plate on Stone’s pickup truck has both schools’ logos. It can be a difficult decision for him when the two play each other.
“It’s just kind of a 50-50 proposition for me,” Stone said. “And I know that’s kind of putting me on the spot, but for me, I always say the best team will win.”