Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Deep-Fried Red River Heart Attack

This weekend brings us the great fall tradition of the State Fair of Texas and the Red River Shootout (not to be confused with the Red River Rivalry that title sponsor AT&T wants you to call it). This annual meeting between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma is just as unique as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” and I’d put the shootout on the same level if this game wasn’t played at 11AM central time every year.

The game promises to be intense and we will get into the on-field merits of the Longhorns and Sooners as well as the rivalry and the fans later. First, let’s focus on the State Fair of Texas’ seemingly never ending selection of deep-fried food. Every year “Big Tex” offers up some oddly developed and oddly delicious concoctions that could only conceived in a cauldron of hot Texas Crisco.

1) Fried Coca-Cola: Being a UGA Graduate raised in the thriving Southwest Georgia metropolis of Americus, how could this not appeal to me? I mean, we are basically talking about deep fried dough made with one of God’s great gifts to society, Coca-Cola. Add some “Coca-Cola syrup” and whipped cream and you’ve taken the funnel cake to another level.

2) Chicken Fried Bacon: Battered, deep-fried, peppered Bacon that is served with Honey Mustard or Ranch dipping sauce, say what? I will have 6 please. Seriously, I know some people hate it, but thank you Texas for Chicken Fried stuff. Think you could get this stuff on a cheeseburger? Better idea yet, a Chicken Fried Bacon Cheeseburger, yum. Honorable mention here would have to go to the Chocolate Covered Bacon served at the Arkansas State Fair. See, Texas didn’t think of everything.

3) Fernie’s All-American Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich: The Grilled Cheese Sandwich is one of life’s true little pleasures. Get a little cheese, some good bread and griddle it with butter in a pan. The cheese melts and the bread toasts, easy comfort food right there. Now, how can we improve on that? Here is an idea, lets take the cheese and bread combination, dunk it in an egg and milk batter and cover it with light breadcrumbs. After a quick bath in Crisco you get a souped-up cheese Monte Cristo, sign me up now.

"Big Tex" is a fan of Rolaids. You should be too.

Now, there is nothing like 4 days on St. Simons and/or in Jacksonville for Georgia and Florida’s annual celebration of the repeal of prohibition. However, I believe that a few restaurants at the Jacksonville Landing serving Chicken Fried Bacon would really put that party over the top.

Seriously, this game has had major implications on the national college football scene for decades and the 103rd edition to be played Saturday is no different. Oklahoma and Texas are both very strong squads that have rolled in the majority of their games with strong QB play. The Sooners have a strong supporting cast behind Sam Bradford and look for him to make good decisions and big plays with the football. On the other side, Colt McCoy has really been outstanding in leading the Horns in both rushing and passing. Neither defense has been stretched or tested this season with the type of athletes that they will see Saturday, leading me to believe that points will be put on the scoreboard. Personally, I see Oklahoma pulling out a 31-27 victory in a hard fought, entertaining football game but this game can be very unpredictable. Just look at the 63 and 65 spot that OU dropped on the Burnt Orange in 2000 and 2003. On a side note, why does Oklahoma call themselves OU when they are the University of Oklahoma, shouldn’t they be UOK? The same thing goes for Kansas, oh well.

Last but never least, we need to mention the fans in Dallas, the atmosphere of the Cotton Bowl, and the history of the game. Texas and Okalahoma have never really been fond of each other and this is literally a ball busting rivalry. Dallas was selected as the host site for this game in 1912 because of its proximity and central location to both college campuses and the Cotton Bowl has been used as a neutral stadium since 1929. Like Jacksonville and the Gator Bowl, tickets are split 50/50 but in a far more interesting manor going down the 50 yard line.

Texas owns a 57-40-5 record overall in the series and has a 46-35-4 edge since the move to Dallas. Names featured in this game are college football royalty, including former OU QB and Texas Head Coach Darrell Royal and OU Coaches Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer. Overall, this is one of the greatest games and football atmospheres of the year. It is better than Michigan/Ohio State in my opinion and it blows that Notre Dame/USC crap out of the water. Real football is played in the south with fried food and without a guy riding around wrapped in tin foil on a big damn horse.

1 comment:

Earl said...

My 2 cents...Texas wins a close one, somewhere in the neighborhood of 27-23. Texas' D scores a TD. This is usually a blowout of some sort, but I feel that 2008 will be close. It will be Oklahoma's only loss all season. Texas will lose somewhere else, probably against Missouri and the Texan Chase Daniel. The Longhorns will hang on to win the Big XII South and rematch Mizzou. The Big XII...its not just for overrated teams anymore.