Stillwater News Press

Local News

September 2, 2012

Oklahoma State University fans get first taste of the football season

STILLWATER, Okla. — Just about nine months ago, Oklahoma State University football fans chanted “Orange Power” as they grilled steaks, burgers, hot dogs and chicken in the parking lot of University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

A few hours later, the Cowboys capped a 12-1 season with a 41-38 overtime victory over the Stanford Cardinal in the Fiesta Bowl.

Saturday, Cowboy fans gathered outside Boone Pickens Stadium as Oklahoma State kicked off the 2012 season against Savannah State University.

They tailgated, chanted the “OSU” and “Orange Power” cheers and warmly greeted the band, cheer squad and the reigning Big 12 champion football team during “The Walk” from the Student Union to the stadium about two hours before kickoff.

The anticipation for another solid season and bowl appearance is high, but tempered slightly with the departure of offensive stars quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon to the NFL.

Rick Minor of Drumright has been a season ticket holder for 27 years. He has seen OSU’s highs and lows.

“Last year was heaven,” Minor said. “I’m not as optimistic as some of the fans,” Minor said. “I’m hoping for eight wins, maybe nine.”

Tailgating is the best part of football season, Minor said as he opened his smoker reveling slabs of ribs and chicken wings. The ribs and wings will be enough to feed the 30 or so OSU fans congregating underneath a tailgating canopy.

What’s the best thing about tailgating?

“Me, I’m the cook,” Minor said. “Pork’s the best meat for tailgating. You can’t go wrong with it.”

The secret to great ribs is sauce — Tiger Sauce, Minor said.

A few steps away, Corey Holcomb of Stillwater sweated over a grill weighted down with hamburgers and hot dogs.

Stillwater resident Bob Palmer soon joined him.

Palmer said he has been tailgating in the same spot — just north of Boone Pickens Stadium — for approximately 15 years.

Saturday, he expected to serve 40 to 50 friends, family and OSU fans between 4 p.m. and the 6 p.m. kickoff.

“I’m working on it (the tailgating fare),” Holcomb said. “Tailgating is the best part of football season.”

Oklahoma State’s football team will be the surprise of the Big 12, Palmer said.  The Pokes won their first Big 12 championship in 2011 and will do it again this year.

“We have the best running back (Joseph Randle) in the nation,” Holcomb said.

During the Big 12 portion of the OSU schedule, Palmer said his tailgate parties are themed with the food fitting the them.

“We serve “Jayhawk” when we play Kansas,” Palmer said.

Holcomb said the Jayhawk was really chicken.

Whether it’s Jayhawk, burgers or ribs, tailgating unites Oklahoma State University fans.

“Tailgates are the only time of the year that we see some of these people,” Palmer said. “We love it.”

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