October 22, 2011 was a cloudy day, the day of the University of Oklahoma’s homecoming game against Texas Tech University. It was the first OU football game I’d managed to snag a ticket for this semester, and I got it for 10 bucks. My roommate Marie and the rest of the crew I was meeting in the stands had been to every game thus far, but I was a new presence here.
An hour before anything of interest started, we clambered into the student section to grab some good seats. We passed the hour by chatting aimlessly and nervously eying the dark storm clouds that were rapidly rolling in.
As the band played the fight song and the school song, whoops of excitement emanated from all around me as the students pointed skyward. My gaze followed the outstretched fingers of the crowd. Backlit by the glare of the stadium lights, curtains of falling rain sluiced the air.
With abrupt formality, the booming loudspeaker announced that there was to be a 30-minute rain delay. Naturally, we met the announcement with jeers and boos. However, just as we began to protest the delay, the percussive beat of rain on our heads quickened noticeably and bright flashes of lightning illuminated the sky.
Doggedly, we waited out the rain delay. My irritability rose as the uncaring, artificially amplified voice of the loudspeaker announced yet another 30-minute delay, as the storm showed no sign of letting up.
My friends and I came to the consensus that, if the game was delayed for a third time, we would leave. An hour-and-a-half delay, we decided, (plus the hour we spent waiting for the game to start) added up to too much time spent doing too little getting too wet.
Thirty uncomfortable minutes passed and, like clockwork, the loudspeaker announced a third delay. With that, my friends and I abandoned our post and shoved through the throngs of people taking shelter underneath the stadium. Darting out once again into the rain, we made a beeline for our old dorm building, which had the attractive feature of being close by and bathrooms to dry off in.
Once inside, Marie called up our roommate Lindsay, who thankfully agreed to pick us up in her old Honda Civic. When we arrived home, we rushed inside our apartment to change clothes and switch on the TV since the game apparently got the go-ahead to start. Tossing aside my soaked clothes and pulling on a dry t-shirt and a pair of fuzzy sweatpants, I curled up on the couch and watched the game unfold.
I’ll make it short. It was an ugly game. Texas Tech was supposed to be no challenge at all, and yet they scored on us again and again. At one point the score was an embarrassing 31-7, them-us. Our team managed to make it close in the end, but I knew it was no good. Final score was 41-38.
The following morning, a lingering pall of depression hung over the apartment. Later in the day, my English neighbor John dropped by. When conversation turned to last night’s humiliating loss, he turned to me and pinpointed the cause of our defeat, the new variable introduced. “Yeah,” he said with a smirk, “you’re not allowed to go to any more games.”