OPINION COLUMNS

Rose Bowl trip was great, except for the ending

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, January 6, 2018
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This past week I was lucky enough to get to check off four of my bucket list items – I got to go to Los Angeles for the first time, saw the Rose Parade, watched the Rose Bowl live and experienced a college football playoff game.

If you’ve ever read any of my columns, you probably know which team I was rooting for in that game – the University of Oklahoma, my alma mater, and the losing side.

So that was kind of a bummer.

Racey Burden

One thing I enjoyed about the game (besides the pre-game flyover of the stealth bomber that looked like an alien spacecraft) was the camaraderie of being so far from home and knowing that everyone wearing the same color as you was there for a common purpose.

Go team.

It was surreal to walk down Hollywood streets and see giant crowds of people in Oklahoma shirts yelling “Boomer! Sooner!” at each other. Yeah, there were more Georgia people there, but we could mostly ignore them.

Until the game.

Our seats were near the top of Georgia’s section. Fortunately, we were mostly surrounded by fellow OU fans, but the Dawgs directly behind us were loud, drunk and obnoxious. The way they “woofed” at every good play reminded me vaguely of frat boys yelling as a group at parties. Any time the Dawgs did anything right, our entire half of the stadium would rise to cheer around us, leaving a small island of Sooners sitting dejectedly.

We were also directly in front of another Georgia fan who turned out to be a pretty nice guy. He thought the fact that we end every “Boomer! Sooner!” call and response with “Texas! Sucks!” was pretty hilarious, especially when we did it as a collective group when Mack Brown was inducted to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame at halftime. He wasn’t really expecting Georgia to win right up until they did, and even then he was gracious. “Great game guys,” he said. “Still can’t believe we stopped you.”

I actually enjoy meeting die-hard fans of other teams, at least the ones who are courteous despite the obvious divide between our loyalties.

Football is a unifying sport – not just for fans of the same team, but fans of the game. We talked about how much we hate other teams (ahem – Alabama), engaged in some armchair coaching and complimented each other’s players. At the end of the game he got to stay and celebrate, and we made the long trek back to our car, defeated. But I’ll be rooting for his team in the national championship.

Who knows, maybe we’ll all see each other again next year, and this time, maybe our luck will be reversed.

A girl can dream.

Racey Burden is a Messenger reporter.

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