Monday, October 13, 2008

The OTHER Red River Rivalry

Saturday night, we made our annual trip to an SMU game. We live something like 5 miles from the stadium, but one game a year is about all I can muster. You see, ever since SMU was made the NCAA football example and given the death penalty back in the 80's, they haven't been known for winning. And, if you're not a big football fan but happened to spend years in a marching band, going to a football game to see a team lose over and over is not appealing to you. Or, at least to me. I have friends who go week in-week out. They are loyal to the Ponies. I am loyal in my own way, but in this way - attending games - I do not rank high. But, we headed out to the game.

I called it the OTHER Red River Rivalry, because that other well known game between an Oklahoma team and a Texas team happened to be in Dallas earlier in the day. But, THIS game was between SMU and Tulsa - see, another OK-TX rivalry, right? Well, the city of Tulsa must have thought so anyway, as all four local stations had news trucks there covering the event, and the school had fans in the stands by the bus load. OK, maybe not as many busloads as what must have arrived for that other game, but lots of fans nonetheless.

I decided to take my camera backpack to take some photos with the "good camera" and use my favorite telephoto lens for a change. Or, at least a change from the last few weeks. You see, S likes to sit up high at the game - he thinks it's a better vantage point from which to watch the game. No sideline views for him. So, the telephoto lens is a must to catch action from our seats.

S and Doak Walker

We had great parking, since we had a parking pass into a lot near the stadium from S's work. We passed the Doak Walker statue on our way in, and since the late afternoon sun was positioned nicely, S posed for me next to the statue. Of course, here, the telephoto lens was not yet on the camera. We headed to Bishop Boulevard to visit our friend Jon's boulevard spot. They say at SMU that they boulevard instead of tailgate. Whatever. They have parties outside of the stadium before the game. Call it what you want.

Jon enjoying his boulevarding.

A shot of Jon's big pre-game party. He does it every home game, every year.
Yes, that is a TV in the tent.

My friends Tricia and Wayne. They are boulevard regulars.

S and me doing a little boulevarding ourselves like good alumni.

Eventually, we headed on down to the stadium. S's parents met us there to take in the game with us. We arrived early enough for the pre-game festivities. First, the Mustang Band took the field. At the start of their field entrance, the drum major did a large goose step all the way across the field.

Drum Major Pre-game Goose Step

This drum major had the last name MELTON, which is the last name of former Dallas County Treasurer and voice of the Mustang Band, Bill Melton - I wondered if there was any relation there. This is a very obscure fact not really interesting to most of my 2.7 readers. But to the .3 that do find it interesting, I wanted to include it. Anyway, the band took the field and performed the SMU School Song, Varsity. Then, they performed the National Anthem. After that, they prepared for the team to take the field. The cheerleaders joined them for the festivities.

The band on the move at pre-game.

The band in the traditional Diamond M formation.

The football team takes the field through this inflatable helmet, which kept deflating - perhaps that was an omen...

The team ran on the field and through the middle point of the Diamond M.

Then, the team all knelt at this point in the south end of the stadium before going to the sideline.

A southward kneel - why? What does this mean? I mean, I know its Southern Methodist University, but I went there - and I know - this name is a misnomer for anyone who thinks otherwise. And, I am a Methodist, and I know of no ritualistic kneeling to the south in the doctrine of the Methodist Church. So, this kneeling bit remains a mystery to me.

Maybe it is some new ritual put into place by the new coach, June Jones. Lots of hope are riding on this guy. By the looks of the game, he is making some progress, but we'll see what happens in the next couple of years to see if he's worth what they are paying him. ($2M annually, for those of you scoring at home.) That would be, so far, $2 million per winning game. But I digress...

After the team was on the sidelines, the band took to the stands, and not many students around them. Apparently, it was fall break, so the student side was sort of light. Maybe that was it. I don't remember the student section being all that loyal when I was a student, but maybe that has changed and they really were missing because of fall break.

Mustang Band in the stands.

One thing you can say about the people who regularly show up to SMU games - they are loyal. They ARE loyal. THEY are LOYAL. Watching this team lose year after year takes a special breed. The crowd was into the game, though, all the way to the bitter end.

A young pony fan with her pony ears up.

The loyal crowd during the singing of Varsity.

A seriously proud fan that looked like this wasn't her first rodeo, if you know what I mean.

The crowd on their feet after the Mustangs scored.

The game was looking like one for the "win" column for a long time.

The score at halftime.

The SMU flags and cartwheeling cheerleaders after a touchdown score.

A celebratory in-the-air body slam by two players.

It was all looking good. The crowd settled in for the halftime festivities. The Tulsa band played first.

Tulsa Band in performance at halftime.

The the Mustang Band, of course in a different outfit than pre-game (it's the best dressed band in the land) took the field. The played some crowd favorites.

The SMU Dance Squad joined them for one number.

A close up of some band members.

A formation on the way to the Diamond M formation.

Into the Diamond M formation for the traditional "waring ending."

The drumline participating in waring.

After halftime, there were still good times to be had. The ponies kept it together for several minutes of the third quarter.

A Mustang touchdown in action.

The sideline celebration after aforementioned touchdown.

And more celebration.

And Peruna's celebratory run down the field. Go little horse, go.

But, then this happened.

They tied it up.

And they ran their flags.

Why is there only a T and a U? I know, don't write in, "Well, it stands for Tulsa University." I get that. But, there are TONS of TUs in the world, and they would NOT be in the top 10 of those mentioned at a game of "name the TUs you know" of trivia. They are missing their L-S-A, don't you think? When I saw this shoddy display of the alphabet without the L-S-A, I decided either a) budget cuts or b) cheerleaders who run the L-S-A got suspended for bad grades. Certainly they should have an L-S-A!!! Goodness.

There were a few more runs of those two measly flags, and the very important officials who ran up the net for the extra point got to do more than just this:

Very important "net goes up" officials.

And, the game ended in Tulsa's favor, with or without the L-S-A.

Ending score.

What's that you say? Why is this view of the scoreboard from the other side? Huh? Wha? Well, my friends, because we were already on our way OUT of the stadium, one SMU game a year under our belts, reminded of why we don't come more often.

Go Ponies. Really. I mean, I hope one day you figure it all out and we can enjoy a Mustang win without, you know, paying the players, but geesh, it gets old being a Mustang fan.


  1. Hilarious! Boulevarding, the band having 2 uniforms for one game...SMU is a "special" place for sure.

  2. Two uniforms? Oh gosh Deanna... I bet that they have more than that. Or at least it seemed they did in the early 90's.

    I enjoyed the pics. And wow, what a fan Jon is... news to me about the boulevarding. I really laughed out loud. Also enjoyed the 2.7 readers comment.

    I do wonder what the temperature was that fine day. I remember visiting some Octobers, and thought it was hot as he_ _ .


  3. The weather was actually very nice. I could have used a jacket in the stands after the sun went down.


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