My buddy Pmac showed up at my place in Des Moines around 1:30, ready to hit the road with more shit than a couple of teenage girls. Due to my pathological hatred for traffic jams, and my tendency to plan road trips in a manner that would make Clark Griswold look flexible, I insisted on no piss breaks until we were well south of Kansas City. As expected, we hit Kansas City just about 4:00 PM, and ahead of the traffic. South of Kansas City, we decided it was time to take advantage of Missouri’s lack of an open container law, and Pmac found the elusive Bud Light "Fan Cans" which had caused such a commotion with universities nation wide last year. While they were clearly intended to support the Chiefs, Bud Light just happens to taste a lot better coming out of a cardinal and gold can.
We rolled into Tulsa, arriving at my Cousin’s place around 8PM, and no time was wasted in initiating the consumption of alcohol. We had several beers at Cousin’s before heading to Oktoberfest. Some of you may have seen my tweet on the subject, but I feel it’s such an accurate point it needs to be stressed again: Tulsa’s Oktoberfest was like Hy-Vee Chinese food. Awesome, but not remotely authentic. As a partier, this was fine, but as a German it was mildly disappointing. Let me explain further. First, on the bad side there was a plethora of American beer available. Bud Light should never, and I mean NEVER be an option at an Oktoberfest. Spaten makes a lighter beer for those who can’t handle the sheer awesomeness of the Motherland’s fuller flavored brews. An Oktoberfest should feature beers actually made in Germany, or a well done American made Oktoberfest brew. Light beer does not belong. Furthermore, the Bud Light (and all American beer there) was 3.2% alcohol. What kind of facist regime forces this crap on their subjects? Oklahoma, apparently.
That said, the actual party itself was a fucking blast. Multiple tents full of drunk people playing what looked like an extremely abusive and difficult version of quarters, where you tried to bounce your quarter across about a 20 foot aisle into the mug of someone standing on a picnic table on the other side. By the time we got there, it had devolved into people whipping quarters at each other. This was very entertaining, and along with Cousin’s University of Tulsa Law buddies, we got after our pitchers of Ayinger Oktoberfest. There was even a dude dressed up as the Natty-Ator (like "Gladiator").
We have to give this man a shout out. They closed down at 11, and we had gotten our beers about 10. This didn’t leave a lot of time to drink a pitcher of beer each, so needless to say we were feeling pretty good when we left Oktoberfest. We went back to Cousin’s buddy’s pad and smoke a couple of cigars and had a few more beers, before deciding it would be best to retire. However, there was one problem. Pmac and I had not eaten any dinner that night, and were starving balls.
Now, if you read my account of our journey to A&M last year, you’d understand that I have a bit of a Whataburger fetish. That’s understating it, quite honestly. Thus, we were en route to Whataburger. It should be noted I was quite intoxicated, and starting to make irrational requests (mountains of blow, midget strippers, you know, the usual). As we’re sitting in the Whataburger drive through Cousin goes "Norm. What do you want?" Much to his chagrin, I respond "Get what you want. I’m fine". Now apparently, we had driven though some kind of construction zone which had pushed the limits of Cousin’s drunken ability to navigate Lazarus (his car), and he was not amused at my recent decision to forgo a late night meal. Nonetheless, he ordered a burger, and we went back to his apartment. As he and Pmac were eating their burgers, I suddenly go "what the fuck? Where’s my food?" Cousin, extremely exasperated at this point screams at me "YOU JUST TOLD ME NOT TO ORDER ANYTHING AT FUCKING WHATABURGER 10 MINUTES AGO YOU DRUNK BASTARD!" Fuck him. I’m still hungry.
I begin ransacking through his pantry, finding a can of chicken noodle soup. That’ll do, pig. For some reason, Cousin does not trust my ability to cook the can of soup myself, so he starts heating it up on the stove. Proving how right he was about my ability to cook soup, I immediately stick a spoon in, take a slurp of cold soup, look at him and say "this tastes like shit." I then decided it was time for bed.
After an early morning shave, shit, and shower, we grab some gas and coffee and being our uneventful drive to We-We’s place in Dallas, to pick him up and head to Austin. We-We was one of my best friends and college, and has lived in Texas since graduation, so he’s a big part of why we always go there for our road games. We-We is a character. Rather than trying to explain this man to you, I will allow this picture to say more than 1,000,000 million words ever could.
We pile into We-We’s Jeep and head south. We reach our $45 hotel room, about 5 miles north of 6th Street around 7PM. We were expecting murders and drug deals for $45/night. Instead, we find this place is a palace compared to what we paid $80/night for in College Station last year. We check in, and We-We runs out to get some beer and meat & cheese. We-We is the only one who isn’t still in school of some sort, and is loaded by comparison, so we let him handle all of this. We proceed to start boozing, and finally about 8:30, we decide to grab a cab to downtown Austin. Of course, this is as not as easy as grabbing a cab anywhere else. For some reason, the cab system is overloaded. This is simultaneously surprising and aggravating. Austin is a large city and entertainment mecca. How in the hell do they not have enough cabs? Anyways, we finally get a ride down to 6th Street, and 6th Street is no disappointment.
Austin has this perfect mix between college town and large city. It’s simultaneously both, and does a really good job of pulling that feat off. It seems like every bar has a good band playing in it, there are street vendors everywhere, and people are enjoying life. It's also the live music capital of the world.
We decide to do a "1 drink and move on" policy at each bar, to check out as many as possible. We visit a good Irish pub where some very hospitable Texas fans invited us to their tailgate (which we regrettably never made) the next morning, as well as a sports bar where all the waitresses were in bikinis. With the exception of one asshole as we were leaving DKR, almost every Texas fan was REALLY nice, and really friendly. They thanked us for coming, and were genuine about it unlike Nebraska fans. We even found a bar flying the ISU flag!
While at this bar we witness the Rangers clinch the ALCS, which sends the place into a frenzy. We hit a few more bars with decent live music before settling at the Chugging Monkey for a bit.
They have an in-bar breathalyzer with a label reading "for entertainment purposes only!" This disclaimer is legit, because I blow a .08, which I’m quite sure is impossible at this point. Here, you can see a clearly intoxicated Pmac registering a .09. This was under the legal limit in Iowa several years back.
Intoxcycated (the Texas branch of WRNL) and his crew meet us at the Chugging Monkey, and the back patio offers a comfortable setting and quick beer lines. After awhile we head to Maggie Mae’s which offers a good band playing downstairs, a rooftop dancefloor, and shockingly no Rod Stewart tunes. We finish the night up here, and catch a cab back to the hotel, as 6AM comes early. Pmac and Cousin head to a titty bar, and do not return until 4:30AM.
We wake up about 6:00AM, take turns in the shower, grab all of our stuff, and then head to this night’s hotel, a $200 Holiday Inn where We-We managed to score a hotel room for free. We then take a cab to the location of the un-official ISU tailgate which started at 7AM. Sure enough, about 10 minutes after 7, other State fans start showing up, and the bloody marys and red beers start flowing. Somebody notices that this box in the back of a truck parked within the paved lot we were tailgating in has opened up.
We notice that someone is arising from this box. It’s like we’ve accidentally stumbled into some fucked Twilight Tailgate, and we have a real live vampire on our hands. As it turns out, it’s only slightly less weird. Some lady arises from the box with, and I shit you not, a fucking snake around her neck. We never really figure out what snake lady’s reason for sleeping there, let alone being there in the first place, but she mingles with the crowd and seems friendly.
I stay at least 5 feet away because, like Indiana Jokes, I HATE snakes. Of course, the only thing I hate more than snakes are Hawk fans at ISU events, and sure enough there is one there. There is seriously some unwritten rule that no matter where ISU is playing, some Hawk has to show up in Iowa gear. I saw it in College Station last year, and I know I’ll see it the next time I travel to watch the Clones, no matter where I go. Fuck you, Mr. I-Have-To-Wear-Iowa-Gear-At-ISU-Games-To-Overcompensate-For-My-Tiny-Penis-Dude.
The tailgate swells with thirsty Cyclone fans, and gets into full swing. We’re all partying pretty hard when some nasty storms start brewing. Thankfully, there are tents available to shelter us. Due to a shortage of porta-johns w/in eyeshot, Pmac finds a not-so-discrete place to drain, which I’ve conveniently captured on film.
After a few hours of solid drinking with some great folks, including several of our beloved readers we decide to head into the stadium. I’d like to take this moment to thank A) the people who put that hell of a party on, and B) all the great folks we drank with, especially our loyal reader base. It was an honor and a privilege!
So we head into the stadium for what’s sure to be a brutal ass-kicking, right? Well, we’ll get to that later. I’d like to take the time now to point out what an impressive fucking stadium DKR (Darrel K. Royal) is. I’ll let the pictures do the talking here.
So we settle into our seats, sit down and shut our mouths as we are outside of the ISU section. I’ll say this about Texans: they’re some of the friendliest motherfuckers you will ever meet, until you enter their stadium. Then they will call the cops and try to have you thrown out for even the slightest transgression. After letting out a "HOLY SHIT" following that beautiful broken play-turned-TD to Money Reynolds in the 1st quarter, we realize it’s time for us to leave and head to the ISU section before someone throws us over the ledge of DKR. Maybe we were over paranoid, but after watching how Aggies go from hard-partying to "at church" mode upon entering Kyle Field, we weren’t risking anything.
We soon find ourselves at the ISU section, but notice the abundance of empty seats above it, which were technically part of the student section. Now, the announced crowd was 100,000, but if there were 80,000 people in that stadium, I’d be stunned. We set up shop on some spacious bleachers a few seats away from Grant Mahoney’s family.
Now, I’ve seen some shocking stuff in my day, but man, NOTHING could prepare me for what was to come. Each time the Cyclones scored we kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’ve watched the Cyclones blow so many leads and piss away so many great opportunities, that I doubt I’ll ever be able to trust an ISU team with a lead. However, given that ISU has gone 1-11 every game I’ve attended outside of Ames, I was even more so expecting the ball to drop. I look to Pmac somewhere around the time Texas made it a 28-14 game and say "I’ve seen this movie before. It does not end well." Somehow, the boys hang on, and get the ball back at the Texas 2 yard line, up 28-21 with 22 seconds left and no TOs for the Horns. Finally, it hits me. We are going to beat motherfucking Texas in motherfucking Austin. As the clock ticks down, we sprint down the stairs towards the rest of the Clone fans yelling jibberish and nonsense, screaming things like "OH MY FUCK! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!" Some dick yells "enjoy it now, it’s never happening again", but most people just don’t say anything, which is fine all things considered. After the team comes over, and we all sang the fight song, I start a Cyclone Power chant, which the rest of the ISU fans keep going as we walked down the tunnel to the concourse. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like hearing "Cyclone Power" in DKR.
We headed back to the tailgate. Many Texas fans offered us sincere congratulations (they really are a great fan base), and all the Clone fans we saw were hugging each other and screaming like little girls. It was such a great feeling. As we all reconvened to pound some beers at the tailgate, it dawned on us that we were just shocked by what happened. Some good brisket came off the smoker, and we downed some brew. It was more good times.
After about 2 hrs, we all headed back to the hotel to catch a nap. By 9PM, Cousin was cashed and asleep (old balls IS 28), so Pmac, We-We and I head back out to 6th Street. After some tequila and a Captain America at Cheer’s Shot Bar, we head back to Maggie Mae’s. I’m hungry as hell, and fading fast at this point, so I grab some excellent street grub, and head back to the hotel, where I collapse in a heap.
The next morning we arise, dragging ass, and eventually get on the road. After dropping We-We off in Dallas, we make our way to Tulsa to drop Cousin off, but Pmac and I are too exhausted to continue the haul to Des Moines. We gorge ourselves on some delicious and cheap Chinese food, and watch the Vikings fuck themselves. I pass out on the couch.
I sleep like I’ve never slept before in my life.
All in all, it was an incredible weekend. We partied with a ton of great people, and had an absolute blast. Austin is an absolutely wonderful town. They put a really high value on live music, and for a music nerd like me, that’s huge. The bars are great, the people are friendly, and the whole place just has "it" figured out. I will be returning every chance I get. I want to thank all the great Texas fans we met this trip, and more importantly I want to thank all the great Cyclone fans who made the journey to Austin, drank a bunch of beer, and watched one of the best games in Cyclone history. Rock on!
KANSAS WEEK SWEAR JAR COUNT: 50