Although I’ve never attended either the University of Texas or the University of Oklahoma (getting accepted twice to UT doesn’t count, does it?) I have been fortunate enough to attend a Red River Shootout.

It was 2002, I think, and we were lucky enough to be on the second row, right after the 50 yard line. Since this was before the days of “Out of College Parker Who Pays All Of His Own Expenses,” selling the ticket was never really a serious option.

The game was great. To my left was red and to my right was burnt orange. Even though the person I was with was a student at OU at the time, I refused to forsake my heritage to root for the Sooners. It didn’t matter. Chris Simms was the UT quarterback. Even though he had his spleen, he still sucked. At one point he sat on the bench right in front of us with a phone up to his ear. I can only assume he was talking to Greg Davis. This, of course, was during the height of After his third or so interception the entire crowd to my left started chanting, “Chrisss-sssy.” I might have even joined them for a round or two.

So anyway, here’s the point: TX-OU at the Cotton Bowl is greatness. It was probably the coolest sporting event I’ve ever been to, with the exception of the Shot Heard ‘Round the World in 1936. Man, was that game awesome.

There’s been a lot of talk of moving the game to a home and home. The schools miss out on revenues, blah blah blah. Who give a fuck if the schools miss out on revenues? The athletic departments at OU and UT have to be among the most wealthy in all of Division I football. With the kind of merchandising streams both programs pull in, a million dollars here or there, relatively speaking, is inconsequential.

And enough about the stadium being dilapidated. The city of Dallas is obsessed, and by obsessed I do mean OBSESSED, with new structures. The city is full of them. Old houses and buildings get torn down left and right. The Cotton Bowl actually has a little history behind it. And you know what, the game is three hours long. For three hours you can put up with long lines at the bathrooms and skinny wooden seats. It’s not even like Red Sox fans complaining about the amenities at Fenway Park. Their arguments have merit because they have to put up with a shitty (at least physically) stadium 81 times a year. Texas and OU fans have to put up with the Cotton Bowl for THREE HOURS A YEAR. Enough with the complaints, already.

I was reading an interview with Owen Wilson once in American Way magazine about filming “The Life Aquatic” in Rome. Wilson, who is a native Dallasite, commented that he loved Rome for the history and age of the structures all around him. He followed that up with this, “I’m from Dallas, where we think of the 7-11 on the corner that was built in 1972 as a really old building.”

Point taken. This isn’t the 7-11 on the corner. This is the Cotton Bowl. The original home of the Cowboys. Home of the Red River Shootout for 78 years. Don’t screw up a good thing.