Last year when Texas visited Ole Miss, the general consensus was how nice the Texas fans were to the Ole Miss fans and to local communities. Of course, the football team wasn’t so nice to our team in that we lost by a score of 66-31.
All area airports were full. All area hotels were full. There were stories of Texans renting entire homes for exorbitant amounts and spending lavishly at restaurants. This year was Ole Miss’s year to do a little payback – not necessarily in terms of levels of spending, etc. but in terms of just plain hard-nosed football.
Francine and I traveled out to Austin and took our friends, Ginger and Bubba Burnham, with us. I’m fortunate enough to have a dear friend in Austin who provided local transportation and put us up in his home. Early on game day morning we took a tent, chairs, ice coolers, and other necessary equipment and secured a spot about a block and a half from the stadium. We returned to my friend’s home to wait out the heat of the day and returned around 4:00 pm to perform the pregame ritual. As you would expect we were largely surrounded by burnt orange but we could hear some “Hotty Toddys” in the distance.
We all know the outcome of the game with Ole Miss winning 44-23.
The purpose of this blog is not to tell you how good it feels to have won the game but to let you know that Texans at home were extremely hospitable even in spite of the football loss. The staff attending the game (we rode up nine floors on an escalator in an air conditioned environment!) was exemplary. Everywhere we turned someone wearing burnt orange greeted us with, “Welcome to Texas!” and “Thank you for coming to the game.” This was true even after the final buzzer. The Texas fans we sat with during the game got over the loss quickly and were joking that they were glad to not have another series in the near future with Ole Miss. Texas has 53,000 students at its Austin campus and their stadium is one of the largest in the country. Game attendance was 101,474 (which is the third largest in school history.) The noise factor was just as big. The only time we could hear the Ole Miss band was after three quarters of the Texas fans had left the stadium and the rest had gone quiet because of the score. It was a sweet sound to hear The Pride of the South after the game ended. Oh, how sweet!
A 1973 graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School, Bill currently practices with Luckett Tyner Law Firm, P.A. which has offices in Clarksdale and Sumner, Mississippi. His major practice areas are civil litigation and entertainment law. He was an officer in the Mississippi National Guard and was a candidate for Governor of Mississippi in 2011.