The Red River Rivalry….commonly called The Red River Showdown, Red River Classic or Red River Shootout….is truly one of the greatest parties to go to every year for the past 118 years….culminated by one of the best college football rivalries in the USA….is played annually at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas….during the third weekend of the State Fair of Texas in October. The participants are the Oklahoma Sooners football team and the Texas Longhorns football team. The name is derived from the Red River that forms part of the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma….that has in the past caused conflict between the two states….most notably the 1931 Red River Bridge War.
There are three Red River Shootout trophies exchanged based on the outcome of the game….with the best known of these being the Golden Hat….which is a gold ten-gallon hat, formerly of bronze. The trophy is kept by the winning school’s athletic department until the next year. A newer trophy, the Red River Rivalry trophy, has been exchanged between the two student governments since 2003. The governor of Texas and governor of Oklahoma also exchange the Governors’ trophy and frequently place a bet on the game such as the losing governor having to present a side of beef to the winning governor…..all of which is indicative of how similar folks from Oklahoma and Texas have in common.
Another annual tradition is the running of game balls by the schools’ Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs….as each school’s ROTC program uses a relay running system to run one game ball all the way from their respective campus to Dallas. Once there, they participate against each other in a football scrimmage, with the winner taking home a rivalry trophy and bragging rights. For both teams, the rivalry is bitterly emotional and territorial in nature relating to the two states’ proximity, past border disputes and economic differences….cuz culturally, they are very similar.
During a time when Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer had several really great teams….UT Coach Fred Akers seemed to out duel the legendary OU coach….certainly holding his own. In addition to this 1984 Red River Rivalry edition….which was an extremely hard-fought game that ended in a tie….this video also has Frank Broyles and legendary college football broadcaster, Keith Jackson, on the mike….which makes this MUST SEE TV to any and all college football fans.