ARLINGTON, Texas — Sam Bradford hopes OU-Texas never leaves the Cotton Bowl. The state fair. The bus ride through all the crazies screaming and cheering. He’s like a bunch of people on both sides of the Red, loves the smell of mustard in the morning.
But will Sooner fans feel the same way when they walk out of Jerry Jones World the night of Sept. 5? That’s when Oklahoma plays Brigham Young in the first real football game to be staged in the $1.4 billion coliseum that trumps all other sporting venues so far constructed by man. The biggest names and events are headed to Tarrant County. George Strait already has played Cowboys Stadium. Paul McCartney will in August. The NBA All-Star Game arrives in 2010, the Super Bowl in 2011 and the Final Four in 2014. Can OU-Texas be far behind? College football’s greatest spectacle has called the Cotton Bowl home since 1929. But despite expansions and upgrades and enough atmosphere to tingle the toughest skin, the old stadium in Fair Park is a relic. Long ago deserted by the Cowboys and SMU; newly deserted by the Cotton Bowl game itself. Can OU-Texas resist the temptation to leave an early 20th century motif for a marvel that seems like a space station for the Starship Enterprise? Before you say yes, ask yourself how often you sit out on the porch on hot summer nights, swatting bugs and drinking sweet tea. Times change. Traditions pass. And when fans are exposed to comforts like Jerry Jones World, traditions pass faster. Big 12 media toured the stadium Tuesday, and it will drop your jaw. For you veterans of OU’s two recent Fiesta Bowls, it looks like a spiffier version of Arizona’s University of Phoenix Stadium. Nicer floors, more televisions, that kind of thing. Until you see the video monster. The board hangs from the stadium ceiling, 160 feet by 72 feet, 7 1/2 stories tall, 90 feet above the playing field. A picture so clear, guides still talk about the huge white zit that appeared on Lee Ann Womack’s face during a concert a few weeks ago.