EL PASO — They traveled from New Mexico and Old Mexico.
Saturday evening, Sooner fans filled the stadium that's carved into the Franklin Mountains.
Donned in a crimson ball cap and OU shirt, Oscar Macias sat six aisles from the top of west side of the stadium, turning his hands slightly to focus his binoculars.
Macias has seen the lights of Sun Bowl Stadium many times from his home in Juarez, Mexico, but it was the first time he'd be seen the Sooners play. Ever. He's been a fan since 1951. That's when he first saw the musical, Oklahoma.
Then there was Josiah Largo. His parents made the four hour drive from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to take him to his third Oklahoma game. His first was when he was one month old. He's now four.
Sitting in the fourth row, Largo just stared at the field while his mother and father talked. His mom, Dorsell, said he's just watched OU football since that first game he went to in Norman. She has a picture of her mother-in-law holding him up to watch plays on the jumbotron at Owen Field, the words Oklahoma shining above him.
“Where we come from, football isn't that big,” Dorsell said.
“It's more basketball,” Royce, Dorsell's husband, said.
“That's until Landry Jones,” Dorsell said. “They never used to show much football on the news. Now we can always find out the results of the Oklahoma game.”
It wasn't just Landry Jones that brought the Largo's to Oklahoma fandom, though. Royce's brother was once an equipment manager for the team in the late ‘90s. The family understands what football can do for a young boy, and they wanted their son to grow up with the Oklahoma football tradition.
That tradition is also something another OU fan and her husband understand well. Barb and Jim Woodsmall made the trek to West Texas all the way from the Des Moines, Iowa, area.
Barb's birthday was on the 10th of August. The trip to their condo in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and the game was her birthday present.
Barb sat laughing, wearing a backwards OU visor, as her husband spoke about the time they drove through east Texas and were stopped by local law enforcement. He's convinced it's because of the OU vanity plate on their car.
The Woodsmalls were here when OU played in the Sun Bowl and were excited to see a game with such a late kickoff.
“I think the excitement of the game will give us the adrenaline to stay awake,” Jim said.
All three fans said they were most excited about the start of another Oklahoma football season and another chance at the title.
As the UTEP band took the field, Oscar Macias reclined in his seat, surrounded by metal bleachers all around.
Traveling alone, it took him only 25 minutes to go through immigration and customs and make the eight to 10 mile drive from his home to Sun Bowl Stadium.
“I'm the only crazy in my old family,” he said.
As the stadium began to fill, fans in orange and crimson began to surround Macias and talk to him. As the OU flag ran across the field, he raised his hands and clapped and peered through fans to his favorite team of sixty years.