IRVING — Go to the much-anticipated men's basketball game against No. 13 Gonzaga at Gallagher-Iba Arena on New Year's Eve? Or make the short trip down I-35 to go to the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue on the morning of New Year's Day?
In a stroke of bad luck and bad timing, that's the choice Oklahoma State fans have to make.
Or do they?
Rather than decide between two major OSU athletic events that will start — and finish — within a 24-hour span and take place about 270 miles apart, some fans are opting to double dip.
“I really didn't think twice about it,” said current OSU student Philip O'Hara, who added he is most looking forward to attending his first bowl game. “If anything, it'll be an exciting trip … It'll be fun to have two good games in two days.”
Special offers on tickets have especially helped fans attend both games.
Chris Franklin of Stillwater won two tickets to the Heart of Dallas Bowl by correctly answering a trivia question from the bowl's official Twitter account. The next day, his family snatched up tickets to the Gonzaga game that had been purchased by Boone Pickens. Franklin and his brother-in-law will drive to Dallas the morning of the bowl, then back to Stillwater following the game.
“We will probably both be tired,” Franklin said. “But at least the bowl is close — and affordable.”
Students Cody Cramer and Anna Smith also won free tickets from the Heart of Dallas Bowl's Twitter trivia contest, and will use student vouchers to go to the basketball game. So the engaged couple will turn their trip to Dallas into a two-day getaway, complete with some Ikea shopping after the bowl.
“Definitely more excited about the basketball game,” Cramer said. “However, to quote Barry Switzer, I hope we ‘hang half a hundred on 'em' when it comes to Purdue.”
Aaron Schnautz, an OSU student from Broken Arrow, was always planning on attending the basketball game. But a Groupon deal for $13 Heart of Dallas Bowl tickets was too good for him to pass up. Monday night, he will stay his friend's house in the Dallas suburb of Southlake, then drive back to Oklahoma after the bowl.
“I do wish the two games were at least a few more hours apart,” Schnautz said. “But overall, this should be a great trip and a lot less costly than the trip to Glendale (for the Fiesta Bowl) last year.”
Some might look at these Cowboy fans as crazy. But they look at it as the perfect way to say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.
“Who knows? We could end and begin a new year victoriously,” Cramer said.