Orange celebration: OSU fans show up in full force to watch Fiesta Bowl victory
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
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GLENDALE, Ariz. - The pack of orange set out on their trek late last week from Perkins.
"It was a 16 1/2-hour drive. I-40 straight west, and then straight south," Tommy Moss said.
"A lot of New Mexico, with a lot of kids," Moss' buddy, Brian McCutchen, said. "So, a lot of stops. But they were great. I think they knew where they were headed."
Destination: University of Phoenix Stadium. A celebration of Oklahoma State's 2011 football season, topped off by Monday night's 41-38 overtime win against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
That the Cowboys played such a hard-fought game against Andrew Luck was nerve-shredding. Win or lose, though, fans promised they'd savor the journey the Cowboys took them on this season.
Much like they savored the journey that brought them to see OSU's first BCS bowl appearance in person.
"This is my first bowl game ever," said Dustin Amey of Stillwater, another member of the traveling party. "In fact, I've never gone on the road for any game. Figured I had to make this one. This is once-in-a-lifetime."
Cowboy fans occupied row after row of the stadium parking lot throughout Monday afternoon. They tossed footballs. They posed with Pistol Pete. They ate, drank and were extremely merry.
Then they occupied the stadium itself and got rowdy, drowning out Stanford's fans late into the night. It was a show of appreciation for a season none of them will soon forget.
"I think something's grown inside the Cowboys, fans and everybody, a belief," said Pam Sherrer, who arrived from Owasso with her husband, Don, after leaving last Thursday. "That has not been there 100 percent always."
"It's incredible," said David Burns, who traveled to the game from Tempe with his wife, Rachel. "We both went to Oklahoma State and graduated in '84. Our daughter is a freshman there this year. We keep telling her, 'You just don't understand what this means to those of us who grew up with OSU football our entire lives.'
"My dad went to college there. I was born in Stillwater. We've always been like, 'When is the other shoe gonna drop?' and those kinds of things. To get to a BCS bowl is just an amazing thing."
Fans who gathered throughout Phoenix over New Year's weekend and in Glendale Monday night reflected on the game and the season. Many of them reveled still in the 44-10 thrashing of Oklahoma.
Others recalled different highlights.
"I went to the Texas Tech game," said Devin Graves, who traveled to Arizona from Altus. "And the moment that made me the most proud going to that game was when the third quarter started. It was an absolute blowout, and after half, there was probably more orange in that stadium than red. Never thought I'd see that."
"The Kansas State game stands out to me," Moss said. "Collin Klein is one heck of a quarterback, but we managed to pull out the win. That to me showed our heart and determination.
"If you've been a Cowboy fans as long as I have, you're always nervous. But that showed me nothing was going to get us down. Not this year."
It was a notion reinforced Monday night at the Fiesta Bowl.
Original Print Headline: Orange celebration
Guerin Emig 918-581-8355
Oklahoma State's Quinn Sharp (13) kicks the game-winning field goal in overtime against Stanford as teammate Wes Harlan (11) holds in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday night in Glendale, Ariz. Oklahoma State won 41-38. MATT YORK / Associated Press
OSU fan Becky Wilber holds Keeton Metcalf, 2, in the stadium at the Fiesta Bowl. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
OSU fans Maddie Williams and Cash Parsons cheer for a touchdown against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on Monday night. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World