College football season isn’t officially here just yet, but the chaos of the season is already upon us at PFB. Big 12 media days is the annual reminder of that as our schedules, from now until the Aug. 30 kickoff, are already ramping up. By the end of the month, we’ll have already surrendered our weekends to covering a mulleted coach and his football team. This is the real American Dream.
To kick off this year’s cycle, our beat writer Marshall Scott and I made our way to Arlington, Texas this weekend to cover this year’s Big 12 media days festivities. We covered it from all angles, but of course, it’s not complete without my babbling thoughts in notebook form covering our escapades.
Travel day …
Marshall and I decided to carpool. We love the Earth. But instead of a Tulsa –> Dallas route, I rerouted through Stillwater to pick up Marshall. And instead of a straight shot from Stillwater, we chose to delay our travels with a round of golf at Lakeside in Stillwater. It guaranteed us a great night’s sleep (and a testing of our patience).
It took us three hours to get through nine holes. As bad as that sounds, I can assure you it was not our fault. Course was so packed, we ejected at the turn. We scrambled to shake it up, and shot a 4-over on the front. In the pic below, you can see one golfer in front of us in the reflection of my sunglasses. He shanked right. (No lie, this guy aimed 50 yards left every time, and still found the right rough every single time. It was a real confidence boost for us.)
From there, it was straight to Fuzzy’s (when in Rome, etc.). I had the shredded chicken nachos because, well, how can you go to Fuzzy’s and not get that? Marshall had tacos. Next, it was hundreds of miles on I-35. If there’s a better feeling than driving hundreds of miles on a full stomach of queso, nachos and tacos, then I don’t know of it.
We arrived in town around 4 p.m., and decided to waste time at the Grapevine Outlets. I can confidently say it is the biggest mall/shopping experience I’ve ever taken in. I can also confidently say I’m glad my wife was at home. I easily saved $200 — maybe more. The place was a madhouse. Million stores. Marshall, who is from Madill, could not stop saying, “Wow, this place is huge!”
Even as a native Tulsan, I was taken aback at its grandeur.
We arrived at Kyle Porter’s house around 6:30 and hung out with his wonderful family for a bit while he was finishing work, then capped our night with a Texas classic that never, ever disappoints:
Marshall and I had Trailer Park tacos and Kyle and I had a new taco called The American (yes, I had multiple tacos. This is America!) Both delicious. This is a look at the Trailer Park. (I inhaled the American in approximately 3.5 seconds, sorry. But it was good; trust me.)
Media day …
Monday was Big 12 media day. And after turning in early (I was in bed by 10:00, and asleep by 10:00:21), we woke up early to get a head start on our trip from Richardson to Arlington. Breakfast was Hoboken Coffee for me, and whoo boy, was it good. (You can order some here!) The coffee might’ve been my best idea of the trip, because Monday traffic from Richardson to Arlington was a 45-minute panic attack (basically).
At media day, we met up with our media brethren to exchange pleasantries — the great Bill Haisten and Mark Cooper (!), Scott Wright — then we sat for press conferences. This guy interrupted my work. (I’m not sure if this is Boomer or Sooner, but he wouldn’t quit pestering me for my autograph. Sigh.)
Lunch at Big 12 Media Days for me was a snack bar. Marshall and I had bigger things in our sights for later in the day.
At roughly 4 p.m., we discovered it:
We both got the same: one double-double animal-style, one order of animal-style fries. I got a chocolate shake. Marshall, who had never experienced In-N-Out before then, ordered a soft drink.
I’ll admit: the burger wasn’t bad. But I maintain that the experience, the special animal-stylizing, the food on the whole — it remains vastly overrated.
Burger was good, and as Marshall said, they don’t skimp on filling up your burger. There were approximately 38 tomatoes on our burgers combined and seven heads of lettuce, and they still managed to squeeze in two hamburger patties, two cheese slices, animal-style sauce and grilled onions in between our buns.
The fries were extremely meh. Not only does the concession stand cheese not do it for me, though, the fries itself tasted as if they’d been left out on I-35 the last three hours. Marshall gave it an 8/10 rating; I’d subtract three. The only saving grace was the chocolate shake, which is not only budget-friendly — it’s $2.50, just a tick more than a soft drink — and it’s also delicious. I savored it until just before the sun set.