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Traveling OU fans treated to tailgate party in Durant

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

The Choctaw Nation and Choctaw Travel Plaza hosted a tailgate party for OU fans traveling along 75.

Travelers were treated to inflatable games, free food and former OU players for autographs.

"Very lively. Very lively, very energetic, everybody's having a good time. The food's great, it's not real hot, the perfect day to come out," OU fan Bonnie Murray said.

Murray even got an autograph for her little future Sooner. She said the rivalry is one the biggest days of the year.

"Almost as big as Christmas around here," she said. "It's a big to-do."

Former players Marcus Dupree, Jamelle Holieway and De'Mond Parker were hanging out for the festivities.

Dupree said it's his first time to go to the Choctaw tailgate. The energy of the Sooner nation is what brought him out.

"Oh my god, we've been signing autographs for the past two and a half hours, and we got two more hours to go," he said.

He said the atmosphere for the Red River Rivalry is unlike any other.

"If I try to describe it, I can't even do it justice," he said. "I can tell the average fan, it's something to witness to walk down that tunnel and into the stadium."

And it's that atmosphere that brought Fred Thorwart and his wife out for the game. They live in Edmond, Okla.

"I think it's exciting. I guess it's the number one rivalry we have," he said. "In fact we were at the State fair yesterday, walking around with all our OU stuff on. Ha ha."

Jamelle Holieway told us he has big expectations for this Sooner team.

"Everybody's excited. We're waiting for OU really to pop the lid off the bottle this year against Texas," he said. "And carry on to a Big 12 championship."

The Choctaw Nation also used the event to collect coats for kids.

Although they didn't have an exact count, they say they're getting a lot of donations.


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