red river showdown

Texas, Oklahoma Fans Continue Red River Showdown Tradition Despite Pandemic Changes

The Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners played in front of a much smaller crowd Saturday 

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When the gates opened Saturday morning at Fair Park for the annual AT&T Red River Showdown, the typical rush of Texas and Oklahoma fans was more like a trickle.

Tyler Wanek and his father-in-law stood out with matching burnt orange and white striped overalls.

“It’s definitely a different atmosphere, it’s not the same," Wanek said. "There are shorter lines and more elbow room."

Cotton Bowl Stadium can pack in more than 92,000 Texas Longhorn and Oklahoma Sooner fans, but on Saturday it held fewer than 25,000 — one of the coronavirus precautions organizers were taking.

Longhorn fan Julie Ojeda who went to the game with her boyfriend was still excited despite the changes.  

"It’s definitely not the same feel," Ojeda said. "Just having football in general is still fun."

The smaller crowds gave the Hoopers a chance to notice things they hadn't before, like the architecture.

"Because there were so many people, all you look is where you’re going to step next," Lisa Hooper said.

Watching the Red River Showdown is a 40-year tradition for the Hoopers — both Oklahoma fans — one that neither a pandemic, nor Hurricanes Laura and Delta could disrupt.  

“We just got back from Cancun and got through two hurricanes and flew into Dallas on Thursday," Jack Hooper said. "We’re just glad to be here. You bet." 

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