Dallas travelblog: Red River Rivalry Radio & the Dr Pepper Ballpark
My OU-Texas week has a new dimension this year. Red River Rivalry Radio – redriverrivalryradio.com.
Hard to pronounce. Easy to listen to.
- Related to this story
- Article: Downtown Fort Worth, the Toyota Music Factory and the State Fair of Texas highlight a busy Friday
Gatehouse Media bought the Austin American Statesman a couple of years ago, then last October did the same with The Oklahoman. And it led to a marriage of the leading authority on all things Sooner and all things Longhorn.
The result was redriverrivalryradio.com, a popup internet radio station that went live last weekend and will go through Saturday.
We went live Thursday from the celebrity softball game up in Frisco, and we’ll be live Friday at the State Fair of Texas, in front of the beer garden. Either Ryan Aber or I will be there from 4-7 p.m., joining colleagues from Austin, so stop by and say hello. Or tune in while you’re driving down to Dallas.
Thursday is usually my heavy work day in Dallas. I usually have no appointments, so I hole up in my Omni Hotel room and work, while Trish the Dish visits OU engineering donors or goes shopping. But Thursday, I needed to be in Frisco at 5:30 for the Red River Rivalry Radio gig, so I suggested I tag along as she shopped. I would veer off and find a place to work.
So we headed north mid-morning. She wanted to browse a Weir furniture store. There’s a Plano location, so in she went and I found a Starbucks, which will greatly amuse all my coffee-addicted pals who know my disdain for the Starbucks devotion that has swept America. I got a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino (no caffeine) and got quite a bit of work completed.
Then the Dish finished and came over to inform us that our daughter, Haley, and her family would be arriving soon. They love Rosa’s Café, and there is a Plano location, so we were going to meet them for lunch. I never had been to a Rosa’s, but it was excellent, even though I didn’t eat much. Just a single tamale.
I like the format. It’s counter service, like fast food, but the restaurant is big and built for table service.
They all were headed for more shopping, so I said my good-byes and drove up to Frisco. I found an Aloft Hotel and sat down in the lobby for about three hours worth of work.
Then I drove the mile or so over to Dr Pepper Ballpark, where the baseball Frisco Roughriders of the Texas League play. And I was blown away.
An awesome ballpark. It says it seats 10,316, but it doesn’t look that big. The ballpark opened in 2003 and might have the most unique design of any ballpark I’ve ever seen, major or minor league. The stadium was built with a “village” concept, with the street level concourse at the top of the seats. Concessions, restrooms and luxury suites are located in nine separate pavilions, which are built with what I would term a coastal look (some say Galveston), though others are reminded of Churchill Downs in Louisville.
All very cool. The ballpark has a lazy river beyond the outfield wall, where fans can buy tickets and float around while watching the game.
A superb venue and perfect for the OU-Texas celebrity softball game. I’m told the game drew 8,000 last year, but this year, attendance was down, perhaps because of the threat of rain.
Bob Stoops and Roger Clemens served as captains of the squad.
The Sooners were represented by, among others, Casey and Kevin Bookout, Jeremy Beal, Jamaal Brown, Ryan Broyles, Mark Clayton, Tommie Harris, Jonathan Jackson, Brandon Jones, Matt Kemp (not a Sooner, but Midwest City is close enough), Teddy Lehman, Curtis Lofton, Daniel McCutcheon, Brent Rayl, Derrick Strait, Jason White and Renaldo Works.
Among the Longhorns were Cody Clemens, Quan Cosby, Maurice Evans, Jermichael Finley, Jonathan Gray, B.J. Johnson, Drew Stubbs, Greg Swindell, Sloan Thomas, Winfred Tubbs and Roy Williams.
I was on the radio show with my counterpart from Austin, Cedric Golden, and Tim Schmidt from Gatehouse. Stoops came by and chatted with us on air for about 20 minutes. Still sporting the beard and still as relaxed as a beachcomber, Stoops motioned for an autograph-seeking kid to come over and gladly signed, all while doing the interview. It was good times.
About 7:40, I left the ballpark and met my family at Babe’s, the fried-chicken joint we love. We had dinner with Gary and Donetta Nelson, and meeting up with them is one of our Dallas traditions. Donetta is the Dish’s cousin, and they’ve been great friends for decades. So we had a fun time catching up.
When we left Babe’s, the cool air and rain had arrived – it’s supposed to be a high of 62 Friday. The Dish and I drove back downtown, having experienced a different sort of OU-Texas Thursday.