NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners are getting their gear out before the Red River Showdown game on Saturday. But, just for this weekend, some North Texas houses will stand divided.
Belinda Nikkel lives in Colleyville. “I’m a Sooner born and bred,” she says. “My daughters followed me to OU and my husband Dave is a Longhorn.”
Nikkel’s young grandson has decided to join his ‘Pops’ in wearing burnt orange at Saturday’s game. “He told me he’s cheering for Texas because he was born here,” Nikkel recalled. “That hurt a little bit! I joked with him, said he couldn’t come to the game now.”
Nikkel and her husband have been married for 35 years, and they’ve mostly laid off on pranking each other before the big game. “My daughters are cranking it up a bit, because my son-in-laws went to Texas also,” she says. “But my husband and I are too nice to each other now. Especially him, he’s not obnoxious at the game like we are.”
Nikkel is a retired principal of Heritage Elementary in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District. She says the real fun was during her time there. “We had little pep rallies where I’d bring in OU players, and rooms would be filled with balloons, that type of thing.”
The real pranks took place then too. Nikkel remembered one instance when, “My staff put my picture online with Texas gear Photoshopped on. And one time, they actually contacted Bill Powers when he was the president of UT. They got him to proclaim me an honorary Texas Longhorn, and then gave me a letter from him with the proclamation!”
Nikkel and her family are looking forward to having a day at the State Fair of Texas before the game kicks off. They tailgate with friends, then grab a Fletcher’s corny dog and stop by their favorite exhibits.
She’s hoping the Sooners will take some revenge, after their loss to Texas last year. “It’s our time,” she says “We’ve got last year to make up for.”
There are a lot of pregame events that are already underway.
Longhorn fans can rendezvous at their Get Teed Off at OU Gold Classic at Firewheel Golf Course. And tonight the Longhorns will have their Bash Before the Clash at Social House in uptown Dallas.
The Sooners will have their Beat Texas party at Intercontinental Hotel downtown. University of Oklahoma fans, not going to the Cotton Bowl, will then gear up to watch the game at Henderson Tap House on Saturday.
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