Columbia, Mo. (KMOV) -- From the press box I'm staring into a sea of gold and as I'm scanning the crowd, taking it all in, I realize, there's always one. There's always one rebel, one kid with a bright caution cone orange shirt on just to stand his ground. Directly in front of my seat, there he is, right above the student section. A Halloween pumpkin.
All day Oklahoma State fans have surrounded me. I can't seem to catch a break. My uncle is the president of the alumni association in St.Louis and hosted the official OSU tailgate. My entire family drove in from Kansas, all decked out in their orange and black. Gee, thanks for the support guys.
Setting up this morning, many MU fans approached my uncle and made snide comments about his OSU flag waving proudly above his trailer. As always however, the comments were all in good fun. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that everyone in the RV lot sticks together. They tailgate together, they share food, they look past school affiliation and most importantly, if their RV has a bathroom, it's often open for neighbors. Lifetime tailgaters are a rare breed but for some, it's just in their blood. For many, tailgating is a home football game thing to do, but for few, it's a way of life. These few have pulled out all the stops today. The OSU tailgate was stocked with enough food to feed an army and had enough seats to fill a stadium. Those who made the drive have been preparing for this for months.
Sometimes it's fun being the odd-man-out because you become the butt of all the jokes and if you're quick, you can sling the jokes right back at 'em. People always have something to say to the rival in the room. While watching the Oklahoma v. Texas game, via hi-def satellite, I met some interesting people and got a feel for the OSU crowd. Let me tell you, they have a cheer for everything, especially for teams playing against OU. We can all agree on that.
Some note worthy people attending the tailgate include three former Pistol Pete's; Josh Pulver, Pistol Pete 2003-2005, Steve Sturgeon, Pistol Pete 2002-2003, and David Davis who took over the role of Pistol Pete in 1961 when Pete Fay became ill. These guys were the ringleaders of the entire black and orange circus. It's nice to see that even though they've moved on from their college days; their Pistol Pete mentality of being large and in charge is clearly evident.
After the game I'm headed back out to "Orange County" for tailgating round two. We'll see how nice their fans really are after the sun has set and all they have left to look forward to is the long drive home in the morning.
Jessica Mustain is a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism