Traditional rivals Oklahoma and Texas meet on the gridiron every October in Dallas, which is half way between the two schools.
The Longhorns and Sooners renew the Red River Rivalry again Saturday. There is always a carnival atmosphere as the Cotton Bowl, where the game is traditionally held, sits in the middle of the Texas State Fair.
The Oklahoma and Texas rugby teams have a bit of tradition of their own that starts with a series of games Friday night and includes a traveling trophy. Seminole artist David Camp, who several times walked his peoples’ “Trail of Tears”, painted the bull skull that has become the bounty awarded to the winner of the Red River Rivalry on the rugby pitch.
Jon Velie, Oklahoma director of rugby, said, “This is more than just another trophy. It symbolizes both schools with the skull itself representing the Longhorns and the art work representing our Native American heritage. David was a very spiritual person, and we hope that his spirit lives on when the teams battle for the Skull.”
Texas has struggled in this game traditionally, but the Longhorns have made huge strides in the past year under coach Butch Neuenschwander, making an appearance in the CRC last June and defeating OU in pool play. Oklahoma got revenge recently at a 7s tournament hosted by Texas A&M.
What may seem strange to most American sports fans is that on Saturday it is not uncommon for Texas and Oklahoma players to be seen in the Dallas neighborhoods of Lower Greenville or the West End watching the football game together.
The women join the fray this year and kick off at 6pm. Men’s action follows.