The day NCAA and NFL football schedules come out are like Christmas to me. It’s a chance to analyze my favorite teams schedules and see if I can make a game or two.. or six. This year two of my personal favorites were within a few hours of each other which means I have no excuse not to go.

We’re headed to Texas! The Lone Star State packs more football than I know what to do with. Between Friday Night Lights, College Football Saturdays and NFL Sundays there is plenty to do.

Kyle Field
Kyle Field on Gameday

Halloween weekend matchups included Texas A&M against my South Carolina Gamecocks on a Saturday afternoon followed by the Dallas Cowboys and defending (at the time) Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. College station sits about 2 hours from Houston and 3 from Dallas so take your pick which airport to fly into. We found it most cost effective to go into HOU and out of DFW.

Friday night may be for high school football but not in College Station, TX. After reading a little about the small college town we realized two things.

After we checked into our hotel we walked our way over to Northgate Entertainment District where you’ll find the bars and nightlife. Dixie Chicken did not disappoint. It was your quintessential Texas bar. Engravings on the walls, boots on every foot and plenty of Shiner Bock. It’s a landmark in these parts and it’s clear why.

We hung out for a couple hours until we noticed the crowd got a little light around 11:30PM. What was quickly apparent was that we might be the only one left in the bar at midnight. If you can’t beat em, join em. We hadn’t planned on going to Midnight Yell because we weren’t Aggie fans. So without a clue where Kyle Field was in relation to Dixie Chicken we walked outside and followed the herd.

Around the corner you could see the stadium lights ready for the game before the game. Inside was a quadrant of the stadium filled with half drunk students. We sat far enough not to interfere but close enough to figure out what was going on. The chants and yells start. Male cheerleaders (yell leaders) on the field leading the stands in chants and hand patterns with every single person in unison. They’ve done this a time or two.

Not being an Aggie it was hard to comprehend why this tradition was so special. But if I put myself in their shoes I surely respect it. I’d say the same for my Gamecocks and the entrance to 2001. I get goosebumps every time and I’m positive that’s the same feeling here. At one point every guy in the joint turned to their gorgeous stereotypical Texas cowgirls and gave them a big smooch.

Morning came too soon with an 11AM gametime. The game was in hand for the Aggies most of the way as they went on to win 35-28. Those yells from the night before were prominent on game day. The stadium has gone through some major expansions recently and it’s noticeable. It now holds over 100,000 as the fans sway in unison for one of their yells.

We had time to head back to the hotel and rest up for a big Halloween night in Aggieland. We headed back to Northgate. Dixie Chicken to start our evening. I was dressed as Elf on the Shelf while my compadres were Mario and Luigi. Who would have guessed there was an actual shelf in Dixie Chicken. I couldn’t NOT get up there. I hopped up and took a seat atop the shelf with my Shiner Bock and chugged it.

Dixie Chicken Aggieland
The Shelft at Dixie Chicken

I went to get down after having my moment but the crowd wouldn’t have it. I was handed another beer which gave onlookers more time to take pictures. This Shiner didn’t go down as fast to the spectators delight.

After that we stopped into The Backyard which we heard great things about. A relatively normal sports bar on the inside.. but this place is called the Backyard for a reason. We walk straight outdoors and find tons of cornhole, a biergarten, giant beer pong made with trash cans and folks throwing the pigskin around. Genuine American fun if you ask me.

Another early morning and we had a 3-hour drive to Dallas ahead of us. We got up as early as possible to make it to the stadium by noon. A forewarning for anyone headed to a Cowboys game anytime soon. It’s pricey. The game ticket, the food, the parking, everything. Go in with little expectations in terms of cost; trust me you won’t be mad you spent the money. Somebody has to pay to keep the lights on.

Parking will be $80. A ticket will be $120+ (MINIMUM). A Miller Lite will be $9. BUT. The view will be priceless.

AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium from afar.

From the moment you get into view of the mecca your eyes will light up with excitement. Whether you’re a Cowboys fan or not you have to appreciate the sheer size and architecture. This is my church for the day. Every aspect is top tier. Corporate sponsors line the entire place to subsidize whatever awful team Jerry has put together that year.

But still, it’s Jerryworld. Get to your seat and your eyes are drawn to that video board. Practically 60% the length of the field. I found myself watching more of the board than the game almost forgetting Russell Wilson and Tony Romo were playing. The vast open air (in a dome) is hard to put into words.

The retractable roof is the largest in the world. The dome itself is the largest enclosed NFL stadium. The largest retractable endzone doors in the world. It is compelling, polished and massive. Is it any wonder we’re in Texas?

There are male cheerleaders (again). But you also can’t miss the go-go dancers or the on field cheerleaders either. Take it all in. Before, during and after the game. We walked around for an hour after everyone left. Views unobstructed from all the noise and fans.

If you want to plan on taking a trip similar to this check out the upcoming weekend listed below in November that might be suitable. It’s got more than enough for one weekend so pick and choose wisely.

NFL: Washington @ Dallas 11/24/2016 Arlington AT&T Stadium Thursday
CFB: LSU @ Texas A&M 11/24/2016 College Station Kyle Field Thursday
CFB: TCU @ Texas 11/25/2016 Austin Royal Texas Memorial Friday
CFB: Baylor @ Texas Tech 11/25/2016 Arlington AT&T Stadium Friday
NHL: Vancouver @ Dallas Stars 11/25/2016 Dallas American Airlines Center Friday
CFB: Navy @ SMU 11/26/2016 Dallas Gerald J. Ford Stadium Saturday
NFL: San Diego @ Houston 11/27/2016 Houston NRG Stadium Sunday


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