STILLWATER, Okla. – Whenever our state teams are gearing up for a big game, fans begin the game day parties hours before kickoff.
It’s a common site in Stillwater and Norman to see tailgating tents and bars packed with people preparing for the big game.
However, fans will be waking up a bit early to see the biggest showdown of the year.
Isaiah Hartman said, “It’s definitely too early. Part of the culture at OSU is tailgating and things like that before, so to wake up at 9 o’clock in the morning to get ready for an 11 o’clock is insane.”
Taylor Buckley says, “An early game is just not fun.”
It’s not just the tailgating parties that may suffer from the late start, but local businesses will be feeling the pinch.
Campus eateries, like Hideaway Pizza, lose as much as 30 percent of their business the earlier the kickoff.
Rachel Kilschautzky, with Hideaway Pizza, said, “We don’t get to serve the before and after game rush, just the after the game rush. We don’t get to serve as many as we’d like.”
The Stonewall Tavern feels the same pain, but they’re opening as early as 10 a.m. to make up for it.
“It’s an hour before the game, which is great,” says Joe Cervantes, with Stonewall Tavern. “Being a block and a half away from the stadium, it’s a nice stop off before heading that way.”
However, the 11 a.m. kickoff time for Bedlam is causing many people to wonder if Cowboy and Sooner fans will actually show up that early.
Madeline Dean said, “Our homecoming game, which is one of our biggest games, was also at 11 a.m. and I didn’t end up going until halftime because it was just so early.”
Buckley said, “People don’t have time to just enjoy themselves.”
However, Hartman thinks the true fans will tough it out and set their alarms.
“Everyone’s going to get up that early still,” says Hartman. “It’s Bedlam, regardless.”
Cervantes says, “We just roll with it.”
Social media blew up after the game time announcement Monday morning.
A few tweets called for a Bedlam boycott.
While they were kidding, many fans are unhappy about the change.
Bedlam kickoff will be 11 a.m. on Dec. 7 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.
The Sooners lead the Bedlam series by an 83-17-7 overall margin.
OU won 51-48 in overtime against OSU last season in Norman.
The game will be broadcast on ABC.