Monday, October 07, 2019

Red River Showdown in the Cotton Bowl Est. 1930

It is Red River Showdown Week.

Oklahoma vs. Texas.

Rachelle and I will be in Dallas this Saturday with friends watching the game at Texas State Fair's Cotton Bowl.

I always get a little sentimental this time of year.

The FIRST game ever played in the stadium that is now called the Cotton Bowl occurred Saturday, October 18, 1930.

OU end Fred Cherry
The Cotton Bowl, initially called "Fair Park Stadium," was built during five spring and summer months in 1930. The first college football game played in the new stadium was between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns. My maternal grandfather, Fred Cherry, (picture right) was a sophomore tight end for Oklahoma University that year (1930).

In those years, players played on both offense and defense, and my grandfather started for Oklahoma and played the entire game. Both teams were held scoreless during the first half.

The first touchdown of the game, and for that matter the first touchdown ever scored in the Cotton Bowl, occurred in the middle of the third quarter, and it was a 55-yard touchdown pass to my grandfather.

 According to the Oklahoma Encyclopedia of Football, Oklahoma halfback Bus Mills threw a 55 yard 'bomb' to Fred Cherry who took the ball into the end zone and gave Oklahoma a 7 to 0 lead over Texas. Though Texas would eventually win the game 17 to 7, my grandfather holds the distinction of being the first player to ever score in the Cotton Bowl.

He would go on to play against Texas in 1931 and 1932 before he graduated with a petroleum engineering degree.

 My grandfather was a personal friend of Kappa Alpha fraternity brother and 1931 Oklahoma graduate Carl Albert, future United States Speaker of the House. However, Fred Cherry would himself leave his job in the oil fields and eventually quit a job at the state capital in order to fulfill his calling as a Christian evangelist.

Fred Cherry, Wade's granddad, the left OU tight end (far right)
I was born thirty years after my grandfather played for Oklahoma University, but I can distinctly remember watching OU football games at his house while growing up, particularly at Thanksgiving.

My grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack in 1970 at the age of 58, but my love for OU football continued.

In the early 1970's my father and I crash landed upon returning by private plane from watching the annual OU/Texas Cotton Bowl game.

We were caught in a powerful thunderstorm and landed in a convention center parking lot where U.S. Senator John Tower was holding a fund raiser. The kind Senator loaned us his personal vehicle to finish our trip home.

Over the years I have many, many memories revolving around the Oklahoma vs. Texas rivalry.

Hopefully, a good, new memory of OU vs. Texas will be established this Saturday at the Cotton Bowl.


Rex Ray said...


That’s quite a story! Now I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’ve heard most of the Oklahoma players are recruited from Texas, so it’s Texas playing Texas. :)

Anonymous said...

Several yrs ago in Memphis (where I was in Seminary), a local TV station teamed up w Johnny Majors to tell the viewers that the horns had filed a lawsuit against the Vols for wearing orange (it was April 1st) as a school color. They asked Johnny what the Vols were going to do and he first sounded confused and then vowed to fight the challenge.

The TV station never let people off the hook until about 30 minutes later when they preempted a program to remind people that it was April 1 and the while thing was meant as an April Fools joke. Lol

Rex Ray said...

“It's a moment very rare in the annals of crime history: A man hugging the killer of his own brother in the courtroom where she was convicted, wishing her the best."

That's the scene that played out in a Dallas courtroom Wednesday. In the moments following the sentencing of Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who shot and killed a black neighbor after she accidentally walked into his apartment, the victim's brother had forgiveness in his heart.

She had driven her car to the fourth floor of a parking garage, but thought she was on the third floor where her apartment was.

Botham Jean was killed while eating ice cream in his own apartment, after Guyger mistakenly opened the door to his apartment and mistook him for an intruder. But his younger brother, Brandt Jean, didn't wish Guyger any ill will on Wednesday.

He wished Guyger nothing but the best and, holding back tears, he asked the presiding judge if he could hug the woman convicted of murder in the killing of his brother. Guyger, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

She cried all the time that he was holding her. He said he wished she didn't have to go to prison, and if she was not a Christian, he hoped she would become a Christian.

Gary Snowden said...

Fascinating story about your maternal grandfather catching the first TD pass at the Cotton Bowl. I have memories of attending a big rally there back in my college days while enrolled at UT and involved in the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. It was part of Explo '72 and featured Billy Graham speaking in the Cotton Bowl and Kris Kristofferson also singing in a huge outdoor venue along with many Christian artists. Hook 'em Horns!

Rex Ray said...

I’m glad Wade’s happy over Oklahoma winning.

“30 mins before kickoff, @TexasFootball and @OU_Football got some jawing in! Every player from each team has an unsportsmanlike penalty now. That means anyone gets one during the game, it’s their second and an automatic ejection.”

Have you seen the video above? Many players were not involved.

The link above shows a replay over and over of why a Texas player was ejected. I’ve seen many ball runner’s slide to a stop with a tackler on top of them without a penalty because a tackler cannot stop in mid-air.

I believe Texas lost because of a referee’s zealous authority.

I once refereed basketball with a fellow school teacher. He’d call a foul if two players touched each other. About as much time was spent shooting free-shots as there was in playing. Both coaches and players would be angry with him.

You see Wade, my ‘filter’ influenced my thinking. :)