SI Vault
Dan Jenkins
November 11, 1963
On Friday morning, October 11, a bright, warm Texas day, Elbert Joseph Coffman woke up with a squirrel in his stomach. In his good life as a football fan there had never been a weekend quite like this one. In the next 55 hours he was going to see three college games and one pro game, and the excitement of it, the bigness of the games, made him nervous. Nervous but delighted. Football to Joe Coffman, and thousands of other Texans, is as essential as air conditioning. It is what a Texan grows up with, feeds on, worships, follows, plays and, very often, dies with. Joe Coffman, 32, married, father of two boys, businessman, University of Texas graduate, football enthusiast, was either going to live a lot this weekend or die a little.
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November 11, 1963

The Disciples Of St. Darrell On A Wild Weekend

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"Can't get there too soon," said Joe. "Got to go hear Hank Thompson. He's always singing on the fairgrounds at noon."

"Yeah," said Cecil. "That's about like you common people from Fort Worth. You lack them hillbilly sangers."

Said Joe, "Can't beat it. Drink beer, listen to old Hank and then warp the Okies. Perfect day. I had to have about $50 worth of that 5� points."

"Did you bet, Joe?" said Mary Sue in a concerned voice.

"I 'magine."

Mary Sue looked out of the window.

"We're gonna warp 'em," said Joe. "Guarantee you St. Darrell's gonna drown 'em. Too much character. I don't care who they got. Joe Don Looney. Jimmy Jack Drunk. Anybody. They don't have Scott Appleton. They don't have Tommy Ford or Mr. Duke Carlisle," he said, referring to Texas' finest players: Appleton, the brilliant tackle; Ford, the swift, chunky tailback; and Carlisle, the resourceful quarterback who prefers to run rather than pass.

Mary Sue and Pat opened the beer, and Joe and Cecil sang a parody on a hillbilly tune: I don't care 'bout my gas and oil,/Long as I got my Dare-e-ull Royal,/ Mounted on the dashboard o' my car.

They sang it several dozen times until the Cotton Bowl traffic slowed Cecil to a creep along Grand Avenue, one of the main entrance streets. "Joe, baby," Cecil said, "we're gonna have to sell the car, 'cause we got no place to park it."

"Keep goin'. We're gonna get in a lot right up here."

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