Not everyone in Stillwater is firing pistols for the 11 a.m. kickoff of the homecoming football game.
Although Oklahoma State University makes changes every year to make its homecoming celebration an enjoyable experience for everyone, one of the changes that people aren’t too eager about is the earlier-than-usual kickoff for the football game.
Chase Carter, OSU Alumni Association director of communications, said the last time the university had a homecoming game start this early was in 1999.
He said the early kickoff has affected many of Saturday’s events, such as many of the college alumni reunions, which have been moved to after the game, and the Sea of Orange Parade. which is at 8 a.m. this year, an hour earlier than usual.
“This will most likely decrease the number of parade entries and attendees since many still have to travel to Stillwater,” Carter said. “The Alumni Association’s Cowboy Corral pre-game event has been scaled back because many of its participants including the Cowboy Marching Band, Pistol Pete and Bullet will still be in the parade at the time when we normally a host a pep rally.”
Animal science sophomore Amanda Green said she is not looking forward to waking up that early to go to the parade or to go tailgating.
“I love tailgating,” Green said. “There’s always good food, but I’m not excited about waking up at 8 or 9 in the morning to tailgate. I don’t think anybody likes waking up that early on a Saturday morning, but I guess if you want to wake up early you have to sleep early the night before.”
Kassey Steele, a first-year graduate student in the college development program, who’s gone to several homecoming celebrations in the past, said she thinks a disadvantage for the early kickoff is mostly for the alumni coming into town.
“For a lot of the alumni, it might be harder to them,” Steele said. “They would have to travel a lot earlier and probably take more time off work to stay for all of the events since plenty of them got pushed to way later in the day.”
Carter said despite of everything, he is glad the alumni and fans who aren’t able to make the early kickoff still have the opportunity to watch it from wherever they are.
“A kickoff this early is not ideal for homecoming, but at the same time we’re thankful alumni and fans who can’t come back to Stillwater can at least watch the football game on television wherever they may be,” Carter said. “We have 23 OSU Alumni Watch Parties scheduled to watch the game in places as far away as Anchorage and Key West.”