The Cotton Bowl’s new venue welcomes familiar opponents.
Update: The VIP package for the Tiger Tailgate is sold out.
As Mizzou prepares to make its third Cotton Bowl appearance at 7 p.m. Jan. 3, 2014, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, fans and alumni hark back to the Gary Pinkel-era’s “glory days.” It was the coach’s seventh season when Heisman Trophy finalist Chase Daniel, BS BA ’09, and a Cotton Bowl-record 281 yards rushing from running back Tony Temple, AFNR ’08, led Missouri past Arkansas 38-7 in the annual game’s 2008 edition. The Tigers finished the season ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25.
If No. 9 Mizzou (11-2) defeats No. 13 Oklahoma State (10-2), Pinkel’s most glorious moment to date might be in the present tense.
The Tigers and Cowboys, former Big 12 Conference mates, know each other well, with Missouri leading the series 28-23. Mizzou makes its first trip to the Dallas Cowboys’ spectacular home, a $1.3 billion, 80,000-seat football cathedral about 20 miles from downtown Dallas. Oklahoma State fell to Mississippi 21-7 in the 2010 Cotton Bowl at the same venue.
Mizzou has 10,085 alumni in the state of Texas, the third-highest total for any state other than Missouri. The Tigers also have 36 players from the Lone Star State on the roster. Fans sporting the black and gold should feel right at home in the Big D, but if you need a point in the right direction, check out these sights recommended by the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. — Marcus Wilkins
Meet Our Friendly Texas Alumni
The Dallas-Fort Worth Mizzou Tigers will host a block party at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2 at four bars within walking distance of one another. Each stop offers drink specials exclusively to Tiger fans who purchase a $5 wristband to benefit scholarships for DFW-area students. The chapter will also have raffle prizes, with a raffle ticket for every wristband.
Get Your Tail to the Tiger Tailgate
Get to the Tiger Tailgate before kickoff Friday at the Arlington Convention Center, available for a $5 entry fee, features food and beverage vendors; music and entertainment; a commemorative Cotton Bowl button to the first 5,000 attendees; Mizzou spirit items; a performance by Marching Mizzou, Spirit Squad and Golden Girls at 3:30 p.m.; and a program with campus guests.
Dallas has the largest urban arts district in the United States, with 115 pieces of public art on display. The Dallas Museum of Art, which does not charge general admission, celebrated its 110th birthday in January 2013. Nearby Klyde Warren Park offers free programming, including yoga classes and boot camp. Visit the Renzo Piano-designed Nasher Sculpture Center, housing one of the world’s foremost collections of 20th-century contemporary sculpture, just down the street from the Meyerson Symphony Center, which houses 2012 Musical America Conductor of the Year Jaap van Zweden and his Dallas Symphony Orchestra. And you can get around for free using the McKinney Avenue Trolley and the DART D-Link bus system.
Bring a Texas-sized Appetite
Dallas is a mecca of food and fashion. The gastronome can indulge in traditions crafted by the fathers of Southwestern cuisine, including Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles, or enjoy Texas favorites such as Tex-Mex and barbecue. If you’ve come to shop, you’ll soon understand why Dallas is known as the birthplace of shopping, with the country’s first outdoor planned shopping center, Highland Park Village, and the first indoor climate-controlled mall, NorthPark Center. Dallas is also home to the first Neiman Marcus department store and the famous Galleria Dallas.
Flower and Tower Power
The Travel Channel named the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S. with 66 acres of floral displays year round. The Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park features bungee jumping; a 16-story free-fall attraction; the Skycoaster, which sends you through the air at 60 mph; and late hours.
History buffs might appreciate the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza a memorial exhibit housed at the site from which Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy, or the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.