On Saturday, Texas Tech will open the Big XII regular season against in-state rival Texas A&M in a late night showdown promising a blitz of drama.
Because football is larger than life in Texas, game time isn't until 9pm this Saturday. Both schools agreed to the unusual start time in exchange for an appearance on national TV. So the Red Raiders will practice under the lights all week long, in order to prepare for game like conditions, and local businesses are loving every minute of the hype.
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At the Spirit Shop across the street from Tech, this weekend will be their biggest shopping weekend of the year. Shelves are stocked with all kinds of Aggie-targeted derogatory duds to assist Red Raider fans in expressing exactly how they feel. Red Raider fans will be wearing their emotions on their sleeves, literally.
"I think from probably three o'clock on, the place will be one in one out, is my guess," says Conference Cafe Manager Chris Bourne.
If you don't have a ticket for the game, you can bet there will be viewing parties at every sports bar in town. And Bourne says the fervor won't wait until Saturday. "Extra alcohol, extra staff, everything. Everybody that works here knows this is the one weekend of the year that everybody has to work. So, from Thursday through Sunday morning, it'll be ridiculous."
Texas Tech is Gearing Up for Weekend Game
Thousands are gearing up for a rivalry that has had some awesome endings in recent years. The last time the Aggies came to town, the goal posts came down, and mayhem followed, punctuating a Red Raider victory. The Red Raiders have won two straight against the Aggies and haven't lost at home to the Aggies in a decade.
School officials are hoping for a repeat performance from players, but not from those rowdy fans. The University wants fans to stay off the field if the team wins and warns of arrests if fans don't obey. They will also be showing a tape of last week's Ole Miss game on the jumbo-tron for fans who arrive early.