Texas sports spoiled with big opportunities Friday evening

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Friday was a big day for Texas.

Not only did BYU and TCU face off in Cowboys Stadium, but Texas’ Major League Baseball team, the Rangers, who are based in Arlington, Texas, took on the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the World Series in St. Louis.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was littered with Texans brandishing their love for either the red, white and blue Rangers, who lost to the Cardinals 6-2, or the purple Horned Frogs, who emerged victorious from the BYU football game Friday evening 38-28.

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Members of the Texas Rangers clubhouse staff pack up players lockers Saturday Oct. 29, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. After coming so agonizingly close to winning their first championship, the Rangers could have all of their key pieces back next year to try for their third consecutive World Series appearance.
Mike Bayles, a recent BYU graduate now living in Dallas, found his long-lost comfort zone among his fellow Cougar fans. Though he attended the BYU/TCU game, Bayles constantly received updates of the Rangers/Cardinals score.

“It was a tough weekend to have both the Rangers and BYU lose,” Bayles said. “But it was great to be surrounded by Cougar nation all over again. We checked up on the Rangers game, and some friends even went to the club rooms at halftime to check the score.”

The World Series Game 7 was watched by an average of 25.4 million viewers — the largest ballgame viewership since 2004. But despite the record-breaking numbers, as well as the fact the Rangers and Cardinals game began at the same time as the BYU/TCU game, 50,094 fans were in attendance at Cowboys Stadium, cheering on their teams.

“The Texas atmosphere has been incredible,” Bayles said. “This is a great sports town.”

Though initially dubbed a ‘neutral site’, TCU took over the home field advantage, as the school’s home town is Fort Worth — a mere 23 minutes from Arlington.

It’s because of TCU’s Amon Carter Stadium’s renovations that the game was held at Cowboy Stadium. Renovations, which began in November 2010, should be completed in time for the 2012 season.

Not only is Cowboys Stadium, which seats 80,000, for Cowboy football-related events, but it has also been home to boxing matches, soccer games, basketball games, the 2011 Super Bowl and even Monster Jam, a motorsport event.

This was the second time for both BYU and TCU teams to play in the sports’ mecca. BYU first played in the stadium’s first collegiate game in Sept. 2009 against the University of Oklahoma Sooners, winning 14-13. TCU beat Oregon State during their season opener last year, 30-21.

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