Really, this is news you can actually use, actually.
Yesterday on KTCK-AM's (1310, The Ticket) afternoon-drive show "The Hardline," co-co-host Corby Davidson recounted to Mike Rhyner and Greg Williams the tale of how he found Pee-Pee Nirvana at the Cotton Bowl during Saturday's glorious Texas-OU game. Seems The Artist Currently Known as The Cobra found himself a spiffy, unaccountably large and inexplicably empty bathroom in the stadium, which the city is promising to sink $30 million in after the bond election. How 72,000 people missed the place is no mystery; heaven doesn't lay out no "Welcome" mat. But it does sound like we have an entry for Dallas' section of The Bathroom Diaries.
After the jump, Corby shares his tale of triumph with Unfair Park; after all, not only did he not have to share the Tinkle Trough with the rest of the unwashed masses, but he seems to have discovered a heretofore unknown safe haven in the bowels of the bowl. Also after the jump, someone from the city explains just why there's a huge bathroom in the Cotton Bowl nobody--save for Corby and a guest pisser--knows about. Till now.
Taking a leak at a football game is the worst part of going to a football game. Texas Stadium bathrooms are horrible and smell like a nursing home; the Cotton Bowl bathroom experience is worse. Lines are a mile long, and the concourse area is so packed you can't even move around, especially at halftime. And, of course, that's when I had to go--halftime of OU-Texas.
The lines were so long (the wait would have been 30 minutes, at least) that I tried to walk out of the stadium to the fairgrounds, where I could use one of the bathrooms, but I wasn't allowed outside. During the game, security people at the Cotton Bowl pass out cards to the people leaving the game so they can get back in. But when I got to the exit they had run out of cards. They just told me to wait there for more cards. My bladder was about to burst. I couldn't wait.
I frantically turned around and started scanning the concourse area a little nook in which I could do my business. There was nothing. The bathroom lines only grew longer at the bathrooms, and I was dying. As I fought my way through the concourse, I noticed a stairwell. It was inconspicuous enough, and nobody was going down the thing, and nobody was coming up. There was no sign above the stairwell indicating what its purpose was, so I figured I could just walk down, turn the corner and leave my scent.
But as I snuck down and turned the corner to the right, I saw something amazing: a little door with a sign that had only one word on it, but it was a magical one. "Men." Surely it was locked. No way it could be the secret bathroom to which 85,000 people were completely oblivious.
I pushed the door, and it swung open. I walked in and saw the clean floor, what looked like a hundred unused urinals, a row of shiny sinks and the empty trash cans. I thought to myself, "This is what Saddam Hussein's palace must have looked like." As I was doing my business, I heard a booming voice coming from over my shoulder. "So," it said, "you found it too?" The voice belonged to a Texas fan in his mid-50s; he was wearing a Justin Blalock jersey. Turned out he was the big offensive lineman's dad, and his parting words to me were, "Don't tell anybody." So I didn't, until now.
If you wander into Gate Seven at the Cotton Bowl, somewhere around Section 24, just look for a little unmarked stairwell. It leads you straight to heaven.
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This afternoon I called the Parks and Recreation Department to find out if indeed there was a secret john in the Cotton Bowl, or whether Corby and Mr. Blalock had just smoked cotton from the same bowl, if you know what I mean. At first Carolyn Brescia, the assistant to out-of-the-office-today Parks and Recreation Department Director Paul Dyer, said crews scouting the Cotton Bowl this afternoon could find no such place. (Really, they had people out there moments ago actually looking for this magical pissoir. I do not feel good about that.) She did say that there are indeed some remodeled bathrooms in the Cotton Bowl, however, only she couldn't confirm that this was one of them.
Then, about 10 minutes later, Willis Winters, the assistant director for the department, called back to say that a city staffer had found the bathroom--and, go figure, there indeed is a sign above the stairwell, only one so small that, yeah, he could see how 72,000 people (minus two) could miss the thing. Winters says he was told the sign was no larger than two feet wide by 18 inches tall. "I'm sure Corby was exaggerating a little bit," says Winters, who is clearly a Ticket listener, "but that will be corrected in time for the Cotton Bowl game. We probably should take a look at it to make it more obvious."
Winters also says that all of the bathrooms in the Cotton Bowl have been upgraded recently, but some of them--including this downstairs paradise--will likely be gone come 2008, when other renovations are scheduled to take place. Fact is, having bathrooms downstairs isn't the safest thing in the world, and come 2008 that restroom will likely be replaced by a new concourse bathroom that will stretch around the entirety of that side's end zone. The bathroom in question dates back decades, to the original Cotton Bowl.
"Tell Corby he'll have a few more people in there next year," Winters says. "I just feel bad for Blaylock's father having to share that bathroom with him." Mr. Winters, sir, you are awesome. --Robert Wilonsky