WACO _ I always become amused when a player from another country encounter football in the state of Texas for the first time.
Be it high school or college, football is truly king in the state of Texas. Just ask Baylor offensive left tackle Danny Watkins.
A Canadian, Watkins played football for the first time in his life the past two years at Butte College in Oroville, Calif. But it wasn't until he enrolled at Baylor last spring that Watkins truly discovered what big-time college football is all about.
Watkins couldn't believe his eyes when 27,905 people attended Baylor's Sept. 5 opener at Wake Forest. (OK, you can stop snickering now).
"When I walked out on the field at Wake Forest, I said to (center) J.D. (Walton), 'Wow, that's a lot of people,' '' Watkins said. "He said, "Boy, you ain't seen nothing yet.' ''
Later on this year, Baylor played before a crowd of 84,478 at Oklahoma and 82,106 at Texas A&M. Those crowds were real eye-openers for Watkins.
"I never realized how big football is in American, period, until I got to Baylor and somebody said you know Oklahoma's stadium holds 90,000 people,'' Watkins said. "I looked at him and said I've never seen a stadium that holds 90,000 people in my life. That's still crazy to me.''
Watkins grew up in Canada playing hockey and rugby. Crowds were minimal at best.
If Watkins was amazed at the crowds at Wake Forest, Oklahoma and A&M, he's going to really get his socks knocked off Saturday at 5 when Baylor (4-7) plays its regular season finale against Texas Tech (7-4). The game will be played at the world's most expensive stadium -- the Cowboys Stadium, which cost $1.2 billion.
Told that a crowd of approximately 75,000 will atend the game, Watkins said: "75,000 people? Oh, great. I can't wait.''
-- Dwain Price