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Thursday DBR: The Perfection of McLane Stadium

I was able to get into McLane Stadium last night to help Baylor prepare for tonight's annual Traditions Rally, and I got a pretty good feel for what the Palace will feel like on Sunday.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

ODB Infiltrates McLane Stadium

Every time someone who hasn't been through Waco asks me about McLane Stadium, the first thing I tell them is that it is a much more dominant presence than any picture can adequately convey. I can see the top of the scoreboard lights from my room on the south end of campus. It greets southbound travelers suddenly and spectacularly, and it sends northbound travelers on their way with a sense of just how real Waco's revitalization is. It looms over the practice fields and law school from all the way across a river, and it dominates the horizon from every angle.

I thought I had an idea of what McLane Stadium felt like inside from seeing dozens of pictures and drone videos. I was so, so wrong. The place is simply cavernous. From where I stood at midfield, I almost felt like I was indoors. The different levels stack on each other to give the sides a vertical aesthetic, and the video board atop the berm greedily demands attention. You can see every concourse from the field, and you can see the field (or at least the screen) from every concourse. Dozens of TVs dot the walkways, ensuring that no fan misses a play when he or she goes for a drink.

McLane Stadium ties together the very best elements of a European soccer stadium, and futuristic NFL tech mansion, and a classic college venue. Once it's filled with crazed fans, it will be one of the finest venues in all of sports.

This is the view freshmen will be treated to as they prepare to run across the field for the first time. The ramp is much wider and shallower than the one used at Floyd Casey, and the designated holding area and gold stripe make it clear that this is the realm of the Baylor Line - something that was difficult in Floyd Casey since the tradition was established twenty years after the stadium opened.

I have more pictures, but I'll probably tweet them out over the next few days.

Get ready, folks. This was the best fortune Baylor ever spent.

Traditions Rally Tonight

If you're a current Baylor student or fan located in Central Texas, consider making the trip to tonight's Traditions Rally. The annual event will be held in McLane Stadium and in nearby Touchdown Alley and features entertainment and a chance for fans to get an early look at the new home of Baylor Football. The schedule is as follows:

4:30 p.m.: IFC Tailgate at Touchdown Ally (students only)
5:30 p.m.: Stadium Doors Open for All Guests
6:00 p.m.: Delta Tau Delta Concert at Touchdown Alley (students only)
7:30 p.m.: Season Opening Pep Rally
8:15 p.m.: Phillip Phillips Concert; fireworks show follows

Bears Getting Healthy

The fine folks over at ESPN 1660 brought us plenty of good news yesterday regarding some of Baylor's ailing athletes. It looks like the Baylor offense will be nearly loaded for bear against SMU, with all three feature backs and most relevant wide receivers healthy at last.

Truck them.

Crush them.


Random NFL Personnel Pick Baylor to Win CFP

Completely random, I know. Still cool. 4/5 interviewed picked Florida State to win the Natty. The fifth thinks Baylor's offense will not encounter a defense that can handle it.

Hasty Out With Mystery Ailment

Weird. I refuse to speculate.

Weirdness of the Day

Midnight Sakerlina Counter-Aggie Defense League

At midnight, a large contingent of Texas A&M fans congregated in front of the South Carolina State House to hold chant practice. Apparently, South Carolina fans also showed up in force and told their visitors what they really think of them. It was pure chaos in the dark, since both teams employ some mix of grey, black, white, garnet/maroon, and obnoxious.