Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to don burnt orange T-shirts, hook your horns or be excited about football games at all to be a student at UT. The Daily Texan has compiled a list of anti-football activities to keep you entertained and away from the tune of “The Eyes of Texas” and a sea of burnt orange paraphernalia on game day, or even for the whole weekend.
Just stay inside
Your best bet to avoid all things football is to stay inside. This can be a true challenge if you reside in one of the cramped campus dormitories. But home football games are excellent days to binge watch TV shows you missed in the ‘90s because you were a toddler at the time. You can read an entire book, rearrange your room or dance around while your school-spirited roommate is out at the stadium. Plan for these days by stocking up on chips, granola bars and water bottles so you have no reason to leave. If worst comes to worst, you might catch a glimpse of an orange-lit tower if the Longhorns actually win a game.
Take a mini road trip
Plan a getaway for any or all of the home football game weekends. If you want to go camping, drive out to Enchanted Rock. If shopping is more your style, visit the outlet stores in San Marcos or small antique-shop-laden towns of Wimberley or Gruene. This is even enough time to be an artsy cliche and make the trek to Marfa, where you can find art installations and a small-town music scene that rivals the one in Austin. There is almost no chance of interaction with burnt orange foam fingers if you aren’t even within the city limits.
Spend the day at the park
Join the drum circles in Zilker Park instead of watching the drummers from the Longhorn band during any one of the Saturday afternoon games. You can pack a picnic and play frisbee with friends, or enjoy some of the final warm days at Barton Springs. Zilker offers a more accessible escape and is reachable by bus if you don’t want to fight gameday traffic. We recommend going off of the technological grid to avoid the stream of live Twitter messages and Facebook status updates from the stadium.
Try a popular restaurant
A trendy new restaurant pops up somewhere in Austin almost as often as Mack Brown’s paycheck increases. If you’re going to explore the city’s culinary horizons to avoid the game, be sure to head out early. No eating establishment is safe from the after-game crowd that surges out from Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. A safe restaurant haven is the high-end delis of the East 11th Street area or the plethora of trailers on South First Street. If you stay too close to campus — within a five-mile radius — you risk running into a hoard of highly spirited Longhorns choosing to enjoy gameday from the comfort of an upholstered booth.
Enjoy a night at the Drive-In
For midseason night games, pile up in the SUV of another non-spirited classmate and head to the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In on East 51st Street. You can still enjoy the cool fall weather without being surrounded by thousands of screaming fans. While players are missing touchdown opportunities, you can be eating popcorn and watching “Back to the Future” from the comfort of your own, volume-controlled car. Since the drive-in does not screen Longhorn games, your chances of running into a fanatic are slim to none.