There aren’t a lot of people who’ll watch more Big 12 football games than me this season, though Paul Derrick might be one of them. The 25-year-old from Houston is taking a trip to every Big 12 stadium this fall, and finishing with the conference championship game.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from originally and what do you do?
Paul Derrick: Well, originally I'm from North Carolina. After getting out of the Army in 2006 I ended up in Dallas. I lived there shortly then moved to Houston in 2007 and just got stuck here I guess. As far as work, I work in IT for an oil communications company in Houston.
Where did this idea come from?
PD: I actually got the idea from a comrade of mine who last year visited all the Big Ten Schools in one season.
What do your bosses think about you doing this while working full time for them, and how are you going to pull that off?
PD: They are going to fire me if I take it. No, actually they are pretty supportive and have been nice enough to give me all the Fridays and Saturdays off during this tour to make it possible.
So, you're funding all this by yourself? Any effort to get some help from anyone?
PD: Yeah, funding this interesting journey straight out of my pocket, but am always looking for sponsors if anyone feels sorry enough for me. Will have some T-shirts made soon, so will probably be selling some of those on the site later so stay tuned.
And if anyone would like to make donations or sponsor you can reach me at email@example.com.
Why go through with it?
PD: Why not? This is a once in a lifetime journey, and if I don't end up broke or homeless by the end of it it'll be worth it.
How many of the Big 12 stadiums have you been to before this?
PD: None, this will be my first trip to each stadium.
Any particular trip you're looking forward to more than others?
PD: Really looking forward to the big rivalry games like Kansas vs. Kansas State and Texas vs. Texas Tech. The matchup I’m actually looking forward to the most is Oklahoma vs. Florida State. Though, I grew up a Florida State fan as a kid.
What are you looking to get out of this?
PD: I'm really looking just to enjoy myself, watch some great football, meet some great people, and have a interesting story to tell to my grandkids one day.
[I] Would like to thank stadiumjourney.com, and my girlfriend, that she will hopefully have the patience to put up with me through this journey.
Here’s how Paul’s schedule is shaping up:
9/2 Iowa State vs. Northern Illinois
9/4 Nebraska vs. Western Kentucky
9/11 Oklahoma vs. Florida State
9/18 Texas Tech vs. Texas
10/2 Colorado vs. Georgia
10/7 Kansas State vs. Nebraska
10/9 Missouri vs. Colorado
10/16 Kansas vs. Kansas State
10/23 Baylor vs. Kansas State
11/6 Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
11/13 Texas vs. Oklahoma State
11/27 Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma
12/4 Big 12 Championship
Paul’s journey should definitely be a good one. What do you think Paul needs to do, see and/or eat on his way around Big 12 country?
Spare the obvious (concert in Austin!) and general (“You gotta head down to Aggieville in Manhattan, man!”) and let me know. I’ll probably post a few of the best ones on here sometime next week.