If you have ever been near the west side of Boone Pickens Stadium on game day, you probably have noticed the giant tent set up in front of the Lloyd Noble Research Center.
That 30-foot-tall structure, branded with a Pistol Pete logo, is home to the Cowboy Posse.
This group of fans has tailgated at Oklahoma State football games for nearly 15 years.
Afton Melson, a former Cowgirl softball player, has been along for the entire journey.
“We’ve only had the tent for about three years,” Melson said. “We used to have five or six of the smaller tents, but we’ve had this for a while now and everyone seems to love it.”
The tailgate itself lives up to expectations. The set up has a flat-screen TV, plenty of chairs, food and laughter.
The Cowboy Posse consists of several OSU alumni who all reunite during football season. Melson said about 80-90 percent of the tailgate is alumni.
Along with the tailgate, the Cowboy Posse all share a warm-hearted friendship. Chad Eller is also a former Cowboy who has now joined the Cowboy Posse for game days.
“It’s a bond,” Eller said. “That’s what makes it worth it to me, to set all this stuff up.”
It’s no surprise that this group looks forward to football season and setting up their impressive tailgate year after year.
“You get to come hang out with people you don’t get to see for the rest of the year,” Melson said.
What truly makes this tailgate special is not the massive set up, instead it’s the reunion these fans share every week.
Randy Gilbert, along with Melson and Fuller, is one of the members of the Cowboys Posse who works hard to make their tailgate memorable each week.
“Randy’s got a big hand in all of this,” Eller said.
Gilbert is also a former Cowboy and thoroughly enjoys creating an extraordinary game day experience for all.
“Afton and I went to college together so we decided to get some of our other college friends involved in this,” Gilbert said.
The Cowboy Posse has been making memories and reuniting at the same tailgate for more than a decade.