Billiards, big televisions, bars and children takeovers are the prominent features that make relaxation dens into Green Country man caves.
Man caves — bastions of masculinity — are where men rally around a football game, pour a drink and lose card games to friends. The modern man cave is a constant work-in-progress where a man can unwind.
“Just need a place to kick back and relax,” Terry Wilson of Park Hill said.
Having a place to groom into a man cave is a hard itch to scratch. Some men build it into the plans for their home, some set aside a spare room and others build a grotto into their landscape.
Terry built his man cave into the side of a hill overlooking Tenkiller Lake, next to his log cabin. His man cave is a metal shed with pull-through bay doors.
From there, it radiates out to a hot tub patio and grill sanctuary with remote-controlled firework displays neatly tucked away for the next holiday.
His man cave is less decorated with sports memorabilia and more oddities from decades past.
A man cave can be a solitary place or a place to nourish amusements, to hang out with friends and allow the invasion of children and grandchildren.
However, it is, unequivocally, the place to watch football games. And standards of cleanliness can be relaxed, altered or go completely unobserved.
Dr. John Tedesco of Muskogee chose a spare room from his home to decorate with the flavor of his choice sports team: the Pittsburgh Steelers.
John’s Steelers memorabilia is accented with golf souvenirs and set off by icons from “The Big Lebowski.” All this is punctuated with the miniature version of the leg lamp from “A Christmas Story.”’
“Football — to me — I don’t know if it’s a hobby or more of a passion,” John said. “It’s a bonding.”
For the past three years, John has lived in Muskogee. Since his arrival, he’s folded several Oklahomans into Steelers watch parties. Those Oklahomans, in turn, have folded him into University of Oklahoma Sooners watch parties.
His first man cave started in about 2011 in Monticello, Ark., where he just took a spare room and decorated it with a few Steelers artifacts.
That soon grew into massive collection of golf, pop culture and Steelers football that dates back to the ‘80s.
However, some cave dwellers have distilled their idea of a man cave down. David Ross, an ardent Sooners fan, built his man cave into his home plans.
It is a simple home theater with a raked floor plan designed to fit a massive flat screen TV and leather movie seating with a small bar in the back.
“It was originally supposed to be a fourth bedroom,” David said. “But I knew I wanted to have nice man room to come back to.”
David’s media room of envy features old Sooners magazine covers framed on the wall and a popcorn machine tucked neatly to the side.
David’s room is “just a good, family gathering spot.”
“It’s great for the kids to come back and pop in a movie and watch it,” he said.
All together, man caves are ultimately shaped by a man’s personality. This leaves the possibility of any combination of big screen televisions, grills, mini golf greens, kegerators, bars, liquor shelves, music, billiards and weight lifting.
However, some degree of sports memorabilia is nearly mandatory.