Sunday, November 14, 2010

The OU Experience!

What I have to say about our OU Experience on Saturday can be summed up in one word: Wonderful! And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You know, wholeheartedly.

Cynthia and I went to the OU game on Saturday, to witness the Sooners drop a 45-7 shellacking on Texas Tech. That in itself was great, but it was the first time for either of us in Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium. I’ve seen lots of OU games, but they’ve all been against Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Matter of fact it was only the third football game we’ve been to together. One was a Dallas Cowboys game, in old Texas Stadium when I took her up in the press box, and the other one was to see a high school playoff game in Tyler’s Rose Stadium between Palestine and Hallsville. That was just to “scout” Adrian Peterson, though. A friend from my college days, Jackie (Johnson) Seals, was kind enough to give up two tickets. We are both big OU fans, and it shows in our living room.

I was in my element this time, however, and my T-shirt with a picture of the Gaylord Family Stadium that says “the most fun you can have with 82,000 of your closest friends” is oh so true. For the first time I didn’t stand out wearing my OU ball cap and Oklahoma pull-over jacket. To be surrounded by thousands of Boomer Sooner fans was extra special. The OU-Texas games I went to -- 25 consecutive -- I was always in the press box and had to be unbiased, or at least, act that way. This day was special, too, because we were there for the unveiling of two statues in front of the Bud Wilkinson house, Bud Wilkinson and Bennie Owen, the first great OU coach and for whom Owen Field is named after. OU President David Boren gave the speech to dedicate the statues.

Once inside the stadium, the first thing we saw was the plaques of past OU stars. I had Cynthia take a picture of me standing next to the one of Jason White, since I have a football autographed by him on our “OU shelf” in the living room. White was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback just a few years ago. There were also plaques of Billy Sims, Steve Owens, Lee Roy Selmon, Sam Bradford, etc, all the players I’ve heard about and followed over the years, not to mention the bigger-than-life statues of Heisman winners Sims, Owens, White and Billy Vessels outside the stadium. I wondered why one of Bradford has not been erected yet. I’m sure it will be before long.

Also honored was Bob Barry, someone I used to listen to on the radio after I came home from Viet Nam and went back to school at Northeastern State in Tahlequah. He did his first OU play-by-play broadcast September 30, 1961. This will be his final season as “the voice of the Sooners”.

Just being in Norman and seeing the campus was virtually breath-taking, with all the OU flags and banners everywhere. Of course, we went in practically every store we passed on the streets, and Cynthia found a cookie jar, an OU chef, that she thought had been discontinued. Just seeing her reaction to that was wonderful, too.