Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Death to Squinky

While everyone probably expected an OSU post today, the topic expected had less to do with a mythical creature administering grief to the Cowboy fan base and more to do with a 43-year-old Mike Gundy trying to break dance after the victory over aTm. For you jackals, here is a link teach-teaching you how to Gundy. Enjoy it and poke fun of the guy who doesn’t stoically tell his players “I very much liked that win,” after a big game.

Instead of a Dancing With the Coaches recap, I prefer to discuss an article that has changed my life–or at minimum, given me confidence that someone at a major media outlet understands my life. As Patrick discussed briefly on Monday, Brian Phillips from Grantland.com (ESPN’s new internet project that writes about sports and pop culture in essay format) wrote a thesis paper on the misery of loving Oklahoma State. He writes:

Oklahoma State’s year isn’t going to be won or lost on stats, personnel, or even tactics. Those things have their place, but there’s something bigger where the Cowboys are concerned, something Oklahoma State fans pick up on from an early age, even if we don’t like to talk about it. It’s a hard thing to describe, so let me be as scientific as possible. Somewhere in the bones of the earth, coiling and uncoiling like the kraken, there lurks a malevolent power. And the whole purpose of this malevolent power, the entire aim of its wrathful soul, is to screw with Oklahoma State. This power has no name, so for the purposes of this article, I’m going to call it “Squinky.”

While Patrick pretended not to understand the article, that is because he is a Sooner fan. No one likes being the villain in any story, particularly someone who also roots for the Cubs and hates to admit that in this rivalry he backs the Cardinals equivalent. So, everytime he points his finger at the guy wearing a red StL hat and accuses them of only rooting for that team because they always win, there are three fingers pointing back at him…while his thumb is probably aimed toward God.

For Oklahoma State fans, though, they have to admit that they relate far too much to the points Phillips makes. We have roamed the Oklahoma football landscape like Moses leading the ancient Jews through the desert. While we survive on manna–we did get to watch Barry Sanders and the team is always, at least post-NCAA sanctions, competitive–the promised land of overflowing milk and honey seems to be just past the horizon. Like Moses, we fear that we will not live to see our school reach that ultimate objective of a Mythical National Championship.

As Phillips puts it:

On the message boards, older fans routinely caution younger fans not to get ahead of themselves, to wait to see how the season shakes out, to be careful about getting too invested in how things look on paper…It’s worth it, the feeling goes, because one day — maybe not soon, maybe not in our lifetimes, but one day — OSU is going to break out of Squinky’s hold, pop OU in the mouth, and contend for a championship. And when that happens, you don’t want to be the guy who checked out two years ago simply because the constant stifled agony had become too soul-annihilating to take.

As one of those older fans–I’m 33, but I’m mature for my age–this segment might as well have been cribbed from my diary. That is, except for the part about a malevolent creature that is the cause of my strife. This is wher the article became life changing.

Red Sox fans always had “The Curse of the Bambino” as a rallying cry, and the Cubs could always blame a goat. As an OSU fan, though, all I had was dumb luck and tears to wash down my Joe’s cheese fries. Now, the source of my frustration has a name. That name is “Squinky.”

In response to this new revelation, I created a Twitter account called Death to Squinky, where I am recounting where Squinky has manifested in our lives. While jotting down notes for use there, it became evident that there were far too many accounts for them to all be coincidence. From Dez Bryant getting banned from college football for perjury–a year before the NCAA pardoned Cam Newton for the crime in which they were investigating Dez–to the 1983 Bedlam Game where the team blew a three score advantage over the last four minutes, Squinky had been the yin to “Sooner Magic’s” yang.

The good news is that the deliverer of Oklahoma State’s misfortune now has a name, and giving something a name makes it real. Becoming real means it can be battled. If something can be battled, it can be killed.

Right? Please someone tell me I’m right.


  1. I’m not even going to read that. I’m assuming there is a bunch of “we are good now guys” and “ou fans are gooners” and “squinky isn’t an annoying way to explain our pain at all.”

  2. Death has a name. Everyone battles with Death. Death is never beaten, just cheated or escaped from. Eventually, Death always wins.

    So goes Squinky

  3. The first 2 comments are why OSU fans call you guys gooners. Gooners never can read an OSU article, tweet, or Facebook posting without responding with some dumbass comment.

  4. Wow, a cheap shot taken at me. Neat! Let me clarify my stance on the article.

    1. It doesn’t matter if it was about OSU, OU or the Indiana Pacers. The article was poorly written and hard to follow. It also wasn’t funny or cute or charming, two things that I think the author was trying to achieve.

    2. The article was pointless. Every fan base in the world can whine about some curse or bummer that haunts their team. OU fans can mention bowl games, and I’m sure even Yankees, Patriots and Lakers fans could even come up with something that perpetually seems to haunts them.

    Sure, some “curses” are more well known – The Cubs, City of Cleveland, Etc. – but that’s because their misfortunes are more notorious. One team not winning the World Series for over 100 years, that’s kind of inconceivable. One college having a couple of obscure bad breaks against their in state rival in football. Who cares? Nobody. That’s why the article should be on OrangePower.com and not Grantland.com.

    p.s. – If Grantland is going to cover the topic, they should have a better writer do it.

    • I haven’t talked to an OSU fan who agrees with any of your points, therefore I think the problem is not the article but that you weren’t the target audience. And it’s only cheap if it’s untrue.

  5. There are few worse trolls on the internet than the Sooner Football commentariat.

    The Grantland article was great. It was well written, along with everything else on the site. I can understand if you don’t like the subject but don’t insult a talented writer because your such a fanboy.

    I went to an out of state big 12 school so I don’t have horse in this race, for the record.

  6. Consider this scenario, which is highly possible:
    LSU wins out
    Wisconsin wins out
    Boise wins out
    OSU wins out
    Guess who’s not going to the national championship game?

    • My guess would be Wisconsin. OSU’s strength of schedule is much more impressive than that of Wisconsin or Boise State. Also, we will be coming straight off of a huge win over OU who presumably was ranked in the top 3 prior to Bedlam. That being said, I’m not sure that it would be a good thing, LSU scares me.

      • But Wisconsin is not just beating people, they’re destroying them. + they’re in a 12 team conference with a playoff. OSU is in a 9 team cluster **** without a championship game. Unless they stumble somewhere, I think it’s going to be Wisconsin and LSU (Les’s Uneducated) at the sugar bowl. Ask the OU people who were at the national champ. game there a few years ago what sweethearts they are.

  7. C’mon man! Squinky? Really? Obviously this guy didn’t do enough research because he would have heard of the Poke Choke, right?

  8. The only people in the US that give two shits about OSU are the ones who over paid for an education there. The guy that does my lawn is an OSU grad.Post this trash on Robert Allens site.

    • …and lot of people pushing shopping carts down Shartel Avenue are OU grads. At least the that OSU grad you know has a job.

  9. We’ve already seen gooners used so now its time for OSU fans to break out the, “Most OU fans didn’t go to school there”, in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…………..

  10. OSU should concentrate on winning their first ever outright Big 12 Conference Championship before thinking about anything with the word national in it.

    I just have to yawn every time Clark comes up with these War and Peace length missives.

  11. There is an theory out there that the way Dez Bryant’s season ending perjury indictment was actually masterminded by the Dallas Cowboys in an (ultimately successful) attempt to sabotage his draft ranking and allow themselves to pick him up for a song!

    **Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t after you…..

  12. I thought the Grantland article was crap, although it accurately portrayed the mindset of many Oklahoma State fans, I’m sure. News flash: the Cowboys have trouble getting over the hump because they never have a good defense. This was as true in 1988 as it is today. It has nothing to do with some mystical curse.

    The other annoying part about this article was where the author stated (falsely) that Oklahoma State arguably has the richer sports tradition overall. OSU fans love to point out they have 50 national titles in all sports. They leave out that the vast majority (34) are in wrestling. Another 10 are in golf. They’ve won three cross coutnry titles, two of them recent, one baseball championship in the 1950s and two basektball titles in the 1940s. In reality, OSU has a great wrestling tradition and a below average sports tradition overall. They haven’t won a title in a relevant sport (football, basketball or baseball) since the 1950s. Being good at two sports that no one cares about doesn’t give you a good sports tradition.

    OU has championships in a wider variety of sports as well as dominating in the most relevant sport.

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