Oklahoma (Las Vegas Edition)
As you know, OU had an early bye week, giving the Sooners a few weeks to prepare for Florida State. We all know how well OU plays against top notch competition away from Norman when they have more than a week to prepare … uh … yeah, maybe not. On a personal note, the bye week allowed myself and 6 other mid-30′s success stories to venture to Las Vegas for a weekend filled full of more holes than an English muffin. So in place of an Oklahoma review, I bring you Las Vegas Review 2011.
Oklahoma defeated Tulsa by the score of 47-14 in last’s Saturday evening’s contest between two of the three in-state programs. I don’t think most prognosticators believes Tulsa would win this game, but I think many fans believed Tulsa could keep it close. They did not. Tulsa was outclassed on the field and the sideline for most of the game, and certainly the entire 1st half. Unless your name is Javon Harris, in which case you might want to learn something about “rolling coverage” before September 17th.
So the University of Oklahoma apparently commissioned a poll this spring to determine what college team Oklahomans cheer for. The results were released this morning and lit up twitter, with OU flacks highlighting the fact that about 3/4ths of Oklahomans cheer for the Sooners.
I think I can speak for all OU fans when I say, “SUCK IT OSU! WE WIN! THERE ARE MORE OF US THAN YOU! KNEEL BEFORE OUR GREAT NUMBERS! WE COMPRISE 77% OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS STATE BASED ON A STUDY OF 650 ADULTS WITH A MARGIN OF ERROR OF 3.8%!!! BOOMER!” Someone needs to put that on a sign, baby.
Continued after the jump.
Football is only … okay, I don’t know how many days away it is because I have chosen to block all the guys on my Twitter feed who have annoyingly been doing a countdown, but it is apparently only a few Saturdays away. Despite there being no games, or even practices, going on right now, the OSU/OU rivalry is in full swing.
According to NewsOK, a Sooner wide receiver took to Twitter to rail against Oklahoma State’s star player. That’s what happened, right? Look at the headline:
OU’s Kenny Stills criticizes OSU’s Justin Blackmon on Twitter
So, now the OSU fanbase is fired. Me included. Blackmon is a certifiable badass. Whoever it is that hands out the award for best wide receiver in college football (The Biletnikoff Trophy) gave it to Blackmon last season. Blackmon absolutely dominated every game he played. In twelve games, he caught 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. He scored at least once in every game. How could Stills, a secondary target at his own school have the audacity to go after the best?
The facts of the matter suggest he was not really criticizing Blackmon so much as he was praising his teammate. It started when Patrick Peterson, a star defensive back at LSU last season, lobbied his Twitter followers with this suggestion: ”Everybody follow the best WR in the College Football this year and last year @jblack_81.” For those who don’t speak Twitter, that was an effort to get people interested in what Peterson has to say and to also listen to Justin Blackmon.
Playfully, Kenny Stills responded to the post by suggesting the LSU star put the wrong name with that description. Instead, he felt Peterson should call Stills’ teammate Ryan Broyles the best receiver in college ball. He then made a couple of tweets contrasting the two players in a way he felt made Broyles out to be the better player. Such as:
“(Blackmon) is all about big bodying people and sloppy routes. (Broyles) gets open by finding space…Based off of routes, knowledge of the game and the caliber of his fellow receivers, I’d go @RyanBroyles”
So, that’s his opinion. Kenny Stills thinks that his teammate, a Biletnikoff finalist, is a better player than the trophy winner who plays for one of their rivals. I’d be more surprised if he did not feel that way. Regardless of how wrong Stills’ opinion is (and I cannot stress how strongly I disagree with him), it isn’t really controversial for him to hold that belief. He even admitted in the end:
“Apologies to @JustBlack81, Wasn’t knocking the Biletnikoff winner at all. He makes huge plays and dominates the game.”
So the question is, why did The Oklahoman seize on the “criticism” part? From the Sooner point of view, it was probably an Aggie conspiracy to make it sound like OU was afraid of the Pokes. From the OSU fans perspective, the journalists were telling it as it was. In reality, it probably relates to a lack of interesting stories considering NFL and NBA free agency are on hold from lockouts and there is no actual football going on.
Back in 2001 — right after OU won the National Championship — the Oklahoman published a commemorative book to celebrate the Sooners’ magical season. If I remember correctly, the book was hardcover and took a chronological look at the 2000 season. It included pictures of the games along with previously published Oklahoman game recaps
The book wasn’t anything too special. It was basically an easy way for the Oklahoman to make a dime on the new Renaissance of OU football hysteria that was sweeping the state, but it worked on me. I’m pretty sure I bought a copy for myself and one as a birthday present for my Grandpa. Boomer Sooner.
For some reason, I remember that Berry Tramel write a forward in the book. In his folksy, effortless prose, Berry explained the importance of OU football in our state. He wrote about how the paper prints more copies on the Sunday’s following games and how the outcome of a game can effect the psyche of the state on a Sunday morning. He also wrote that the Oklahoman’s OU football beat writer — a position that was then held by George Schroeder — may just be the most important job in the state.
Well, it looks like the OU football beat reporter is no longer the most important job in the state. Hell, it may not even be the best OU football reporting job in the state.
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