I was originally going to start this introduction with a story about how I always looked forward to the Oklahoman’s annual college football preview when I was a kid, but how the thing is now so cheesy and over-done that I can barely even read it. This year they went with an obnoxious, in your face “Presidential Campaign” theme. I made it through a couple columns of cheesy political puns and innuendos and then had to stop. I just couldn’t do it.
Anyway, I’m not going to start our OU football preview with that nosatlgic, things from my childhood now suck, damn-I’m-old story because I think I’ve written about it in every OU football preview we’ve published on the site. And lookie, we now have our own cool OU football previews with our own “experts” and stuff.
In case you’re new to the show. Here’s how the Expert Panel gimmick works. We take several experts in a particular field, ask them the same questions, and then publish their responses. Pretty simple. We’ve only published one other “Expert Panel,” and it turned out well. If the Moles like this one, we’ll try to do more of them.
Now meet our OU football experts:
Guerin Emig, OU Beat Writer, The Tulsa World
Before covering the Sooners for The Tulsa World, Guerin worked as the OU beat writer for the Norman Transcript. Therefore, he knows his Sooner football. He was also the victim of a Twitter fake RT hoax where someone made it look like Guerin had “reported” that Byron Scott was a finalist for the Sooner basketball job. We may have been behind that. Oops.
Travis Haney, National College Football Writer, ESPN Insider
Ahhhh, Dreamboat. Before he bolted to ESPN, Travis spent six-months covering the Sooners for the Oklahoman, playing bar trivia at The Speakeasy, and drinking lunch boxes at Edna’s. He also landed an OSU homecoming queen. I could find worse ways to spend half a year in Oklahoma.
Carey Murdock, SoonerScoop.com / WWLS the Sports Animal
Carey Murdock is an Oklahoma Internet Legend. He started SoonerScoop in his parents basement and has grown it all the way to his brother’s spare bedroom. Actually, I don’t know if any of that is true. And isn’t it hypocritical for me to make fun of another man who has made a good living and career out of writing stuff online? I don’t think so. At last check, I don’t charge people to read our site, and I also don’t call 17-year-old boys on the phone to see where they are going to college. On that note, I better go call Emily, Joleen and Linda to see what they want to do on Saturday. Why would Linda be there you ask? No comment.
Mark Rodgers, WWLS the Sports Animal
To use a political analogy, if we are the executive branch and Jim Traber is the legislative branch, Mark Rodgers would definitely by the judicial branch. He’s often caught in the middle, but treats everyone fairly. Or maybe we’re Jon Stewart, Traber is Sean Hannity and Mark is Alan Colmes. You know what, I like that analogy better.
Tony Sellars, Director of Communications, Feed the Children
“Hey Patrick, why do you have some guy who works for Feed the Children participating in an ‘expert’ OU football panel?” signed Everyone. Okay, for those who were born in the 1980s, Tony Sellars is former sports anchor, sports talk host and a current OU superfan. I also think he writes for OU Insider. Anyway, we like Tony because he got in a comment war on our site with Bill Simonson. Once again, if you were born in the 1980s you probably have no clue what that means. And if you were born in the 1990s or 2000s, just go ahead and leave.
Fake James Hale, Parade Five-Star SuperPrep Midlands All-American OU Homer
You can’t have an OU football preview without an OU super homer! Kudos to Tony Hanadarko for brilliantly pulling this off.
Anyway, to the questions and answers. It’s kind of long, and I also ask some general questions about the state of the program, so grab some coffee or a beer or go to the bathroom before reading. And thanks in advance to the panelists for participating. Buy them a beer if you see them out and about.
Yes, just when you thought it was safe to start reading the Oklahoman sports page again, Jenni Carlson has returned from maternity leave. We, just like anyone else who can read and/or has an IQ above 80, were hoping that Jenni would stay at home and become a mommy blogger and share confusing and poorly written meatloaf recipes with us, but no, she returned. And boy, she returned with a vengeance.
It started with this article about her pregnancy, motherhood and how she interpreted Russell Westbrook’s request for her leave the Thunder locker room as some sort of ruse. The article was just like 99% of Jenni’s other columns that you accidentally stumble upon when reading NewsOK on a Sunday morning. It was boring, meandering and stale, and a big reason why I stopped regularly reading her mundane drivel about 10-years ago.
But Jenni didn’t stop there. In what can only be construed as an effort to remind unassuming readers (and depressed unemployed journalists) that she still has a paying job with the 51st largest newspaper in the United States, she decided to give her thoughts on the awesome picture of James Harden that’s been circulating around the internet. You know, that one where he’s shirtless on yacht, surrounded by beautiful women, and wearing a cowboy hat while drinking a bottle of booze:
On Monday, former Oklahoma State football head coach and local media darling Pat Jones was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Because the sports media in this state is soft and very protective of who goes in and out of their inner-circle, everyone gushed about how deserving Pat Jones was of this honor.
From a Boomer Tramel column in the Oklahoman:
Pat Jones ‘roughed it’ during successful tenure at OSU
The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame inductee was in the office early and stayed late. That’s just a part of what it took to make the Cowboys post three 10-win seasons under Jones.
In the splendor of OSU’s newfound football status as a national power, sometimes we forget just how good the Cowboys were in the 1980s.
Not always. Not Monday night, when Pat Jones, the coach of those OSU teams, goes into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
The Mike Gundy Cowboys the last five years: 48-17. The Jones Cowboys from 1984-88: 44-15. Gundy has the Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl victory; he also has a glittering new stadium.
“The guy had his hands tied here,” said Gundy, Jones’ quarterback from 1986-89. “It was extremely difficult. People talked a lot about (the success) of other sports. It’s not the same with football, without the tools.”
Jones doesn’t disagree. OSU was a hard job back in the ’80s. Jones arrived in 1979 with Jimmy Johnson; the Cowboys were on probation and morale was down.
“He was always at the office early, then would stay late,” Gundy said of Jones. “One thing I’ve always remembered with him, and he said this to me as a young coach and I really didn’t understand it … ‘If you go to a big city – Chicago, New York City – and in those buildings where people make a lot of money, the lights are on at 6:30 or 7 in the morning, and they don’t go off at 5.’ I always remember that.”
Sure, Jones says now, it was hard winning at a place where you might lose a valued assistant coach over salary and where your facilities were just average and your stadium was decrepit. Hard, but fun.
“It wasn’t hard coaching (Thurman) Thomas and (Barry) Sanders and (Leslie) O’Neal and (Hart Lee) Dykes,” Jones said. “But running the program, it was always hard.
Yeah, Pat Jones sure did a great job running that Oklahoma State football program. For some reason, though, one little piece of information was missing from Boomer Tramel’s article. It was Pat Jones coaching record from 1989 to 1994:
Not exactly hall of fame material, is it? But as Boomer Tramel mentioned, Jones did have success coaching Jimmy Johnson’s players — and his own recruits like Barry Sanders, the luckiest recruiting coup/secret in NCAA history — to great success. Here’s his record from that era:
When I was a kid in the 1980s, I was pretty sure Rad was the greatest movie ever made. Or at least I thought it was. I don’t remember ever watching the film, but to an 8-year old kid it had all the necessary ingredients for awesomeness. It was about BMX racing, had a ridiculously awesome poster that shined like gold in the video store, and was even called “Rad,” which may just be the most radical slang term ever made.
Anyway, last weekend I was surfing the internet for trivia night questions and topics, and figured I’d ask one about Oklahoma gymnast and Olympian Bart Conner. You know, because the Summer Olympics are on TV and everything, which means we are treated to 14-days of Bart Conner cameos, interviews and highlights on Channel 4.
While I was doing my googling, I stumbled across an amazing piece of information. Bart Conner was the bad guy in Rad. If you need proof, watch the clip after the jump. It may be the most unintentionally funny six-minutes in 1980s movie history.
Last week, Kelly Crull was unceremoniously released from her duties as the Oklahoma City Thunder sideline reporter. We’re not 100% sure why she was let go, but it probably wasn’t because the color of her eyebrows matched her skin tone, making it look like she lost them in a terrible sorority prank. That would be awful and mean.
“Kelly will not return as the sideline reporter for next season,” Dan Mahoney, vice president of communications and community relations, said in an email. “We are in the process of finding a new sideline reporter.”
Crull could not be immediately reached for comment.
I actually didn’t mind Kelly. Sure, all she had to do was lob meatball questions at the players and spout off the obvious when the camera was on her, but that was her job and she did it well. That’s something Brian Davis struggles with every day.
Anyway, regardless of the “why” she won’t be returning, the pressing question is, “who is going to replace her?” Patrick and I came up with 10 possible future sideline reporters for Berry’s Boomers:
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