This Saturday, OU will finally play a real football team when Kansas State visits Gaylord Family are Assholes Memorial Stadium. Kansas State is apparently a good football team. They have a great coach, a good quarterback and have beaten three bad football teams. This has earned them a 15-ranking in the AP poll, which is determined by the same panel of drunken sportswriters who think that OU is the 6th best team in the country.
Anyway, this Top 20 match-up has regurgitated the same old boring, stale and tired discussion that OU fans sucks, don’t cheer at games and are pompous entitled assholes (only two are true). Bob Stoops served as the catalyst for the discussion when he hinted that the fans need to be loud for the K-state game during his weekly press conference.
Cue Berry Tramel column in 3…2…1:
Big game Saturday at Owen Field, and you don’t have to check the rankings or gauge ESPN mentions or take R.J. Washington’s blood pressure.
Just listen to Bob Stoops nudge OU fans to get rowdy.
Stoops hasn’t called out the Sooner crowd — he’s still smarting from four years ago — but Monday he dropped a subtle hint that it’s all hands on deck when Kansas State comes to town.
“I’m sure we’ll have a great crowd,” Stoops said. “Everybody’s anticipating the opening of the Big 12 season, so hopefully our crowd will engage and be a factor.”
Stoops doesn’t trot that out for Florida A&M or Iowa State. He saves it for games like second-ranked Texas Tech in 2008 and K-State this weekend.
Stoops this week wanted no part of a repeat exhortation. “People got pretty sore at me,” he said of his 2008 declaration. “I can’t say that I heard anything. Just seemed that way.”
Sore? Don’t you love it when Stoops talks like Beaver Cleaver. Besides, why not call out the fans again? No one in human history ever got so much mileage out of a request.
“I don’t need to comment on that,” Stoops said. “You guys are at every game. You can see whether they’re raucous or not. So you call it as you see it. You can refer to 2008 if you want.”
OK. Consider it done.
So do the OU fans get a bad rap? I’d say so. I don’t think the Sooners have the most electric atmosphere in college football, but I also don’t think it’s stale.
I’ve been to games at Tennessee and Oregon, Alabama and Nebraska, Texas A&M and Georgia, Notre Dame and Texas. Owen Field ranks somewhere in the middle of that pack. Tennessee’s probably the best I’ve experienced, and I wasn’t even there for a big game (OSU 1995, the Cowboys stunk).
The OU crowd gets juiced for big games, and who cares about little games?
First of all, let me say that I agree with Berry Trammel. OU fans do get a bad rap. Outside of the SEC, the 80,000+ fans huddled around Owen Field have the same game day energy of any other fan base. The get loud and cheer at the games that require it (Nebraska 2000, Alabama 2002, Missouri 2007, Texas Tech 2008, most Bedlam games) and set on their seat and leave early for the games that deserve it (just about any other game played in Norman since 1999). Also, they have the disadvantage of playing their biggest rival each year in Dallas.
Anyway, this whole debate about the OU fan base comes up every time the Sooners play a Top 20 team at home. It got me thinking about some of the other overused, redundant and tired storylines about OU football. You know, the ones that come up every couple of years, dominate newspaper columns, sports talk shows and message boards for a few weeks, and then fade away into oblivion until some team, press conference comment or Boomer Trammel column bring them up again.
Here’s my Top 10:
10. Players on Twitter
This is relatively new phenomenon, but the Oklahoman sports department loves to explore the topic about once per quarter. In fact, I think it’s a requirement that each new OU beat writer — they seem to hire a new one once every six months — has to write about some OU football player posting something stupid on Twitter.
9. Line Woes
Did you hear that another lineman got injured? Were you aware that some guy got homesick and moved back to Illinois? If not, then you don’t follow the OU football program. Each spring and fall, you’re pretty much guaranteed that one offense lineman will hurt his knee or back, and that another one will transfer to some other school. I don’t know if it’s like that for other programs, but for OU it seems to be a time-honored tradition.
Each week, Gravy Train breaks down the previous weekend’s OU and OSU football games with a weekly power poll. He also posts pictures of coeds. Here we go.
10) Landry is maddeningly inconsistent
Saturday night, Jones went 19 for 27 for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns. Good game on paper. Of course, he also threw two horrible, horrible passes. One was picked off, the other should have been a pick six. Against a defense no one is confusing with the 1985 Bears. And then he throws a couple of gems, most notably his touchdown pass to Stills. How he is this inconsistent as a senior baffles me. I fully expect a repeat performance regardless of Oklahoma’s opponent. A least part of the problem is his insistence on locking on to the slot receiver. His interception was thrown into double coverage, and Stills had no prayer of catching the ball. He’s not a bad quarterback, or the reason OU won’t win the national title. But he won’t last at the next level with that type of inconsistency.
9) Maybe Landry Jones is homophobic
The over/under on the number of plays OU runs from under center for the year must be single digits. How can Heupel not put Landry’s ass under center for at least one play? You have two legitimate fullbacks. Two legitimate north and south running backs. Yet he insists on running this horseshit Nevada/Texas Tech offense tailor-made for Roy Finch. Such an offense has won nothing of significance. This program will do the same until the offensive philosophy is changed from the candy ass pistol spread to something less gimmicky.
Does this sound familiar? It should, and I will continue to belabor the point until something changes.
In what can only be construed as an effort to become popular and relevant like us, the Oklahoma Gazette took a break from whatever it is they usually cover and published a front cover feature on Regular Jim Traber. Next week, they are going to profile Ashlynn Brooke, rank the 21 hottest women in the news media, and announce the start of their first ever State Fair Photo Contest.
The article, which was written by former Oklahoman Sportswriter Andrew, is pretty awesome if you’re related to Jim Traber. If you’re like the rest of us, it’s a little one-sided. It’s almost too kind, too nice, and fails to point out how irritable, hypocritical and washed up the king of loudmouths has become over the past 10 years or so.
In fact, the only person Gilman quoted in the article who has never worked (or had sex) with Jim Traber is me, and somehow, Gilman was able to even twist my words into a quazi-compliment:
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:
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