If you’re anything like me, you spent a good part of your formative years listening to Bob Barry help people pick golfers in the morning, Jim Traber scream at people in the afternoons, and Al Eschbach play Stump The Chump in the evenings. If the concept of any of this seems insane to you, then congratulations on having had a normal, well-adjusted adolescence, and carry on with your life. This post probably isn’t for you.
For those of you still here, I thought the recent launch of The Franchise would be a good excuse to take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the high- and low-points of the history of sports radio in the Oklahoma City market. Because I have this subscription to The Oklahoman sitting around, I decided to get my money’s worth and dive into their archives. This is the result.
We begin with the man they refer to as The Legend of Sports Talk radio in Oklahoma City — Al Eschbach — which kinda tells you something about the quality of sports talk radio in Oklahoma city. Eschbach began his radio career on KTOK in the 70’s and by 1984 had established himself as a force in the market:
It looks like Jenni Carlson is still doing a good job at writing bad sports columns.
Earlier this week, Jenni penned a preachy column to OU fans about former Sooner QB Landry Jones. The gist is that Landry is a better passer than Blake Bell, Trevor Knight and probably Charles Thompson’s son, and therefore, Sooner fans should be more appreciative of the guy and wish he was still on campus guiding the Sooners to impressive bowl wins over college football stalwarts like Iowa, Connecticut and Andrew Luck-less Stanford.
The column is typical Jenni Carlson fare. It takes the form of an open letter, is full of one sentence paragraphs, contains generalizations that are not supported by fact, deals with absurd hypothetical situations, is filled with asinine opinion, goes out of its way to defend Landry Jones, and as usual, totally misses the mark.
But don’t just take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.
OU football fans should be grateful Landry Jones returned for senior year
COMMENTARY — After three Oklahoma receivers (and a defensive back) were suspended last week, Landry Jones’ return as the Sooners’ signal caller became all that much more important. Without him, OU would be breaking in a new quarterback with an almost completely new receiving corps.
Oops! I selected the wrong piece! That’s a May 2012 column where Jenni reminded OU fans that we should all be grateful that Landry Jones stuck around for a fifth and final year, and in the process, hurt his NFL draft stock.
Here’s the real article about Landry:
It’s that time once again when we all run to the grocery store and buy 5 pounds of candy, only to have consumed it before it’s time to give it to the neighborhood kids. It’s a time of half-assing a costume so you can attend a party thrown by people who get way into the holiday. It’s a time to enjoy the last holiday before your seasonal depression really sets in and makes you cry uncontrollably at family functions. It’s Halloween! And, according to a Mustang resident, it’s time to make your neighbors think you’ve totally murdered someone with your garage door.
First, there was Wing Run’s atomic 30-wing challenge. Several years later, I went to Wakarusa. I for one am no stranger to experimenting with things that sounds great in theory but are catastrophic in practice–which is why I only feel a little bad for jabbing at Tulsa city councilors for working on an ordinance that would ban sex offenders from passing out candy or decorating their houses for Halloween.
Things continue to get worse for Justin Stolarik, the embattled director of the Pride of Oklahoma marching band. In a way, I guess you can say he’s become the band version of Howard Schnellenberger. If you are lucky enough to be too young to remember – or like other OU fans, drank a lot in 1995 – Schnellenberger coached the Sooners for one awful and forgettable 5-5-1 season in the mid-1990s.
The comparison makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
• Much to the chagrin of those associated with the program, Stolarik was seemingly handpicked by David Boren over other more qualified candidates. In all fairness, I don’t think OU had a plethora of quality people asking for either job. According to this article, the other people being considered for the OU gig in 1995 were Glen Mason and Watson Brown. I don’t know much about marching band hires, but it’s not like the Pride was targeting some guy from A&M or Grambling. In my opinion, they should have hired the person from Rice. Their halftime shows are always entertaining.
• Stolarik has implemented practices and traditions from his previous employer into the OU program. This has been well documented, but many of the new elements from the Pride of Oklahoma pre-game were copied directly from Wisconsin. Schnellie did the same thing when he peppered OU with minor traditions from Louisville. He added stripes to the sleeves of uniforms (see above), implemented a cheesy pre-game walk to the stadium and made people wish it was already basketball season.
• Stolarik has not been accepted by alumni or students. The only people who welcomed Schnellenberger to Norman were liquor store owners, tobacco pipe makers and opposing Big 8 coaches. Stolarik’s not even that popular. In fact, I kind of feel sorry for the guy. Since he’s been named band director, the tuba players have gone on strike, the Facebook group “Restore the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band” has attained nearly 7,000 likes, and a billboard calling for his ouster has received significant attention.
• Marching band members are not being provided with enough drinking water. This is the newest one. According to KOCO.com, students and alumni are claiming that Stolarik didn’t provide enough water to band members at Saturday’s OU – Texas game. If you remember correctly, Schnellenberger nearly killed a player by not allowing water breaks during practice. Here’s a report on the claims from KOCO Channel 5:
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