|The Top 10 Positive Things About the Oklahoma Sooners
If you ask the average person what color their blood is, they will most likely tell you it is red.
Not me. I bleed burnt orange.
I am a proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a very passionate fan of its football team. I became a Longhorn fan on December 6, 1969, when quarterback James Street lead Texas to a dramatic 15-14 comeback victory over Arkansas in what many people still refer to as the "game of the century".
All citizens of the Longhorn Nation know there are two games every year that matter more than all the other games combined. One of these is traditionally played on Thanksgiving weekend against Texas A&M. The other big rivalry game is played annually on the second Saturday of October at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The opponent is the team I consider to be the Darth Vader of college football, the Oklahoma Sooners.
In the interest of journalistic integrity, allow me to make the following disclosure - I despise the Oklahoma Sooners. There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is the fact that I have two close family members who attended Oklahoma University.
I love my Uncle Charles and Aunt Jan. They are two of my favorite people in the world. However, they are very obnoxious about Sooner football. In fact, when Oklahoma beat Texas five straight times from 2000-2004, their arrogance reached previously unimaginable levels.
Fortunately, order has been restored to the Universe, and the Longhorns have won two of the last three games. I graciously, and in a very sportsmanlike manner, point that out to them every time we talk.
Uncle Charles is the Executive Editor of the Texas Star Tribune. This week, he called me and gave me the greatest challenge of my life.
"If you are going to be a good sportswriter, you need to be able to write objectively about the teams you don't like," he said. "You need to write a positive article about the Oklahoma Sooners."
Asking me to write something positive about the Oklahoma football program is like asking Paris Hilton to lecture about the virtues of virginity. However, I have never backed down from a challenge, especially one given by a Sooner. So in honor of my uncle, and in anticipation of this Saturday's Texas - O.U. game, I am going to give it a shot.
With all due respect to David Letterman, I am going to borrow his "Top 10" format. So, without further adieu, here are the Top 10 positive things about Oklahoma Sooner football from a Longhorn's perspective;
10. Oklahoma University's school colors are officially listed as "crimson and cream". While they look exactly like red and white to me, I admire the Sooners' creativity and imagination. From now on, whenever I approach an intersection, I will stop at the crimson light. I am even considering changing my name to Paul Cream.
9. They have very acrobatic cheerleaders.
8. They seem to really excel at being on probation.
7. Legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal played for the Sooners. In honor of the three national championships Coach Royal won, Texas renamed its stadium after him. (Does anyone else find it ironic that the Longhorns play in a stadium named after a Sooner?)
6. They finally fired Barry Switzer. Of course, he ended up ruining the Dallas Cowboys' dynasty of the mid-90's, so I don't know how positive that really turned out to be.
5. They let Troy Aikman transfer to UCLA. (However, it took them two years to figure out that a future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback could not run the wishbone offense.)
4. They are like Santa Claus - they take every January off. How else can you explain losing to Boise State and West Virginia in their last two bowl games?
3. The "Sooner Schooner" is a really great mascot. For those who have never seen it, the schooner is a miniature Conestoga wagon pulled by two thoroughbred horses. I have always been amazed that no one has ever been trampled by the horses.
2. They are not Texas A&M.
1. They have more players from Texas (48) than they do from Oklahoma (27) .
Come to think of it, I bet the acrobatic cheerleaders and the horses that pull the "Sooner Schooner" are from Texas, too.