The Norman Transcript

Columns

December 29, 2013

Santas in the South wear Ala. colors

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — While sitting on a bench waiting for my family’s post-Christmas shopping to finally end, a friendship is struck with an Auburn fan who is proudly wearing his colors and letters, deep in Alabama country. (Even the Santa in a store window is dressed in Alabama colors.)

He notes my Sooner windbreaker and Sugar Bowl stocking cap and shares some advice for the Sooners as they head to New Orleans for a Sugar Bowl showdown with Alabama this week.

“Get a good timekeeper,” he jokes, noting the final second run by Auburn to defeat its in-state rivalry. Weeks later, they’re still reliving the moment. “Hey, it was them that asked for the extra time,” he says.

———

It’ll take more than a friendly timekeeper for the Sooners to beat Alabama. The players and coaches will all have to bring their “A” game into the stadium. Alabama is still reeling from its loss to Auburn and will want to pound anyone it can on national television.

For traveling fans, it should not be nearly as ugly as the Sooners last bowl appearance in New Orleans. That was Jan. 4, 2004, and Louisiana State University fans seem to have made up about 79,000 of the 79,342 attending the game inside the Superdome. The Sooners lost 21-14.

LSU fans, not known for their collegiality, turned their hometown Bourbon Street into their personal party zone. We Sooners were not on the invite list.

The walk from the Superdome to our hotel was about as scary as anything I’ve experienced. Tossed beer bottles, curses thrown our way, offers to fight and a few shoves. I hate to think how they would have treated me if the Sooners would have won the game.

———

The Alabama fans I’ve met are passionate, but seem to be more like Notre Dame devotees than the LSU faithful. They love their own school but respect the game and the traditions associated with their opponents. Alabama fans have done their homework and can talk Sooner with the best of us.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014