The Norman Transcript

Headlines

October 24, 2012

Was I partly to blame for loss 55 years ago?

NORMAN — Fifty-five years ago, Notre Dame University sent a football team to Norman determined to avenge the lopsided loss they suffered in South Bend the year before and end OU’s 47-game winning streak.

While we all know how that came out, a couple of footnotes should be added.

In those times, OU fielded eight cheerleaders and one “mascot,” traditionally a Native American student elected from and by the student body. Each undergraduate class elected two students, one boy and one girl, to serve for four years.

That year, the senior female cheerleader was the basketball coach’s daughter, Donna Drake (Pendarvis). The mascot, known as “Little Red,” was Carl Ponca, a full-blood (duh) Ponca.

I was one of two bass drummers in the “Pride,” which was an unofficial cheering squad for the team. I personally was blamed by the Colorado football coach for rendering their late fourth-quarter drive signals inaudible and causing them to lose by about five points in the 47th game in our win streak.

I told Coach Wilkinson that I didn’t win the game for him, and he replied, “I know d— good and well you didn’t.”

Nevertheless, NCAA rules were later added so that bands, especially drums, couldn’t play during clock time in games.

Anyway, when Donna went to the band director, Mr. Haug, and asked him to send me to the sideline to play tom-tom for Carl’s “war dances,” the band lost some of its cheering volume and spirit.

I always thought, thereafter, that Carl, Donna and I were partly to blame for the loss: Donna for making the band quieter, me for being uncomfortable on the sideline, and Carl for adding some rain dance steps, which brought on the cloud bank that captured the sky midway through the fourth quarter during the late drive that made the score 0-7.

David Miller was a member of the Pride of Oklahoma band from 1956 to 1961.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Human Rights Artist, activist-in-residence uses art to enlighten society

    La Puerta del Mileno, the Millennium Door, attempts to beckon travelers into the city walls of Ciudad Juarez, but the steel beams are abruptly interrupted as they reach for the sky by the eye of a child who sees the underlying message: the ...

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s superintendent attracts opponents

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi....

    April 17, 2014

  • Women leaders announced

    The Norman Chamber announced the nominees for the 2014 Women’s Leadership Award, which honors female leaders who actively inspire other women to achieve their full potential.  Past recipients of this honor, formerly known as the ATHENA ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Organizers confident of safe race

    BOSTON — The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week....

    April 17, 2014

  • Ducks Unlimited night set

    Cleveland County’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual “Sportsman Night” at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Optimist Club Gym in Norman....

    April 17, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Fed says no to business help

    LEXINGTON — The federal government has turned down the state’s request for an economic injury declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration following the Jan. 31 closure of the Lexington-Purcell bridge over the Canadian River....

    April 17, 2014

  • History group to host local book signing event

    Mae Davenport Cox will sign copies of “Red Dirt, River and Rails: Early-Day Settlers to Southern Cleveland County” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center during ‘89er Day festivities....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU Staff Week to include daily activities

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Staff Week, set April 21-25, will feature many activities. The theme is “OU Staff: The Real Superheroes.” Donations of canned food for Food and Shelter may be brought to all activities except the ...

    April 17, 2014