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October 26, 2012

I ‘played’ the game with the Sooners in 1957

NORMAN — I have very vivid memories of the OU, Notre Dame football game on Nov. 16, 1957. If you will just read on a bit, I’ll tell you how I played that game with the Sooners.

My Daddy and I were huge Sooner football fans from way back and had been listening to radio broadcasts of the games since I was a little girl. What I learned about listening to the radio is that if you’re really going to follow the game, you have to make it come alive in your mind.

But if you don’t know much about football, visualizing the game can be a bit of a challenge. That’s where my Daddy came in. He had played football in college and knew the game quite well, so he made it possible for me to understand the game without really “seeing” it.

We lived in the back of our little cafe (Shorty’s Hamburgers, best in western Oklahoma), and on our very non-descript, rectangular kitchen table, my Daddy created a football field that made the game of football come alive for me. I want you to know just what he did.

The creation of the football “field” began with a white crayon. My Daddy took the crayon, along with a yard stick, and drew 10 straight lines across the width of our kitchen table to represent the yard markers on the football field. When that was done, the crayon was used to make hash marks to represent the end zones.

Next, he took a piece of stiff, white paper and cut it one-inch wide and 10 “yards” long to match the yard lines on the “field.” This served as our yard marker, or “chain,” to measure the downs. To keep track of which down was being played, he used a square piece of chalk (the kind used to chalk cue sticks) and numbered the sides 1 through 4. To use it, we just rolled the chalk over to match the down. If it was second down, the 2 would be on top.

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