By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
STILLWATER — The first Bedlam football game was held in 1904 at Island Park, now known as Mineral Wells Park, in Guthrie. According to reports, it was a cold, and windy day with the temperatures well below the freezing mark.
The Oklahoma Roughriders (OU) handled the frigid weather better on the way to a 75-0 victory over the Oklahoma A&M Tigers (OSU).
A mere 109 years later, Oklahoma and
Oklahoma State found themselves facing off again in less than ideal weather conditions. With temperatures hovering near single digits and a wind chill factor at minus three, it was considered by many as the coldest Bedlam in recent memory.
However, that didn’t keep a small group of Sooner fans from traveling to Stillwater for the 108th meeting between the two schools Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium, which the Sooners won 33-24 in dramatic fashion.
“It’s Bedlam and it’s in Stillwater,” Jeff Tuliage said. “It’s always sweet to win up here. To shut these people up for a year, it’s always good “
According to Oklahoma State officials, 58,520 people attended the game. The stadium holds 60,218. Sooner fans made up less a small portion of those on hand.
But they included the father and son tandem of Jeff and Riley Cummins. They drove over from Norman and didn’t give the weather a second thought when making their decision.
“It’s father son time with my dad,” Riley Cummins said. “We are always excited to watch OU play no matter where it is. Especially with the convenience of it being here in our home state. It’s not too far of a drive. So, that’s good for us as well. And it’s fun being out here in the cold. It’s a good memory. The fact that it snowed and got even colder made it even more for us.”
The Sooners entered Bedlam with two losses. With both defeats coming to Big 12 opponents, they had no chance of winning a conference title or playing for a national championship. It’s a position Oklahoma fans are not used to being in this late in the season.
Because of that, the excitement over the season has dimmed for many who chose to not fight the bitter cold and travel to Stillwater.
However, the Cummins saw it differently. With Oklahoma State having a chance to win the Big 12 and secure a BCS bowl game, it would be worse to miss the chance at an upset.
“We talked about it briefly being cold,” Jeff Cummins said. “We both decided since this is going to be one of the coldest games that’s ever been played when OU kills OSU, if we’re not here, it’s going to be bad.”
Regardless of the outcome, Cummins were emblematic of the Oklahoma fans who will go anywhere to cheer their team.
“We are making this a father son tradition to come up to Stillwater when OU and OSU play,” Jeff Cummins said. “This is our second or third time up here. This is something we hope to build on and make a wonderful tradition and a lot of memories.”
But even more than the memories, there was only one thing that could get them out to sit outside in freezing temperatures for more than three hours.
“We came up here to see OU win,” Jeff Cummins said. “It’s just going to be great to be here and be part of it. When OU wins, we will have another full year of bragging and we’ll have a lifetime of bragging being able to say we were there when OU was the underdog, and everybody counted OU out. It was 13 degrees and we’re there rooting them on.”
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