The Norman Transcript


September 28, 2013

I ‘played’ the game with the Sooners in ’57



When the game started with the opening kick-off, we moved the ball down the field to where the announcer said it landed or was caught. If a runner was carrying it we moved the ball everywhere the announcer said the runner was going until he was downed. Then it was time to set the chain on the side of the field to measure the downs.

As we listened to that voice coming out of the radio, my Daddy and I moved the ball up and down the field just like it was happening in real life. We ran the ball, kept up with which team had the ball, moved the chain, and rolled over the down marker. As the game progressed, we knew exactly where the ball was, exactly how far the team had to go to make a first down, and exactly what down it was.

I never got lost about what was happening in the game because I could see it being played right in front of me. We even had a score board drawn at the end of the table where we kept track by writing the numbers with our white crayon. And to make everything fall into place, we just happened to be playing our Sooner games on a red table!

In November, 1957, it seemed that every one in Cordell, Oklahoma was looking forward to playing Notre Dame. The game was even more special because it was going to be broadcast on television! WOW! However, I knew I wasn’t going to get to watch the game on TV because we didn’t have one. I really, really wanted to go up the street to the furniture store with my Daddy to see the game on one of the few TV sets in town. But, unfortunately, it was Saturday afternoon and the café had to stay open, so it was best for my Daddy to be the one to walk the half block to the furniture store and see the game for real. (As it turned out, I think we both could have gone to the furniture store and left the café door wide open, because not a sole came in during the game.)

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