NORMAN — As of this morning, it’s unclear just how many Norman North students will be shuttled to Friday’s Class 6A title game and in how much comfort.
Charter bus availability may be a slightly random thing, so we’ll see. Of course, many upperclassmen have cars and if they’d just (almost) drive the speed limit, I don’t mind sharing the road with them on the way to Boone Pickens Stadium.
Whatever, I have little doubt the T-Wolves will be playing in front of their third straight terrific crowd, maybe their third straight record crowd for every game but a season-opening (or playoff, because it’s happened once) Crosstown Clash.
But this column isn’t about Friday’s crowd. It’s about the crowds that will come after. And not just football crowds.
It may be hard for Norman High and Norman North students to understand, but something resembling the student presence that’s been in force the previous two weeks, playoff victories over Broken Arrow and Owasso, is actually pretty common at a place like Washington or Purcell, where time really does stop on Autumn Fridays, and occasional Thursdays, when the team’s at home.
Did you know that all these years, I still haven’t seen the NHS Gym or the North Gym full. Not once. Not even close. I’m pretty sure the Norman crowd that showed up for the 1999 boys Class 6A hoops final, at Lloyd Noble Center, when the Boylan brothers, Sam Packard and Kyle Tolin led the Tigers to the gold ball, could have filled the NHS Gym, but would they have shown up if they’d played it there?
I’ve been heartened by North soccer’s ability to draw a crowd when it goes deep into the playoffs, but it only really shows up then.