The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 25, 2013

’Tis the season for wishful thinking

(Continued)

NORMAN —

There was a memorably forgettable sophomore streak, but it didn’t cost OU games it clearly should have won the way it has lost at UCLA and Marist this season.

· To the Sooner men, a little respect. Their female counterparts are still hanging on in the top 25 despite four losses, while Lon Kruger’s charges are the first team not in the AP Top 25 despite a single loss, and that in a competitive game, to then-No. 1 Michigan State.

· To Bob Stoops’ Sooners, something else nobody saw coming, the same way nobody could have figured Trevor Knight’s return to form in time to beat Kansas State, nor Blake Bell’s return to form off the scrap heap at Bedlam. One more out-of-nowhere emergence and the Tide might just go out in New Orleans Jan. 2.

· To the Oklahoma City Thunder, more of the same beyond the regular season. Recall the last deep playoff run. The deeper the Thunder went, the more it became a Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook show.

Think of how fondly the bit players of championship teams are so often remembered. Like Michael Cooper with the Showtime Lakers, Robert Horry with the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, John Paxson and then Luc Longley with the Jordan Bulls, Danny Ainge with the Bird/McHale/Parish Celtics. 

If Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams play well enough to be remembered like those guys, they’ll play the Thunder right into an NBA championship as soon as this season.

· To the Oklahoma City Barons, more fans. You’d think a team of significantly higher quality than the Blazers ever dared to be, that went 40-25-2-9 and reached the AHL’s final four last season could inspire a little more loyalty.

· To Phil Mickelson, more majors; to Tiger Woods, acceptance that he’ll never catch Jack Nicklaus because he won’t; to A-Rod, the willingness to walk away quietly and not become the horribly regrettable person Roger Clemens became; to ESPN, less thoughtless debate like First Take and more thoughtful programming like Olberman; to Mack Brown, peace, because I think he’s done coaching, yet I can’t imagine his being remotely stationary; to Sooner soccer, whatever upgrade’s required to become the success story that Sooner volleyball and tennis and golf and rowing have become, because it’s getting a little ridiculous.

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