OKLAHOMA CITY —
You hear it all the time, that in times of tragedy, sports are the great distraction. It’s as regular as clockwork and couldn’t be more wrong. Sports are bigger than that.
Mosquitoes are a distraction. A leaky faucet is a distraction. Listening to Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith every morning on “First Take” is a bad idea and a distraction.
Sports are real.
Sports offer investment.
Distractions only distract.
OU’s Thursday victory over Baylor was real and the way it happened was real. Gray, the Sooner ace slated to be one of the first two picks in the draft, who Golloway expects to see in the big league’s this season, struck out 12 and allowed only three hits.
And after some lackluster outings of late, he got a big assist from Hermelyn, who called the pitches from behind the plate for a second time, a space that happens to coincide with OU’s current two-game winning streak.
Golloway deserves an assist, too, if only for his willingness to hold the reins of his team loosely. Every major league catcher may call his own game, but it’s a virtual revolution at the college level.
What’s a next, a quarterback calling his own plays?
“It’s definitely fun,” Hermelyn said. “It’s a challenge.”
It’s one he passed with flying colors, guiding “the big guy,” as everybody calls Gray, to his third complete game of the season.
OU’s performance opened some possibilities, too.
Maybe shutting out a good Baylor team gets it off the bubble. Maybe today, when Hermelyn’s sure to call Dillon Overton’s pitches against Texas Tech, it will go without saying that, yes, this Sooner season will live beyond the weekend.
But why stop there?
Why not just win the dang thing?