The Norman Transcript

Sports

August 1, 2009

Can QB rivals be pals?

Bradford, McCoy have become fast friends

The battles they’ve waged against one another have been some of the greatest epics in the Oklahoma-Texas rivalry.

OU quarterback Sam Bradford established himself as the Sooners’ offensive leader with a victory over the Longhorns in 2007. Texas’ Colt McCoy did the same when he used his quick feet and accurate arm to stun the Sooners in 2006 and again last season.

You’d think the programs they represent would lead to an Ali-Frazier cold war between the two quarterbacks. After all, they’re both once again Heisman Trophy contenders on teams with legitimate national championship aspirations.

But unlike other rivalries that have defined sports, Bradford and McCoy leave theirs for the Cotton Bowl each October.

There are no taunts, no cheap shots, no backhanded compliments of faint praise. There is a friendship between the two that has developed over the last year.

“We can both see beyond (the rivalry),” Bradford said.

To Bradford and McCoy, they have too many things in common to engage in a cold war.

They live in a unique world that few can possibly understand. Both became starting quarterbacks at two of college football’s most intensely followed programs in their redshirt freshman seasons. They’ve both become accustomed to life in the spotlight.

McCoy understands how each school’s fan base might find their friendly relationship odd.

“I think from the fans’ perspective it’s like, ‘What in the world are y’all doing. Y’all can’t be friends,’” he said. “For me and for him, we have a lot of things in common. We both weren’t recruited heavily out of high school. We went to our in-state school that we loved growing up. He played all the sports in high school, so did I. We both got to school and focused on one thing and that ended up being football.”

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