The Norman Transcript


November 11, 2012

OU honors military ahead of Veterans Day

NORMAN — It was Military Appreciation Day at Owen Field Saturday afternoon. Here’s what that meant:

n Bob Kalsu’s image was on the program and the tickets. Kalsu was an All-American at OU before being taken by Buffalo in the eighth round of the 1968 draft. He started for the Bills his rookie season, but was sent to Vietnam in 1969, fulfilling his ROTC obligation. He was killed in action July 21, 1970, becoming the only active NFL player to lose his life in the Vietnam War. A short ceremony in his honor took place on the field during break in the action. Kalsu’s wife, Jan, daughter, Jill and son, James were on the field for the ceremony.

n Military jet flyovers. Four jets flew low over the stadium about 30 seconds apart and about 40 minutes before the kick. Then, following the national anthem, they flew over the stadium in formation.

n At the half, the Pride of Oklahoma honored all four branches of the military and, as it performed for each branch, veterans of each branch were asked to stand in the stadium, where SoonerVision put many of those standing, to constant applause, on the giant video board above the south end zone.

How windy was it? Well, Baylor was going to go for it on fourth down from the OU 41, but reconsidered to let Aaron Jones kick a 58-yard field goal. Still, even before that, as Baylor was set up to run a play in the first quarter, a pair of red pompoms and a single white pompom blew on to the field. A referee picked them up and handed them to a very embarrassed Sooner pom.

Darrell Royal tribute: Oklahoma showed some class across the divide that is the Red River Rivalry, offering a pregame tribute to Darrell K. Royal, the former Sooner All-American and Longhorn coaching legend, who died Wednesday. Originally from Hollis, Royal played quarterback and defensive back at OU, leading the 1949 team to an 11-0 record. He became head coach at Texas in 1957 and won three national championships before retiring in 1976.

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