The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 13, 2012

When Sooners were rock stars

MOORE — History is rife with what-ifs. Most involve armies, wars and assassinations; tumult, upheaval and awful human suffering.

Maybe so much suffering could have been lessened but for this historical nugget. Maybe peace could have broken out sooner, had a particular course of action been taken or not.

Around here, there are different questions.

What if Chuck Fairbanks hadn’t given in to an assistant coach brash enough to gather the support of his fellow assistants before challenging his head coach to change his offense at midseason?

But Barry Switzer was brash enough, had the support of his fellow assistants, and Fairbanks listened, conferred with his mentor, former Michigan State coach Clarence “Biggie” Munn, and agreed to make the move. Next game, the Sooners came up short at the Cotton Bowl. But the dye for greatness had been cast.

What if Jack Santee hadn’t been on the board of regents when Fairbanks accepted the coaching offer of the New England Patriots? Switzer is convinced it was Santee’s approval that elevated him to head coach before the 1973 season.

What if Switzer had taken Marcus Dupree aside when the latter arrived on campus in 1982 and told him what he now wishes he had told him, that he was going to be harder on him than everybody else on the team, because Dupree, 18, was already better than everybody else, but Swtizer had to ride him or risk alienating those who’d already paid their dues?

These are the thoughts that spring forward upon viewing “The History of Oklahoma Football, Part III, Dynasty of Championships, 1964-1988,” a DVD that becomes available for purchase next week (right in time for Christmas shopping!) but that premiered Monday night on several screens at the Warren Theater.

The stars were out.

Switzer. Tony Casillas. Dewey Selmon. Joe Washington. Spencer Tillman. And, I’m sure, many more VIPs whose names, all these years later, are easier to recognizee than their faces.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe Castiglione lends hardwood expertise to new football playoff committee

    Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione serves on the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee and will be the committee chair for the 2015-16 season....

    August 1, 2014

  • Norman football a hotbed for quarterbacks

    While Norman High searches for a new quarterback to take the reins, Norman North is entering the preseason with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Coaches rank Sooners No. 3

    The preseason USA Today coaches’ poll was released on Thursday. Oklahoma came in at No. 3....

    August 1, 2014

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

Facebook