The Norman Transcript


November 13, 2012

When Sooners were rock stars



About three hours of Sooner football, documentary style. It was awesome on the big screen but perhaps will be more convenient on the small screen, where you can break it up over a few days.

Three hours is a long time to watch anything, but probably not long enough to fully digest a journey that begins with the anti-charisma of Gomer Jones and ends with too many losses to Miami, also three national championships, about a million Big Eight championships and Switzer’s ultimate resignation after too many scandals of bad behavior, as well as the lasting impression that his players, to this day, would do anything for him and he for them.

But maybe the coolest thing about it? The thing you forget until you watch it all over again for the first time in so long?

These guys were rock stars.

They were bigger than anything you can imagine. Bigger than anything can be now, in an ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU an world that may appear to make everything so big by shining so many lights on so many stages, but has instead made everything smaller, for we can only digest so much so fast.

When Steve Owens won the Heisman Trophy, a 5-4 Sooner team still had to beat Oklahoma State. After it did, President Nixon decided he should make the Heisman winner his guest at the Texas-Arkansas game destined to decide the national champion. So Owens went to Fayetteville on Air Force One and returned home in a Chevy pickup with a couple buddies who drove over for the game.

You can’t make this stuff up.

But it’s just the start.

There’s Little Joe and the Selmon brothers and The Boz and Keith Jackson and Billy Sims (who didn’t yell “Boomer” but couldn’t help but crack himself up over and over again) and the hook and lateral that beat Nebraska and Von Schamann’s kick that beat Ohio State and Keith Stanberry’s Cotton Bowl interception that didn’t beat Texas because the refs robbed OU long before they got to Eugene, Ore.

It’s all there.

You think about it and Sooner football matters so much now. But it mattered more then. It’s all there was. Anyway, it seemed like it.

Good thing Fairbanks listened to Switzer. Good thing Santee was on the board.

Sooner Magic, indeed.

Clay HorningFollow me

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