The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 3, 2009

A chance to relish the memory

Blake Griffin, Ashley Paris honored

Nobody’s going to remember Blake Griffin and Ashley Paris were named the Big 12’s Sportspersons of the Year, which they happened to be Wednesday.

Perhaps, because a couple of Sooners won in tandem, some will recall, though it’s doubtful. Because in big-time college sports, for better or worse, it’s not the citizenship everybody remembers.

The Naismith award, the Heisman of college basketball, which Griffin picked up after a sophomore season for the ages, people might remember. That Courtney Paris has a twin sister, a pretty fair player in her own right, name of Ashley, people will remember.

Or that Griffin was the biggest reason OU returned to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2003 and Ashley Paris was a big reason the Sooners returned to the Final Four after seven seasons away, people will remember.

This, not really.

Just like nobody remembers last year’s winners, Kansas volleyballer Katie Martincich and Baylor basketballer Mamadou Diene.

Fine sportsmanship and community service will always be appreciated, but will never be very sexy. When you think about it, that may only increase the honor bestowed upon Griffin and Paris by the conference. And still, given a little time, it will nonetheless be forgotten.

Just not today.

Today is one more chance, brought to you by the Big 12, to remember Griffin and Paris and not simply for what they did on the court — though, for the purposes of this column, not really what they did off of it, either, despite taking part in so many community projects and charities — but for what made them unique and great stories and pleasures to deal with.

I spent a lot more time watching Griffin play than covering him. That time of the year, I draw Sherri Coale’s Sooner women as a perpetual assignment. But nobody had to cover Griffin to realize he was making history.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

  • The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline Hall of Fame class

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats....

    July 28, 2014

  • Telling The Boss, sorry

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Before he answered a question at the press conference following the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on Sunday, Joe Torre wanted to address someone he regrettably omitted from his speech....

    July 28, 2014

  • Wainwright bounces back to beat Cubs

    CHICAGO — When St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny visited the mound with two out and two on in the seventh inning on Sunday, he had no idea whether he was going to replace starter Adam Wainwright....

    July 28, 2014

  • A’s rout Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night....

    July 28, 2014

  • Clark rallies in Montreal

    MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk....

    July 28, 2014

Facebook