Sam Bradford called it unreal. And kept calling it unreal. I counted three times in his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech Saturday night.
Good a word as any for the Slingin' Sammy Heisman story.
Unreal that Bradford almost went to Texas Tech (where he would still be sitting behind Graham Harrell) before Bob Stoops ponied up a scholarship offer in May 2005.
Unreal that the newest Mr. Heisman needed Rhett Bomar to move on down the road to free up the Oklahoma quarterback derby.
Unreal that in Oklahoma, America's American Indian capital, the state's brightest hero is 1/16th Cherokee, which in Tahlequah and beyond will make Bradford more popular than Sequoyah.
Unreal that a kid who grew up with Josh Heupel for a hero now has been coached to the grandest trophy in sport by that same Heupel.
Maybe not as unlikely a tale as the Jason White Heisman saga, but here's where Sammy B. can trump White and every other Sooner legend.
Win the Big Bowl. Win a national championship and the Heisman in the same season, which no Sooner has ever done.
Not White. Not Billy Vessels or Steve Owens. Not Billy Sims, who in a previous life was one heck of a football player before he turned into a Heisman clown, yelling “Boomer” any time he's on the New York stage.
Truth is, the hardware double — Heisman Trophy and national title ring — is a rare coup, accomplished by only five players from any campus since 1950: Pitt's Tony Dorsett, Florida State's Charlie Ward, Florida's Danny Wuerffel, Michigan's Charles Woodson and Southern Cal's Matt Leinart.
OU plays Florida on Jan. 8 for the national championship, and if Bradford directs the Sooners to their eighth national title, his season will surpass any in Big Red lore.
Win in Miami after winning in New York, and Bradford's feats will meld the greatest achievements of White and Heupel, the Sooners' other epic quarterbacks in this remarkable Bob Stoops decade.
White won a most unexpected Heisman but lost in the nation title game. Heupel won a most unexpected national title but lost a close Heisman vote to Chris Weinke.
There is great pressure on a Heisman winner in a national title game. The biggest name on the biggest stage.
It's a little like president. Euphoria upon winning the election, then as Barack Obama soon can tell you, get to the White House and have to fix the economy. Euphoria upon winning the Heisman, then your mission is to beat Florida.
There is no doubt that the pressure just increased on Bradford. Maybe it will weigh on him; maybe it will empower him. We'll see. Certainly nothing Bradford has shown in the past makes you think he will handle such a load with anything but aplomb.
Beat Florida, and Bradford's status as a Sooner for the ages will be very, very real.
Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080. Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.