Oklahoma has had its share of sporting villains. Not just the guys who were the Bedlam rivalry. Billy Tubbs and the Boz were hated in Stillwater; Myron Roderick and Les Miles were despised in Norman.
Those are natural. But to be Public Enemy No. 1 in our great state, you've got to boil the blood on both sides of Bedlam. Here are the 10 archest villains in Oklahoma sports history:
1. Metta World Peace: Even his name now evokes rage, after the Artest formerly known as Ron gave Thunder star James Harden a concussion with a vicious elbow. World Peace? You've got to be kidding.
2. DeLoss Dodds: Few men in collegiate athletics spawn the vitriol that accompanies the father of the Longhorn Network. While lording over Texas athletics, Dodds alternately threatens, then saves, the Big 12 Conference, with OU and OSU reduced to spectators in the drama.
3. Dan Gable: It was bad enough that Gable coached Iowa into an NCAA wrestling dynasty, winning 15 titles in 21 seasons (1977-97), during which OU won zero and OSU won zero the first 12 years even though the Cowboys had won 27 before Gable's arrival. But worse yet, Gable in 1984, as the U.S. Olympic coach, testified at an arbitration hearing for his Iowa wrestler, Randy Lewis, in a dispute with OSU's Lee Roy Smith Jr. over a spot on the Olympic team. Lewis eventually got the Olympic berth; USA Wrestling asked Gable to resign.
4. Roger Maris: The Yankee slugger committed only one crime in 1961 – he dared duel Mickey Mantle in the great chase of Babe Ruth's home run record. All of Oklahoma wanted Mantle to reach 61, but it was Maris who got there instead.
5. Gordon Riese: The Pac-10 replay official missed a variety of calls on an Oregon onside kick, allowing the Ducks to rally to beat OU 34-33. Even Cowboy fans sympathized.
6. James Edward Sullivan: The secretary of the Amateur Athletic Union in 1913 stripped Jim Thorpe of his Olympic gold medals after learning that Thorpe played semi-pro baseball. The AAU went on to name its most prestigious award after Sullivan. Thorpe supporters took up the cause to have the medals reinstated, which they were in 1983.
7. Mark Cuban: When the NBA voted on the Seattle Supersonics' relocation to Oklahoma City, only two owners voted no – the Blazers' Paul Allen, who lived in Seattle – and the Mavericks' Mark Cuban. Worse yet, Cuban's Mavs beat the Thunder in the 2011 Western Conference Finals and went on to the NBA championship.
8. Les Miles: The Sooners recoiled at Miles' bravado – refusing to call OU by name – and success (2-2 in Bedlam). The Cowboys turned on Miles when he bolted for LSU after the 2004 Alamo Bowl, even though it was hard to blame him – Miles coached the Tigers to the 2007 national title.
9. Norm Stewart: Stormin' Norman coached Missouri basketball for 32 seasons and always was a willing and able antagonist for every coach from Henry Iba to Kelvin Sampson. His standoffs with Billy Tubbs were legendary.
10. The Boz: All opponents loathed the OU linebacker for his outrageous antics. But even Sooners turned on Brian Bosworth after his failed steroid test, “National Communists Against Athletes” T-shirt and book talking about teammates firing Uzis from outside the Bud House dorm.