Emails are in on OU-Florida
The most interesting email week of the year is always after a Sooner bowl loss. Well, I guess a loss to Texas gives it a good run. But this week’s batch of emails are rich, rich I tell you, with readers torn between killing themselves, killing me and killing Bob Stoops, who had the audacity to lose another national title game
Jeff wrote, “Bob Stoops has played in four championship games in 10 seasons. That’s astounding. But he’s lost the last three. That’s very frustrating. To repeat a point you made — if he ever manages to win another championship, or tie Switzer and Wilkinson by winning three, then suddenly all these BCS appearances will look like badges of honor. As you said, though, who knows when we’ll be playing in another championship. Don’t you find it ironic that if you make it to the championship game (a remarkable accomplishment made by only two out of a 100+ teams), you have to win it or else it’s devastating? Sports and our society in general are so framed in terms of winners and losers. Would Stoops be more of a winner if he was winning the Cotton Bowl, or heck, the Independence Bowl, every year?”
Call it the Buffalo Bill syndrome. Would you rather be a Buffalo fan in the ’90s, or the 2000s? Anyone who says 2000 is nuts. Yes, Buffalo now has less grief. But it also less glory. Remember Garth Brooks’ song. “I’d have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”
Chris wrote, “The Ohio State comparison is humbling. OU simply does not have the game to win championships – an aerial circus gets you 60 points but does not work against SEC opponents. The fact that OU over the years has harvested nearly $100 million in BCS revenues is a remarkable accomplishment. Wonder whether someone keeps their eyes on the money.”
Oh, I think OU has the game. It just fell short. The Sooners left 10 points on the table. And lost by 10.
Wayne was “particularly impressed with Florida’s receivers. I think that they are used to catching the ball in tight, harassing coverage. Several different receivers made very difficult receptions. I feel sorry for the players. Stoops makes $31/2 million (I think). His is a business relationship..I don’t feel sorry for him.”
Well, there’s not a to feel sorry about over anybody. It was a good football game played by two teams that just spent a week on Miami beachfront hotels. There’s worse ways to live.
Danny “was just wanting to ask why OU (Kevin Wilson) never utilized Matt Clapp as an actual offensive weapon? Screen pass, handoff at goal line? He is actually a very talented athlete. Teams are rarely looking for that from OU. In fact J.D. Runnels was rarely used, which was very frustrating. I think towards the end of his career he carried the ball a few times and made several great receptions.”
Hardly anyone in football, college or pro, gives the ball to the fullback anymore. And darn few toss any passes. I don’t know why.
Robert wrote, “You were right — OU’s bowl woes continue. While I hate to admit it, the same thought was lingering in the back of my mind, but I was hoping against hope that OU’s offense could overcome it. I know a bunch of fans are going to write in and say Bob Stoops, Kevin Wilson, Brent Venables, fill-in-the-blank should be fired, but I think OU played pretty well. I honestly think the layoff hurt OU more than it hurt Florida. I know both teams had the same time off, but I think the layoff generally hurts offenses more than defenses and OU’s offense is better than Florida’s offense, thus negating some of OU’s advantage. I think both D’s played great. However, I honestly believe it was more OU’s offense being out of sync vs. Florida’s defense being great. Play this game in December and there’s no way OU doesn’t score on at least one of those failed drives in the first half. They would’ve stepped on Florida’s throat for all it was worth.”
Blaming the layoff is like blaming the guy who designed the field for 100 yards instead of 95, else Chris Brown and Jermaine Gresham would have had more touchdowns. The layoff is what it is. And I see no evidence that the layoff hurts offenses.
Larry wrote, “I am really proud of the way the Sooners played and competed all season, and especially against Florida. You are right on target in saying Florida’s pass coverage was outstanding. It has been all season and I knew going into the game that every pass would be contested, that OU wouldn’t have any long breakaway touchdowns, and that Bradford would be rushed and pressured more than he had been all season. Holding Florida to 24 points, their lowest all season, was an incredible defensive accomplishment. And that gives me high hopes for next season, as long as McCoy returns. You are absolutely right in saying that OU needed Sooner magic to win that game. With Sooner Magic they could have, would have scored two more touchdowns and won the game. But they needed Sooner magic because Florida’s players and SEC players in general are just as strong, a tad quicker, a step faster. Florida’s team is just a couple of ‘missed opportunities’ by OU better.”
You know, I don’t hear all that much Brent Venables criticism after this game. Although I’ll bet it’s coming.
James wrote “I am sure that we would all be happier if Oklahoma had won the game, but let us not go overboard in our analysis of the event. On the subject of the death of Sooner Magic, it is not enough to merely proclaim it dead but to associate a cause. If I care to speculate, one obvious culprit among many are the chicken**** billboard advertisements on the exterior of the south end zone. The players practice under that and one wonders whether this has an effect on their psychology. The fact that the chicken**** advertisements are there at all cannot create a positive influence, but at worst can instill a notion in the players that the whole thing is a sad joke. I think that what we need now is an good old-fashioned Justinian purge of advertisements from the stadium. After all, the baby must give up his bottle if he will be a man.”
You’re not the first person to complain about the ads behind the scoreboard. Wonder if there’s a correlation?
Bill, a Texas fan, chimed in: “How sweet it is! OU crashes again. Texas should have been in that game after controlling the ball for 15 minutes longer than OU on a neutral field. Get ready for another Texas victory over the Sooners next year. It will be Texas players against Texas players, as usual. But the ones wearing burnt orange will prevail. Another prediction. You might remember that I said a few weeks back that OU would never win another national championship. I firmly believe that. My new crystal ball reading is that Baylor will beat OU in the Sooners next trip to Waco. Also Tech is likely to beat the overrated ones next year in Lubbock. At least two conference losses await the loud, abusive, and supremely arrogant Sooners. Listening to talk radio now is delicious.”
Think how empty this guy’s life is. Hating the Sooners is all that fulfills him.
Enos wrote, “Tramel, you’re such a slug. Your column on our Sooners started off negative and the poorly written thing ended negative. Why couldn’t you have said how hard the Sooners fought and what a wonderful season they had. Instead you trashed our beloved football team. Move to Florida, please.”
I might think about it, except I’d be surrounded by Florida fans, and that doesn’t seem to be any better than being surrounded by a bunch of Enoses. Anyway, you’re right. The column started off negative and ended negative. Hmm. Just like the football game for the Sooners.
Lisa wrote, “I appreciate that you are just doing your job reporting the truth of the game. However, do you have to use such harsh headlines? Please remember these are student athletics, they are kids and while football is very important to most of us Oklahomans we need to remain positive and supportive of our children.”
Were the headlines harsh? “Gator Done.” “OU has become the new Buckeyes.” Doesn’t seem harsh to me. And please, let’s have no more references to 20-year-old college football players as “children.”
James wrote, “It would serve the Sooner Nation well if Stoops would just tell you all goodbye and we could revert back to the good ol’ days of John Blake. Ask Mac Brown what he would prefer – five BCS losses and five Big 12 championships or what Texas has gotten since Bob has arrived at OU. Get real and tell it like it was. They played well enough win, gave great effort and that we will fill the stadium next year rooting for the Sooners.”
If your point is that OU’s 10-year record with Stoops is better than Texas’ 11-year with Brown, my point would be, what does that have to do with Florida?
Dan wrote, “I have started to become a believer in the old adage that defense wins championships. Before the game, I looked up the stats for OU and Florida. The scoring defense for Florida was 12.4 per game, while OU’s was slightly over 24 points per game. The final score (24-14).”
I don’t know what that means, but it’s interesting.
Larry wrote, “I think you are over-reacting to last night’s game. OU could be back sooner than you think. At least OU is getting to the title game. That’s something Texas can’t say. OU will get their eighth title before Texas gets their fifth, in my humble opinion. As you know, all this criticism of OU will disappear when OU wins another BCS game, and they will.”
Of course they will, but it’s been five games and six years, and no matter how many times OU fans bring up Texas, it doesn’t change the bowl slump.
Rick wrote, “Let’s be fair. 1. Poor officiating, two blown obvious calls for pass interference. 2. Stupid play-calling. 3. Stupid penalties for doing dumb things. OU beat OU. T-Bone and Florida didn’t win the game. You’re so lucky that Oklahoma has only one newspaper.
Losers blame the refs. Idiots blame the play-calling. Idiot losers blame both.
Chris wrote, “A friend of mine asked me on a scale of 1-to-10 how disappointing OU’s loss to Florida in the BCS Championship game was. I thought I’d go a little further and rank all five BCS losses. I would be curious to get your feedback: 1. USC (because the Sooners were totally and completely humiliated in all aspects); 2. West Virginia (lack of desire to be in the game); 3. Florida (all the baggage built from the previous disappointing performances, not because of how they played in this game); 4. LSU (because of how they fell apart in the last two games); 5. Boise State (humiliating loss but a great game from a general fan’s perspective).”
I would rank them this way in terms of disappointment: 1. USC; 2. Florida; 3. LSU; 4. Boise State; 5. West Virginia. USC was embarrassing. Florida was winnable. LSU was a national-championship game, so it goes ahead of the Fiesta Bowls.
Jim wrote, “One thing I cannot understand. Where is it in journalism 101 that says you have to pile on after a painful defeat? There is not anyone more disappointed about that game last night than the coaches and the players. But do you have to rub it in? If I was Bob Stoops, I wouldn’t let any of you media into another practice and I wouldn’t show up at press conferences. I am a Baptist preacher and I would like to hit someone for the frustration I feel. Why don’t you talk about a few of the stupid calls by officials? I have yet to read from anyone about the play on the first drive of the game where the Florida defensive back nailed Manny Johnson before the ball got there? And if you say he arrived at the same time as the ball, which he didn’t, he led with his helmet, which is an automatic penalty. Both of Bradford’s interceptions were flukes. Berry, sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way, and it didn’t for the Sooners last night. Just leave it as that. Is your article intended to sell newspapers or to tell the truth or what? I am so glad I serve a God who doesn’t remind me of my failures on a moment by moment basis. The media as a whole are like vultures. What would have been your story if OU had scored those two times in the red zone and ended up winning 28-24?”
What kind of question is that? What would have been my story had OU won 28-24? Are Baptist seminaries turning out idiots these days? I’m glad I serve a God who asks me to take responsibility for my failures and doesn’t condone whining and blaming others. Is that what the Baptists teach these days? Here’s what’s funny. Read all these people who are mad at me, and find something IN PARTICULAR they didn’t like or disagreed with. It’s not there. Most fans are upset because they lost, and I’m their punching bag. Which is fine. Somebody has to be, and I’m glad to do it. But when preachers trot out the Lord trying to do their dirty work and justifying their over-the-top kookiness concerning football, I tend to punch back.
Gene wrote, “Another year of shoulda, coulda, and woulda has came and gone. And, for whatever reason, the issue of little things has seemingly been sweep under the rug by the Oklahoma football coaching staff and The Oklahoman. If Barry Switzer’s teams had led the nation in yards penalized, number of touchdowns allowed on kickoff returns, plus speed of play calling, and poor choice of plays inside and out of the red zone, The Oklahoman would have berated him worse than David Walters during his term as governor. However, for whatever reason, these actions by Big Game Bob and his staff have been downplayed, minimized, or overlooked. I, along with others, wonder why?”
I say we put you in a room with the Baptist preacher and may the best man win.
Tana wrote, “It is bad enough to have to read and hear the views of the national media the last three weeks. Florida, Florida, Florida. Then the network hires the two biggest donks to call the game. If I hear another word about Tim Tebow I will be SICK! To add insult, I have to open my own paper and both of you don’t have one nice thing to say about the coach or the team. Do you think the OU supporters want to wake up to negativity and sarcasm? Don’t you think the coaches and the players wanted to win more than any fan or sportswriter? Don’t you think the kids are bummed enough without speculating if their coach is coming back or if they are the ‘New Buckeyes?’ Let’s cut everyone a little slack . These coaches and kids have worked hard all year and worked hard practicing in Miami. An article congratulating and encouraging the team would be the least you can do.”
I did too have one nice thing to say about the team. I’m getting a little tired of this.
Kathy wrote, Hey Berry Tramel, Go talk to yourself where no one else can hear it and write an article that builds and does not tear down. I don’t like you.”
I’ll try to survive.
Ragan wrote, “I just wanted to let you know how stupid all you sportswriter —holes in the Big 12 Conference look for not bothering to vote for Tim Tebow for the Heisman. You all put your little vote down for the QB in your area and then didn’t even put Tim Tebow’s name on the ballot. 153 of you bastards left Tim Tebow’s name completely off the ballot. Did you think he did not even deserve to get voted for at all? Let me make it clear that I am a Georgia Bulldog fan and I hate the Florida Gators, but with that said the SEC continues to rip the Big 12. You all wanted to do what you could to make your conference look good. Oklahoma did well scoring 50 points up against the defenses in the Big 12, but when they had to play a real team they got their (butts) handed to them. I am sure that you know now that Tim Tebow is better than anything the Big 12 has ever had to offer.”
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