Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma football: A real Carolina snafu

by Berry Tramel Modified: July 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm •  Published: July 17, 2013

Oklahoma's Durron Neal (13) leaps during the Cotton Bowl college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU)and Texas A&M University at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. Oklahoma lost 41-13. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Durron Neal (13) leaps during the Cotton Bowl college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU)and Texas A&M University at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. Oklahoma lost 41-13. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

If your impression of Nike is that it’s run and operated by a bunch of yuppies up in Oregon, the company’s latest antic won’t change your mind. Seems that Nike has had to pull a Carolina Panthers shirt off store shelves, because of a geographical mistake. Seems that the Nike shirt had the initials “NC” inside an outline of the state. The wrong state. South Carolina.

Oops. You can read that story here.

I know geography isn’t anybody’s strong suit anymore. Nobody knows the capital of Missouri anymore or can differentiate between New Hampshire and Vermont or can readily say what time zone Oklahoma is in. I get that last question all the time from people on the coasts.

But this is getting ridiculous. Last year, a company called Aggie Outfitters made a T-shirt welcoming Texas A&M to the SEC. With an outline of the state of North Carolina. Neither A&M nor any other SEC school is located in North Carolina.

Of course, perhaps Nike fouled up not with the state, but with the NC acronym. The Panthers are big in South Carolina, too. Charlotte is a border city; many of its suburbs are in South Carolina. The Panthers’ training camp is at Wofford College, in South Carolina.

Alas, the shirt did say NC and it was an outline of South Carolina. So another loss for American geography.

At least this criticism is legit. Back during Barry Switzer’s days coaching the Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers came to Texas Stadium. After the game, the quote sheet distributed to media following press conferences had Switzer referring to the Panthers as “South Carolina.” The NFL writers had a high time with that. Ol’ Switzer was reverting back to his college days (not that OU ever played South Carolina). Ol’ Switzer had such a college mentality, he Freudian slipped into misnaming an NFL franchise.

All of which was interesting and none of which was true. I was at Switzer’s press conference, and he didn’t say South Carolina. If Switzer had said “South Carolina,” my ears would have jumped off the side of my head. He didn’t say “South Carolina.” He said “Carolina.” I guess some media aide misheard or didn’t understand Switzer’s southern Arkansas drawal.

Or maybe the media aide who typed up the quote sheet didn’t know the difference between Carolina and South Carolina. It’s not a capital crime. Not in America these days.

 


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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