NORMAN — Growing up in the mid-1980s in Joplin, Mo., there was no doubt who Michael Turcotte's favorite college football team was.
“You couldn't find a Mizzou fan in Joplin then,” Turcotte said. “I got hooked on OU back then.”
Turcotte, his wife Rory and their 6-year-old daughter Gabbi spent Saturday morning at Meet the Sooners Day at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, gathering autographs from OU football players, coaches and cheerleaders.
The family now lives in Houston but flew in for the event for the fourth consecutive season.
Gabbi has been exposed to Oklahoma football since she was born. When her parents brought her home from the hospital, she was wearing an OU blanket.
“I'm exposed to it daily,” said Rory, who has been converted into a Sooners fan by her husband. “It was hard not to.”
The family had a football that the players signed, a visor signed by Bob Stoops and — Gabbi's favorite — a poster featuring the Sooners' cheerleaders that she had signed.
Her parents pushed her around in her wheelchair for the day, as Gabbi suffered a broken leg about a month ago. The blue cast clashed with the rest of the family's outfits.
“Maybe if they would've put it on up here, they would've had a crimson one to put on her,” Rory said. “But she had to get blue.”
The Turcottes caught a flight back home to Houston on Saturday night. Michael and Rory work for United Airlines, which helps them make it back to Norman for the annual event and makes it easier to catch a game or two in Norman during the season.
For the most part, the Turcottes had little trouble navigating through the lines that snaked underneath the stadium.
One security guard estimated the crowd at about half of what showed up last season.
Justin Weems of Oklahoma City spent the day going through the lines with his 5-year-old son Benjamin.
“It isn't as busy as it's been the previous years we've been out here but that's just fine with me,” Weems said. “It helped when they limited it to kids and to just one item per person.”
Benjamin, wearing his OU football shirt, had a good time not only getting autographs but spending a few moments with the players he'll watch this fall.
“Meeting the players is great for him,” Justin said. “They're always nice and always willing to take pictures with him and just talk with him a bit.
“We really appreciate them setting this up to help make that happen.”