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Berry Tramel: Bring back OU-Nebraska, every year

by Berry Tramel Published: November 5, 2009
/articleid/3414595/1/pictures/753957">Photo - Johnny Rodgers,  Barry  Switzer and  Tom  Osborne pose for a group photograph at the half of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Nebraska Huskers (NU) at the Gaylord Family -- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, in Norman, Okla. BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN
Johnny Rodgers, Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne pose for a group photograph at the half of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Nebraska Huskers (NU) at the Gaylord Family -- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, in Norman, Okla. BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN

Yet the bells-on-the-hills feelings remain for these ancient powers, whose eyeblack has shot their arrows into each other's hearts.

Tom Osborne, once Nebraska's coaching legend and now its athletic director, has invited OU's major award winners to join their Nebraska counterparts at a dinner Friday night in Lincoln, then be recognized at halftime Saturday night.

Last October, Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione staged a reunion of the 1971 Game of the Century, which the Sooners lost, that rarest of celebrations, honoring not victory, but competition.

Such honor and respect is in short supply in the modern athletic world, which is why OU-Nebraska clamors to return to an annual schedule.

Yes, it could create a scheduling imbalance, particularly if the Huskers ever return to their historic status as the Central Time Zone's flagship football program north of Norman.

That's a small price to pay to restore a grand tradition that never should have been halted.

Oklahoma and Nebraska played every season from 1928 until 1998. Seventy straight autumns, from Calvin Coolidge's administration to Bill Clinton's.

And an uncommon thing happened. The best parts of sport thrived. Sportsmanship. Dignity. Competition. And the best football games you've ever seen.

Let not such honor take two-year hiatuses, just to satisfy some scheduling model.

Bring back Oklahoma-Nebraska every year.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

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 Oklahoman,...
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