Excitement in Stillwater
May 30, 2008
I’m headed to Stillwater today to do something I’ve never done before. Cover an OSU baseball regional at Reynolds Stadium.
When the Cowboys were riding high and annually (almost) hosting a regional, I was covering OU baseball in the spring. In the ’90s, when I joined the Oklahoman, the Cowboys sort of got... Read More
Coming out of retirement
May 29, 2008
My ankles hurt. My feet hurt. My arms hurt. My back hurts. My head really hurts. Man, I love the game of basketball.
I came out of retirement Wednesday night. I hadn’t played hoops in at least five years, and maybe it was longer. Since I played real basketball, and not just some outdoor... Read More
Fairbanks back in town
May 28, 2008
A familiar face returned to Norman on Tuesday. Chuck Fairbanks. The old coach was back in town for Jack Mildren’s funeral, still looking much the same, just aged, as he did 36 years ago when he was the Oklahoma football coach.
Fairbanks turns 75 in two weeks and now splits his time between Scottsdale, Ariz.,... Read More
Readers respond on Jack Mildren
May 27, 2008
Jack Mildren’s death dominated the emails the last several days, with many very good points.
Jeff wrote, “Very good stuff on Jack Mildren. Not sure he was the greatest, but he certainly was the most important. Also, as a grade schooler or a middle aged fan, was there anybody cooler than Diamond Jack... Read More
How did the Sooners make the NCAA?
May 26, 2008
OU’s baseball team made the NCAA Tournament, and no one in crimson — literally; not one person — thought it possible. Baseball coaches are just like basketball coaches. They politic for their team’s inclusion and they list all the reasons why they should be in the 64-team field and they never publicly give... Read More
Switzer stories from the 1970-71 days
May 24, 2008
Here’s the great thing about Barry Switzer. Everytime you talk with him, you hear new stories you’ve never heard before.
Saturday morning, I called Switzer, and he said he was getting dressed to go pick up Steve Owens and go to the funeral home where Jack Mildren’s body lay. Switzer asked if he could call... Read More
Ranking the OU quarterbacks
May 24, 2008
Periodically over the years I have ranked the OU quarterbacks in history, and I don’t always have the exact same order. New QBs come along, I learn new information about older guys, someone says something that makes me change my mind. For instance, last time, I didn’t include Jimmy Harris. and I heard from... Read More
Talking to old Sooners about Mildren
May 23, 2008
Joe Wylie figured out why I had called. He’s a financial services agent in Tyler, Texas, now, and why would an Oklahoma City writer be calling after 10 p.m. on a Thursday. He had a sinking feeling what the news would be.
He was right. Jack Mildren was dead.
Thursday night was tough duty, and not just because... Read More
Lunch at the Brick
May 22, 2008
I’m covering the Big 12 baseball tournament today. I wasn’t assigned any duty Wednesday, but I stopped by at lunch. Randy Bowen, who runs the Chevrolet dealership in Chandler and is sponsoring our Big 12 baseball coverage, was in the OPUBCO suite, so I tagged along with a couple of editors to meet Bowen and say... Read More
NBA draft lottery: Not great theater
May 21, 2008
Impressions of the NBA draft lottery:
1. It’s fun to see where your team is going to get slotted, but as far as riveting television, this is not. The ESPN show needs to be condensed, and it’s already intermixed with the Eastern Conference Finals pre-game show.
2. Wonder if Mike D’Antoni would like a... Read More
Hornets beaten behind the arc
May 20, 2008
Sometimes it’s hard to dissect a basketball game. If you watched the Hornets-Spurs Game 7, you would think San Antonio won on the boards. The Spurs seemed to get a ton of offensive rebounds and not allow the Hornets any. Yet at game’s end, the Spurs had 13 offensive boards, the Hornets 11.
Or maybe you would... Read More
Emails, some wise, some not
May 19, 2008
Great week of emails. NBA team name. Baseball’s lack of joy. OU football. All kinds of cool topics. Let’s start with the renaming of the Sonics.
Matt wrote, “I’m writing to ask what is wrong with being an Okie? Lately, the Oklahoman has been … polling people about the name for the (NBA) team. I believe... Read More
Forget Thunder; how OKC Sonics?
May 18, 2008
The Thunder won our name-the-team contest for the NBA franchise, but how about this name: Oklahoma City Sonics.
We have presumed that Clay Bennett wants a fresh start for his franchise, but don’t discount the team remaining with its name of 41 years when it moves to OKC, now or in 2010. It comes down to a... Read More
Big Brown 1-to-9?
May 17, 2008
The Preakness always is the most riveting Triple Crown race, because it’s the only race among the three that always matters.
The sad truth about horse racing is that the sport in the mainstream-American landscape has been reduced to these three races, which ultimately come down to a race for the elusive Triple... Read More
Webb runs streak to nine
May 16, 2008
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brandon Webb did it again Thursdsay night. He won, his ninth victory in nine starts this season, and the bid for 30 wins continues.
I know, like I wrote last week, it’s just mid-May. But you can’t win 30 without a great start, and if Webb keeps winning, it’s going to make August... Read More
May 15, 2008
If you’re wondering why Troy Aikman is not in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, the answer is clear. Aikman hasn’t cleared his schedule for an induction.
The Hall of Fame has a policy — sound, I would say — that you must be present to be inducted, unless you have the very valid excuse that you’re no... Read More
May 14, 2008
The expanded Bedlam baseball idea is a fine one. Especially Sunny Golloway’s. The OU coach wants to play two extra games against Oklahoma State next season; neither would count in the conference standings. OSU coach Frank Anderson prefers just one extra Bedlam game.
Golloway’s idea is more preferable, for... Read More
May 13, 2008
Our man Darnell Mayberry wrote an interesting story today about the possible team colors of Oklahoma City’s NBA franchise, focusing on black and gold. True gold, which would be all right.
Not my favorite color combination, but not bad. The best color combo in sports is red and black. Texas Tech style. Love that... Read More
The Kid hits the road
May 12, 2008
Kid Nichol has left the OU football program, and for those who say it was a wise decision, I counter with this. Would you rather be the starting quarterback for two years at a Cincinnati or three years at a Western Michigan, or be the starting quarterback at OU for one season?
Of course, there’s no assurances... Read More
Horses, nicknames and heartwarming stories
May 10, 2008
Another round of reader emails, and I guess I’m going soft. I’ve had a run of heartwarming columns this week — the interesting relationship between people and their horses in the wake of the Kentucky Derby tragedy, Sam Aubrey’s death and the story of Hartshorne baseball coach Justin James, whose 4-year-old... Read More