EDMOND — Tim Flenniken was 5 years old on that fall Saturday when he saw Notre Dame break the University of Oklahoma Sooners' 47-game winning streak, watching a black-and-white television in his family's Oklahoma City home.
He remembers his parents, devout OU fans, were sad as the TV showed dejected Sooner fans leaving the stadium Nov. 16, 1957.
When Notre Dame returns to Owen Field on Saturday, Flenniken will be filled with joy, regardless of the scoreboard.
It is a homecoming for his family.
A former Sooner fan who became a Fighting Irish fan in the late '80s, Flenniken, of Edmond, has one daughter who plays trumpet in the Notre Dame band and another daughter who plays flute in the OU band.
Notre Dame football is a bond he has shared with his five children.
Flenniken, 62, lives in what looks like a shrine to all things Notre Dame football across the street from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
A banner on the living room wall reads “God, Country, Notre Dame.”
Flenniken's daughter, Mariah, 19, a sophomore at Notre Dame, was hooked on the Fighting Irish by her dad, who does an Irish jig in his living room when the team scores.
“He was the one who inspired me,” she said.
Bailey Flenniken also was hooked by her dad's passion for the Green and Gold and grew up a Notre Dame fan.
But when her friends decided to go to OU, she followed.
Now she is a Sooner studying psychology.
“I may not be Sooner born and Sooner bred, but when I die I'll be Sooner dead!” she said during a break between classes.
Bailey Flenniken's first road trip with the Pride of Oklahoma was to Dallas to watch OU beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
“It was kind of nuts to see everyone just freak out when we we're just killing Texas,” she said.
Bailey Flenniken said she will be welcome at home regardless of Saturday's score between the football teams.
“The kids don't have to like Notre Dame to be loved by us,” said mom Cynthia Flenniken.
Family plays together
Both girls graduated from Edmond Memorial High School and were in the band there.
Two of their siblings, 16-year-old twins John and Hannah, are at Edmond Memorial High School and aspire to be in the band.
Oldest sister Shawna Flenniken played flute in the Notre Dame band before she graduated in 2002.
Tim Flenniken said his first Notre Dame football game in South Bend, Ind., was “a mystical experience.”
Mariah Flenniken shares his infatuation with Notre Dame.
“It's been amazing. When you first get to campus you don't know anybody, and with the band you get an automatic family,” she said.
She's excited to return to Oklahoma. The trip is important to Notre Dame folks because of the two schools' rich tradition on the football field, she said.
“It's going to be so exciting. I can't wait,” Mariah Flenniken said. “I say Notre Dame wins.”
There has been friendly smack talk, she said.
Her father won't be watching the OU-Notre Dame game on TV this time. He will be at the game.
Tim Flenniken won't make a prediction for the score.
“I'll definitely be as impartial as possible,” he said.
Band will rehearse in Noble
The Notre Dame band will practice on Noble High School's football field Saturday before heading to Owen Field in Norman. The rehearsal, tentatively scheduled from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., is open to the public.