Enemies of the state: Metta World Peace joins list of Oklahoma sports villains

Oklahoma has had its share of sporting villains. Not just the guys who were the Bedlam rivalry. Billy Tubbs and the Boz were hated in Stillwater; Myron Roderick and Les Miles were despised in Norman.
Oklahoman Published: May 10, 2012
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Oklahoma has had its share of sporting villains. Not just the guys who were the Bedlam rivalry. Billy Tubbs and the Boz were hated in Stillwater; Myron Roderick and Les Miles were despised in Norman.


Those are natural. But to be Public Enemy No. 1 in our great state, you've got to boil the blood on both sides of Bedlam. Here are the 10 archest villains in Oklahoma sports history:

1. Metta World Peace: Even his name now evokes rage, after the Artest formerly known as Ron gave Thunder star James Harden a concussion with a vicious elbow. World Peace? You've got to be kidding.

2. DeLoss Dodds: Few men in collegiate athletics spawn the vitriol that accompanies the father of the Longhorn Network. While lording over Texas athletics, Dodds alternately threatens, then saves, the Big 12 Conference, with OU and OSU reduced to spectators in the drama.

3. Dan Gable: It was bad enough that Gable coached Iowa into an NCAA wrestling dynasty, winning 15 titles in 21 seasons (1977-97), during which OU won zero and OSU won zero the first 12 years even though the Cowboys had won 27 before Gable's arrival. But worse yet, Gable in 1984, as the U.S. Olympic coach, testified at an arbitration hearing for his Iowa wrestler, Randy Lewis, in a dispute with OSU's Lee Roy Smith Jr. over a spot on the Olympic team. Lewis eventually got the Olympic berth; USA Wrestling asked Gable to resign.

4. Roger Maris: The Yankee slugger committed only one crime in 1961 – he dared duel Mickey Mantle in the great chase of Babe Ruth's home run record. All of Oklahoma wanted Mantle to reach 61, but it was Maris who got there instead.

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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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