For OU football players, it’s a business trip

BY BERRY TRAMEL Modified: January 7, 2009 at 11:18 am •  Published: January 7, 2009
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — As usual on bowl trips to this south Florida paradise, the University of Oklahoma Sooners are staying at the Fontainebleau Hotel. South Beach and its many temptations are just a mile or so down Collins Avenue.

But the Sooners say they haven’t succumbed. They’ve got work to do.

OU plays Florida on Thursday night for the college football national championship.

"Nobody has even mentioned partying,” defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "Everybody talks about having fun after the game. It’s all business.”

Well, it’s not all business. The Sooners are spending time on the beach, in the malls and in their hotel banquet room, where pool tables, foosball and arcade games are set up.

But the Orange Bowl Committee has cut back on required team functions, at the request of the coaches.

And OU safety Nic Harris said the Sooners understand why they’re in Miami, "Not to party, but to play a great game.”

And the Gators say they are no different.

"This game is so big, we’re all in bed by 9,” Florida offensive tackle Phil Trautwein said.

The Sooners say their bowl attitude is different from years past. OU has lost two straight Fiesta Bowls and its two BCS bowls before that. Of course, they never acknowledged a lack of focus before any of those defeats.

"Different team, different year, different outcome,” Harris said.

He has a motto. WTLG. Win The Last Game.

"That’s why we’re going to go out and play, excuse my French, a hell of a game.”


Free shirts to honor Bradford
Cherokee Nation officials will give away T-shirts with the University of Oklahoma logo and quarterback Sam Bradford’s name and jersey number written in Cherokee at the BCS National Championship game in Miami, Fla. The Tahlequah-based tribe says it wants to acknowledge the accomplishments of Bradford, OU’s latest Heisman Trophy winner, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith will wear the T-shirt while attending Thursday night’s game between OU and Florida at Dolphin Stadium.

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