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John Rohde: Not the goodbye anyone expected for Sam Bradford

BY JOHN ROHDE Modified: November 29, 2009 at 7:04 am •  Published: November 29, 2009

Sam Bradford sent a parting message to Oklahoma football fans Saturday. Sadly, his message was delivered on a scoreboard screen rather than on Owen Field.

Five minutes before the opening kickoff against Oklahoma State, a taped message featuring Bradford was shown to the sellout crowd of 85,606.

Bradford shared how he fulfilled his dream of playing at OU. He thanked fans, coaches, teammates and family for their support, said it was an "honor and privilege" to play for the Sooners and closed with "Boomer Sooner."

As the screen faded to black, the largest crowd to ever witness a Bedlam game roared. A few seconds later, Bradford's mug reappeared and he suddenly became a departing cheerleader with one final plea.

"This is Bedlam ... Let's rock this house."

Bradford's teammates promptly rocked the Cowboys 27-0.

In the stands, Kent Bradford was unaware his son had videotaped a farewell message and chuckled at his soft-spoken son's sheepish attempt to get fans riled.

Slingin' Sam's throwing shoulder remains in a sling thanks to season-ending surgery performed Oct. 28.

Bradford doesn't have to wear the sling in everyday life, "They just want him wearing it when he's in a crowd," Kent explained.

This wasn't how Bradford wanted to say good-bye to Owen Field, nor was it how OU fans wanted to share one last hurrah.

When you include Bradford's redshirt freshman season, he wound up going 4-0 against the Cowboys, but actually participated only twice.

In the 2007 and 2008 Bedlam games, Bradford was a combined 41-of-59 passing for eight touchdowns, one interception and one sideline helicopter ride last year in Stillwater.

After Saturday's game, Bradford hid from interview requests, which is his way. He wouldn't dare draw attention away from the lashing his teammates had just given their rivals from up north.


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