About Sooner football and the Star-Spangled Banner
Few things in Oklahoma get people as fired up as Sooner football and patriotism. Combine the two and "fired up” doesn't even begin to describe what happens to some people.
Here is a selection of reader responses to Berry Tramel's column "Star-Spangled shame”, which ran in The Oklahoman's Tuesday editions.
→William Velie, Norman:
I think you are turning a song into a graven image or the golden calf — the song is an adaptation of an old English drinking song. We are a great country and don't need to speak in hushed reverential tones about objects or songs. On any given Saturday, 100,000 hard working folks get out to commune and celebrate the collective spirit of Oklahoma and Sooner football. Let us have some fun. There are serious issues that we are dealing with in the world right now. Substituting the word brave for Sooners is not one of them.
→Frank Conway, Purcell:
Your article today was outstanding and just what our football fans need to hear. There are too many people who have never served in the armed forces and therefore do not understand the meaning of the national anthem and the sacrifices made by our service men. Keep writing them up and giving them Fs for their behavior. Their behavior is an insult to all patriotic Oklahomans and veterans.
→Mike McFarland, Tulsa:
This has needed to be said for a long time. The last time I went to a game, I was embarrassed when this happened. You would think that for a few seconds, people could forget about football and remember how fortunate and blessed they are to be able to come to a game. After all, isn't that the reason we salute the flag and sing the song in the first place? I can only hope the bozos will behave this weekend, but I'm not going to hold my breath. By the way, anyone who boos the Air Force Academy when they come on the field Saturday should be escorted out of the stadium! Maybe they would like to spend a little time over in Afghanistan and get an attitude adjustment.
→Matt Allen, Oklahoma City:
I'm writing to say that you lost a fan today, but not because of your opinion regarding the national anthem at OU home games. Reasonable minds can differ as to the appropriateness of that, and you have as much of a right to your opinion as I do mine. You lost me as a fan because of the acerbic, puerile and insulting manner in which you attacked half a fan base on an issue where, as I said above, reasonable minds can differ. Your conduct was unprofessional in resorting to namecalling and closed-mindedness. You have a bigger soapbox than most; I feel that you are charged to use it with prudence, and you let me down.
→Don Garrison, Duncan:
I'm 67 years old and a loyal Sooner fan and have been for a long time. I doubt that there are very few fans who attend the games that consider shouting "SOONERS” at the end of the national anthem as being disrespectful.