NORMAN — Allen Patrick will forever remember Bedlam 2006.
Not because of his 163-yard performance.
Not because of his team's 27-21 victory.
The Oklahoma tailback thinks often of that Saturday last November because it was the day he became a daddy. Mya Elise Patrick came into the world while her father galloped into Bedlam lore. After his big game, Patrick learned the big news.
"On the way home after the game, I was letting everybody know,” Patrick said, his eyes twinkling. "I was just very happy.”
He was scared, too. The baby was born three months premature.
Watching his daughter fight and struggle for the next month changed Patrick forever. So did her sudden death.
"I have something more to play for,” Patrick said.
Perhaps that explains his resiliency. Patrick fumbled on the Sooners' first snap last week and carried the ball only once more. Essentially exiled from the offense, he made an impact instead on special teams with four tackles.
The Texas Tech game was another disappointment in what has been a difficult season. Patrick started the year on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but now he doesn't even lead the team in yards or touchdowns.
But with DeMarco Murray ailing, Patrick might just have a big Bedlam. The disappointments of this football season have not crushed his spirit, not after enduring the loss of his baby girl.
"It just made me look at life a little different,” he said.
One proud papa
Allen Patrick was surprised when he found out he was going to be a father.
But he was eager.
"I was ready to take on what I had to do, the responsibilities and everything,” Patrick said.
His father was never much a part of his life. Patrick's mother, Veronica Bromell, had to provide for three kids, working extra jobs and moving often. Still, she always tried to buy the newest shoes and the trendiest clothes.
She never wanted her kids to want.
Patrick wanted to be the kind of father he never had. He looked forward to girlfriend Laura Harlan's February due date.
Then in mid-November, toward the end of her second trimester, she started feeling weak. Doctors put her on bed rest, but then a couple of days before the Bedlam game, they decided to keep her in the hospital. Just to keep an eye on her. Just to be safe.
That Saturday, the baby could wait no longer.
Mya Elise was so small, so vulnerable that she needed an incubator to survive.