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Oklahoma football: Fans go through stages of grief

After watching the Sooners fall to Kansas State, we've taken comments from and emails to provide examples of fans experiencing each stage.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 1, 2012
/articleid/3714819/1/pictures/1846427">Photo - Kansas State’s Collin Klein, left, is being bashed by some OU fans, despite beating the Sooners.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Kansas State’s Collin Klein, left, is being bashed by some OU fans, despite beating the Sooners. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

One former Sooner who received his share of blame is Nate Hybl, who twice came off the bench when Jason White tore ACLs.

In the 2001 loss at Nebraska, he tripped while wide open on a reverse pass that almost surely would've scored a touchdown; later in the game, Nebraska clinched a win when its quarterback, Eric Crouch, caught a long pass and scored on a similar play.

Every OU offensive coordinator since Mark Mangino has been scorned, but later longed for after their departure.

Josh Heupel is the last Sooner quarterback to win a national championship, but now, as the one calling plays, even he is seen as the enemy by some.

John, Tulsa: Josh Heupel may be the best technical position coach in the NCAA. But get him out of the booth.

Tom, Lawton: ... With more talent than the 2000 team (except at quarterback) this team makes far too many mistakes. I have to put that on the coaches, for the most part. It's one thing to say you want to win, it's another thing to dedicate the time and energy to actually making it happen.

Wayne: That stadium is like a graveyard unless that team just made a big play. ... I think the Sooner fan base is one of the worst I have seen.

Okie in AZ: The problem is Landry ... this team played very hard and he gave it away ... Landry said he came back to enjoy his senior year and hang out with his wife. Football is his third priority.

Protest Stage

Sometimes, losses hurt so bad that fans resort to protest.

This comes sometimes as a pledge to stop watching/attending the games until X, Y and Z happen, or, in extreme cases, even vows to never again cheer for OU.

The anger that can stem from the protest stage can sometimes be directed at those who have nothing to do with a loss; a possible example of this misdirected fury came at the 2005 Orange Bowl halftime show.

OU was being routed by USC, and singer Ashlee Simpson was soundly booed. It's impossible to know if the boos came because of her performance, or if the largely pro-OU crowd was just mad at everything that night.

John, McAlester: After we got blown out (in the 2005 Orange Bowl), I took all my old OU t-shirts and hats, put them in the burn barrel and had a protest. It was like a sacrifice to the football gods. I didn't want that crap in my house.

Terry: I had the chance to buy some OU-Texas tickets for pretty cheap but won't go because I don't want to drive all the way to Dallas to see OU get beat. I don't want to give any more of my money to that team until they act like they care.

Bob: I have been a Sooner fan since 1947. ... Landry Jones can kiss the Heisman goodbye, the team can kiss the Big 12 Championship goodbye, the team can kiss the national championship goodbye and NOW the team can kiss me goodbye! I AM DONE!

The Later — Not Sooner — Stage

For many fans, the best way to end their grief is to proclaim that OU should just throw in the towel and play for the future.

This is evident in the desire by several of the Sooner faithful to see Blake Bell inserted into the starting lineup in place of Landry Jones, because, the theory goes, the 2012 season is over anyway.

David: Season's over. Jones has not improved since he was a sophomore. Time to build for the future.

Coy: Bell has the skill OU needs NOW ... and in the process, he will become better and more proficient at the pass first, spread concept. ... Jones cannot play better. His time at OU has come and gone, and he should have left along with it. The season is being wasted.

John, Miami: We've seen what (Jones) can do, now is the time to give Blake Bell his opportunity. He may or may not do as well (or, he may even do better) as L. Jones, but it makes absolutely no sense in doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

I: Landry Jones has officially cemented his legacy as the most overrated qb in OU history. There is no reason for him to continue to play. Put Blake Bell in and start getting ready for next year.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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