NORMAN — They came before the sun rose — the huddled masses of red hats and gloves. Their cheers rumbled through the South Oval as ESPN's College GameDay broadcasted hours before the kickoff of No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 8 Oklahoma.
Grown men lifted other grown men on their shoulders — just so their sign would stick a bit higher in the air than all the rest and be visible on the broadcast.
There was Ronald Reagan in an OU shirt. There was the word ‘Irish' in a grave yard. There was Sooner Magic.
Several thousand OU fans descended upon the lawn just south of the Bizzell Memorial Library on the OU campus.
THE FAMILY DIVIDED
Standing therein the middle of the crowd was Nathan Shields in a blue hat and a blue jersey, peering over the sea of red to find his son, the son that parted from the gold and blue when he was three to become a fan of the cream and crimson.
Eric Shields is 8-years old. He was raised in a Notre Dame-themed room. He was raised to love the Irish, but he went to so many OU games and was bought so much Sooners gear that, to his father's dismay, he began to shout Boomer.
Nathan took Eric to a majority of his Oklahoma games, so he's not surprised but standing behind the set of GameDay on Saturday, the father stood below a sign that said “A Family Divided” with a metal ND and OU split by a line.
Nathan's trying to repair the line with his second son, but Eric's trying to get his two-year-old little brother Cal to say “Boomer Sooner.”
‘Nuh uh,' Cal has said. ‘Go Irish.'
“Those were pretty much Cal's first words,” Nathan said.
When they recently built their new house in Stroud, Nathan wanted to put a line on the wall between his two sons' bedrooms and color their respective sides in their team colors.
“My wife said, ‘No,'” Nathan said. “So the metal logos on the sign are off their bedroom doors.”
KEEP CALM AND TOUCHDOWN LANDRY
Maggie McKee-Huey and Nick Laris started to pump their arms up and down as the sky cam zipped across a line.