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Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame: Barry Switzer's presentation of Pat Jones brings down the house

State football legends go back way before Bedlam rivalry.
Oklahoman Published: August 6, 2012

Anyone who has ever heard Pat Jones is familiar with his Arkansas dialect and unique use of words.

That's why Oklahoma coaching legend Barry Switzer, who Jones asked to present him Monday night at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, poked fun at the former Oklahoma State football coach.

Switzer brought in Jason Gilbow, a lifelong friend who is a linguist. Gilbow reenacted a dead-on impersonation of Jones' rambling, off-the-cuff, zigzag style that turned the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum into a pseudo comedy club.

“I thought it would be fun,” Switzer said. “Pat is unique. He's entertaining. He's colorful.”

Jones said the same thing about Switzer.

“With Barry, you always expect the unexpected,” Jones said. “That's kind of the beauty of Barry.”

After Gilbow's radio routine, Jones followed with a 40-minute acceptance speech, possibly the longest speech in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame's 26-year history.

“This is why I came tonight,” said former OSU quarterback Rusty Hilger. “There's not a player who came through that organization that doesn't love listening to Pat on the radio because it reminds us of our era. I don't know if half the stuff he says is true, but I get such a kick out listening to the lingo.”

Jones joins a group of more than 130 athletes in the Hall of Fame. Ferguson Jenkins, Jesse “Cap” Renick and Dewey Selmon were inductees Monday night. And so were golf course architect Perry Maxwell and Jim Thorpe Association founder Lynne Draper.

Jones said he considered asking OSU coach Mike Gundy to present him, but Gundy has bigger responsibilities, like running two-a-day practices this time of year. Gundy, though, drove from Stillwater to Oklahoma City after practice in time to hear Jones' lengthy, entertaining acceptance speech.

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by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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