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.
“People were looking over at me,” Gundy said. “I told them, ‘I experienced this first hand throughout my entire career.”
Jones said he chose Switzer because they've had a relationship for four decades that dates back to his high school career in Little Rock. That's when Jones began following Switzer's career, first as a player at Arkansas, then an assistant coach, eventually the head coach at OU.
They were on opposite sides of the sidelines during Jones' 16 years at OSU, including 11 as head coach when the Cowboys compiled a 62-60-3 record.
Over the years, the two men with Arkansas roots have developed a relationship.
“Me and (former OU assistant coach) Merv (Johnson) know Pat better than anyone here,” Switzer told the crowd.
And they're a good fit. Both have contagious personalities.
The former Bedlam coaches have been involved in projects, including television commercials.
“It was pretty easy,” Jones said. “All the producer had to say was, ‘Have fun with it,' and that wasn't too difficult for Barry and myself. Yeah, we competed hard over the years, but we've always played around a little bit with each other.”
That's why Jones felt extremely comfortable asking Switzer to be his presenter for Monday's ceremony.
“It's kind of neat,” Jones said. “This award for me is for the state of Oklahoma football not Oklahoma State football. Barry is part of that formula for me.”