In the weeks and months that followed Oklahoma State's historic 2011 football season, Raymond Pappe did not need to think much about his wardrobe choice each day.
“For a long time, I wore something OSU every time I stepped out the door,” said Pappe, a 1958 OSU graduate from Oklahoma City.
That included the black and orange polo Pappe wore for Tuesday night's Cowboy Caravan at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, which served as a final way for OSU fans in Oklahoma City to celebrate the year that was.
Fans burst into cheers when a football highlight video showed Richetti Jones' fumble recovery for a touchdown against Oklahoma. They paid tribute to the late Kurt Budke and the women's basketball team's WNIT championship. They posed with the Big 12 and Fiesta Bowl championship trophies.
But the event was highlighted by a 45-minute appearance by Mike Gundy, where he spoke about his 2012 team and answered questions about topics ranging from recruiting to plays run out of specific formations to the possibility the Cowboys will wear orange helmets this season.
“Having (Mike) Gundy lead this program to where it is now is just fabulous,” said Andrea Jarman, 30, of Oklahoma City. “I get goose bumps when I talk about the Cowboys now.
“It's amazing to watch and finally be a part of it. I'm just exhilarated every time we talk football.”
And it's meaningful to Gundy, too, a Midwest City native and former Cowboy quarterback.
“I was just thinking driving down here, for me it's really special,” Gundy said. “I'm from here. To have an opportunity to come back here and be around people that have known me for 35-40 years is something really special.
“The stories kind of never end of how proud we are to be affiliated with Oklahoma State — the university and our football program and our athletic department. Being a graduate and a former player, it makes me very proud to have some contribution to their happiness.”
Not to mention, the dynamic has changed a bit with Pappe and Jarman and many of their respective peers in OKC, more of whom tend to be Sooner fans. Jarman said she hasn't had much banter with her OU friends, because she knows all too well how if feels to be on the other side of Bedlam. Pappe said he has had some run-ins, but jokingly refused to publicly share those moments.
Pappe is ready to look ahead to 2012, already noting he has high hopes for freshman quarterback Wes Lunt and predicts a 10-2 record for the Cowboys. It was fun to be an OSU fan last year, and now hopes remain high.
“I haven't been to every game since ‘58, but in the last 10 years I guess I've been to every home game,” Pappe said. “We've lived through some droughts, but I'm very optimistic.”