Sometimes journalists are forced to ask very specific questions for very specific answers. But Wednesday night was a little ridiculous.
When I first introduced myself to Larry Mahsetky over the phone, I decided to just come out with it:
Are you a former OSU football player from the 1990s who only recently graduated?
And he was. Crazy story, really.
Here are some leftovers from my time with Mahsetky that didn’t quite make it in Friday’s edition:
1. He’s the marketing director for a non-profit with worldwide influence. The Whitten-Newman Foundation is based in downtown Oklahoma City and is a multi-pronged organization for a number of causes — one in particular that’s tied closely with the sports world. Pros for Africa was spearheaded by four former OU football players; Adrian Peterson, Tommie Harris, Mark Clayton and Roy Williams. Its goal is to provide children of Africa with resources from professionals across all work and education fields. It partners with the Saint Monica Girls Schools, led by Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who was recently named to one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2014. You can learn more about all the causes the Whitten-Newman Foundation supports here.
2. Confirming Mahsetky as the “1990s-era student athlete” meant diving back into the Cowboy football history books. Here’s the cover of the media guide where assistant sports editor Ryan Sharp finally found him:
“A Team on the Rise!” was the optimistic theme entering the 1995 season. It was Bob Simmons’ first year as head coach after Pat Jones had retired. The Cowboys’ record the previous four seasons — 3-7-1; 3-8; 4-6-1; 0-10-1.
OSU would go on to win four games that year.
Another gem from the media guide, this “family photo.”
A fresh-faced Mike Gundy alongside his wife (sporting an awesome 90s-era haircut), and of course, Jincey, the dog. You’re welcome for the new Twitter avatar.
Here’s a pretty cool aerial shot of Lewis Field as OSU fans knew it in 1995, pieced together from the inside front and back covers of the media guide:
3. When the OSU athletic department unveiled newly designed uniforms in 2011, traditionalists cried foul for the modernization and downplay of orange.
But take a look at these uniforms from the mid-90s, courtesy of Mahsekty:
The only orange is on the sleeves and the helmet lettering. Proof that the evolution of Cowboy uniforms didn’t happen overnight.
Here are a couple of color action shots from that 1995 media guide:
Linebacker Alamu Bailey would get heavy consideration for the Big 12 First-Team All-Name roster if he played in 2014. Props to his parents.
Between the look on Vaughn’s face the crowd behind him, this picture screams concentration.