STILLWATER — Around this time last year, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops gave me one of those stares like I had just violated an undisclosed team rule and was about to be summarily disciplined.
It was the week of the Big 12 Championship and the Sooners were about to face No. 1-ranked Missouri in San Antonio.
Here’s a recap:
Hey, coach. It’s kind of an odd position, you guys playing the role of spoiler this week.
Stoops: "That’s not true. We’ve got a chance for the Big 12 championship. There’s nothing spoiler about that. A spoiler is some team coming in here 5-6 or 6-5 hoping to knock someone out of the Big 12 championship. Last week (against 6-5 Oklahoma State) was a spoiler role for someone. Not us. It’s not a spoiler role when you’re in line to win the conference championship. So don’t put us in that category.”
So it’s an insult to be called a spoiler?
Stoops: "To me, yeah.”
It wasn’t intended that way.
Stoops: "Well, I’m taking it that way. We’re after a Big 12 championship. You say we’re a spoiler. We’ve got nothing to do with that around here. We’re all about winning championships.”
But you could spoil Missouri’s chance at winning the national championship.
Stoops: "We’re trying to earn a Big 12 championship is what we’re trying to do. We don’t care anything about spoiling anything.”
Stoops went off for a bit longer, but you get the gist.
You’d have thought I learned my lesson, but it turns out I didn’t.
Earlier this week, I mentioned the s-word to some OSU team members.
Pleasant types they are, they smiled.