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OSU mega-booster Boone Pickens' day has arrived

With the Oklahoma State football team riding high with a 9-1 record and a legit shot at the Big 12 title game, billionaire booster Boone Pickens is in high spirits.
by Berry Tramel Modified: November 17, 2010 at 10:13 am •  Published: November 16, 2010

Boone Pickens fashions himself an underdog.

I know. Hard to accept. Oil tycoon. Corporate raider. Dallas billionaire. Not exactly a Rocky Balboa script.

But Pickens has a heart for underdog causes. Wind farms. Natural gas vehicles. Oklahoma State football.

Admit it. We all thought windmills would light up New York City before the Cowboys won the Big 12 football championship. But win Bedlam next week, a game in which the Cowboys should be favored, then beat Nebraska at JerryWorld in Arlington, a tossup, and the Cowboys will own the trophy that once seemed unattainable.

“Go back and look, I'm always the underdog,” Pickens said. “I kind of like the role when you're the underdog, when they underestimate you.”

Which is maybe why Pickens has given almost half a billion dollars and counting to OSU football. To one day see the Cowboys riding high on the gridiron.

One day is here.

These are heady times for Pickens, who while trying to push his Pickens Plan on energy through a fluid Congress spends Saturdays watching his unheralded Cowboy football team make history.

Last Saturday, Pickens watched in Austin, Texas, where OSU routed the Longhorns 33-16.

“Good feeling,” Pickens said. “How could I say it more? I've been there and I've lost, and now I've been there and I've won.”

Pickens has many Texas U. friends. His lawyer, Bobby Stillwell, is a Longhorn regent. Pickens deals daily with UT big dogs. In the same way OSU die-hards in Oklahoma City and Tulsa want to win Bedlam just to make their business lives bearable, Pickens always has wanted to beat Texas. It happened last Saturday.

“I thought Texas played good,” Pickens said. “I thought we saw Texas play a game as good as they played Nebraska. They were serious. They knew it was not an average game.

“Texas played a hard football game. They were after us.”

I actually sort of agree with Boone. The ‘Horns played pretty good, for them. And still got blistered.

Blog: Season tickets to get hot?

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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