OU-Florida State and the real reason Bob Stoops doesn't like playing his brother

Bob Stoops gets squeamish at the thought of playing Florida State and his little brother, Mark Stoops, the Seminoles' defensive coordinator. And last year's 47-17 rout of FSU only made matters worse.
by Berry Tramel Modified: September 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm •  Published: September 13, 2011

Still, Bobby doesn't want victories this way. Not at the expense of beating his brother. Florida State assistant coaches are off limits to the media, so Mark is unavailable for comment. But it's clear he doesn't like brotherly matchups, either.

Dee Stoops said any Stoops defeat tempers the celebration of any Stoops victory, even if they're time zones away.

“Unless we all win,” she said. “Bobby isn't quite as happy as he'd like to be unless Ronnie wins (as linebacker coach at Youngstown State) and Mike and Mark win also. They're all like that.”

Stoops has 12-year-old twin sons “that fight each other constantly every day,” he said. “But if you tried to fight 'em, you're going to get both of 'em. That's a different deal.

“Yeah, we go at it. But if someone else tries to go at it, you're going to have the other on top of you.”

Some Stoops uncles are headed to Tucson, Ariz., for the Stanford-Arizona game. They don't want any part of OU-FSU, either. Some cousins are planning to go to Tallahassee, along with some old friends from Detroit Avenue. But they're conflicted, too.

“They don't even know how to dress,” Dee Stoops said.

The wardrobe, Mom Stoops has that down. OU's colors are crimson and cream. Florida State's are garnet and gold. Arizona's colors are cardinal and navy. Youngstown State's colors are red and white. The colors of Cardinal Mooney High School, where all the Stoops boys played and where Dee Stoops' grandson now does the same, are red and gold.

So Dee Stoops just wears red to every game and on every Saturday. That way, everyone is covered.

She still loves football, the game that has been awfully good to her boys and was awfully good to her husband, Ron Stoops Sr., who died of a heart attack in 1989, ironically, while coaching a Cardinal Mooney game against Boardman High School, which included Ron Jr. on the staff.

“I love football,” she said. “I love good offense. We live and die by good defense.” Last September at Owen Field, “I was cheering, hoping that Mark's defense would do well.”

There will be no repeat of that. She's staying in Youngstown, planned even to watch the game alone, until her sister-in-law talked her into coming over.

“I'm going to brave it and go out,” Dee Stoops said. “I'll be up and down. I'll be a little nervous. We have a hard time watching.”

Ron Stoops Sr. was just as competitive as his boys. He played fast-pitch softball the summer he died, at the age of 54. But Bobby Stoops says his father wasn't quite as emotional, not quite as animated, as his boys.

Dee Stoops tells a story. On the way home from Cardinal Mooney defeats back when the boys were at home, and Dee was distraught over losing, Ron Sr. would console her with these words.

“My husband used to say, ‘Just think, some kids, some parents, are going home happy.'”

But those words can't console Bobby and Mark on Saturday night. No way they can go home happy.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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...
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