en good things happen to the Sooners, he’s excited about it. When we heard Sam’s name, we were all excited about it. It was a time of celebration.”
Owens paused, chuckled and said, "Look, this is not the first time” for Sims to lead a "Boomer-Sooner” echo.
Sims no doubt is beloved by OU fans. Everywhere he goes, they plead for his "Boomer” cry, but Saturday’s ceremony was neither the time nor place.
Owens again asked for some leniency.
"Listen, that’s Billy’s expression, and he does it from a point of respect,” Owens said. "He’s proud of Sam, and we had a great time with Sam, the four of us taking pictures together.”
Perhaps no school in the Heisman fraternity carries more pride than past winners from OU, who often attend the ceremony even when there’s not a Sooner in the running.
Had Vessels not passed seven years ago, all five OU winners would have been in attendance last weekend.
"We miss Billy Vessels so much,” Owens said. "We’re all so close. We talk weekly.”
On Sunday night, approximately 20 former Heisman winners and their families gathered at the Battery Gardens Restaurant in Manhattan.
Also on hand were Bradford and his family and friends, plus OU athletic director Joe Castiglione, coach Bob Stoops, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, quarterbacks coach and 2000 runner-up Josh Heupel, White and a well-behaved Sims. Former coach Barry Switzer was in attendance for Saturday night’s announcement and again for Monday night’s dinner.
"It was like a family reunion of Oklahoma people,” Owens said. "It was a beautiful night for us. We had a great time.
"Sam is such a great pick. He is such a quality kid with a tremendous amount of class.”
Bradford deserved some class in return.
475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.