Sports, survival and weird news stories define 2011

Oklahoman columnist Carrie Coppernoll writes that 2011 was a year of heartache, survival and weirdness.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: December 28, 2011
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Somewhere between the guy in diapers, the naked lady on a golf course and the Big XII drama, 2011 got weird. I think it's best that this year is wrapping up.

In sports, the Big XII had more drama than a fifth-grader's slumber party. Everyone blamed Texas. (She's such a diva.) Mizzou called her mom to pick her up early. Suddenly everybody wished they'd accepted an invitation to the PAC-10's sleepover. Her parents had a pool.

Oklahoma State unveiled new uniforms and a new hope of playing for the national championship. At least they have cool uniforms. Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech. I'm not sure what happened after that.

The Oklahoma City Thunder made us believe as they took us to the conference finals.

The Thunder said hello to Kendrick Perkins, who apparently says hello by making the world's meanest sneer. Perkins loves pummeling Pau Gasol, getting technical fouls and long walks on the beach. I'm so glad he's here, but he doesn't replace my favorite player, James Harden, who still hasn't called me to hang out.

This year had its share of heartache.

The University of Oklahoma family lost Austin Box to a drug overdose. Carina Saunders was identified as the woman found in a duffel bag in Bethany. Investigators are chipping away at the case. My husband and I lost one of our friends, Sarah Soles, an attorney from Norman.

Tornadoes killed several Oklahomans, and our hearts broke when Ryan Hamil, 3, was found two days after the Piedmont storm. I hugged my own baby tighter and prayed for the Hamils.

But this also was a year of survival.

Oklahoma City officer Chad Peery was paralyzed after he was beaten within an inch of his life while off duty. Maj. John Waldenville of the Oklahoma County sheriff's office survived being shot in the head during a failed robbery. Both officers are recovering.

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