Trip from Philadelphia no big deal for Sooner fan Hayden Knighton

Hayden Knighton picked Oklahoma as his football team after watching Sam Bradford flip along the sideline in the 2008 Bedlam game. On Friday, Knighton and his mother, made the trek from Philadelphia to Meet the Sooners.
by Berry Tramel Modified: August 6, 2010 at 10:03 pm •  Published: August 6, 2010

Hayden Knighton watched the 2008 Bedlam football game on television and saw Sam Bradford pull his whirlybird stunt that became a signature moment in Bradford's Heisman Trophy season.

Knighton became a University of Oklahoma football fan then and there. Friday, the 9-year-old Knighton got to meet his heroes. He and his mother, Carole Knighton, came to OU's Meet the Sooners Day on the south campus rugby fields.

From their home in Pottstown, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb.

The Knightons were part of a crowd of 8,500 that stood in lines for autographs. Most fans went home happy with multiple signatures. The crowd was down from the chaotic scene of a year ago, when so many fans clamored for Bradford's signature that some went home autographless.

Hayden Knighton stood in the quarterback line to get autographs Friday, holding a sign that read "I Came From Philadelphia, Pa., to Meet the Sooners."

"I watched the Bedlam game (in 2008), saw Oklahoma play (and win 61-41), and I said, 'That's my team,'" Knighton said.

Knighton sold out to the Sooners, even cheering for OU in the 2009 NCAA basketball regional against North Carolina, even though his mother is a UNC graduate and the room he shares with his brother is decked out in Tar Heel memorabilia.

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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...
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