They showed up in record numbers Saturday.
They came not so much to see the football game, which they knew would be a stinker. And they didn’t come primarily because their team hadn’t played at home since the middle of last November.
No, they came instead to show solidarity, to at least figuratively link arms with their fellow supporters, to make a statement, to stand in the face of all the negativity surrounding their beloved school.
But most of all, Cowboy Nation was angry, and they came to vent.
At least in the early stages of Oklahoma State’s 59-3 trouncing of Lamar, they cheered a little louder and longer.
They turned up the volume during the pre-game singing of the alma mater, particularly on the line “Ever you’ll find us, loyal and true,” with a particular emphasis on the last three words.
After last Tuesday, when the first installment of Sports Illustrated’s series on the alleged improprieties within the OSU football program, ticket sales soared, the volume of phone traffic in the school’s athletic ticket office steadily increasing.
Not unexpectedly, Sports Illustrated was the target of fans’ ire. A man and a boy wore black T-shirts bearing the sentiment “SI Sucks.” Some portable toilets scattered near the stadium were decorated with signs reading “Thayer Evans’ office,” referring to one of the co-authors of the exhaustive SI report, the final installment of which appeared on the magazine’s website Monday, a day earlier than expected.
Video statements from OSU super-booster T. Boone Pickens and university President Burns Hargis, played on the stadium’s big screens, drew cheers and applause, particularly when Hargis reiterated that the school would conduct its own investigation, and welcomed NCAA scrutiny, as well.
The game proved cathartic for Cowboy Nation, if rather sloppily played. The Cowboys didn’t play their best and still won handily. Longtime OSU supporters can remember years when even games against lesser lights like Lamar would prove nail-biters.
OSU has shown itself to be good, if not yet great, while other potential preseason rivals for conference supremacy, like TCU and Texas, have stumbled out of the gate.
It is early and there is plenty of football yet to be played, but all signs still point to the Dec. 7 Bedlam showdown deciding the Big 12 championship.
In the meantime, Cowboy Nation will move on, scraping the aftermath of the SI series off its boots as it goes (and likely canceling a number of subscriptions to the magazine along the way). There are questions about the accuracy of the reporting, and about the veracity of the magazine’s sources, but the biggest question in the minds of Cowboy Nation is, what is going on right now, not a decade ago under a different coaching regime?
If anything that was alleged to have happened in the past is happening now, then Cowboy Nation is going to demand that heads roll.
Contrary to the impression left by Sports Illustrated, OSU fans are not so desperate to win that they would condone any kind of cheating.
There is no win at all costs attitude among the members of Cowboy Nation. The first word of the aforementioned OSU alma mater is “proud,” and there is no pride in winning dishonestly.
They showed up in record numbers Saturday.
3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah
Verdigris senior guard Caitlyn Hanslovan drained two key 3-pointers during Saturday’s Class 3A Regional Finals that provided a spark and a huge win over Vian.
Hanslovan, who is accustomed to winning state championships in soccer, will look to move the No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals one step closer toward a berth in the 3A State Tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in the area finals against Tahlequah Sequoyah at Checotah High School.
Catoosa HS set to host Class 6A Girls Area; 5A Boys Area tourneys
For high school basketball enthusiasts in Rogers County, Catoosa High School is the place to be on Thursday and Friday.
Catoosa High School will host the Class 6A Girls Area and Class 5A Boys Area over the two-day period.
Class 3A Regional Champions
It’s takes two to tango and the Verdigris basketball teams are dancing their way to the Class 3A Area Finals.
With a state tournament berth on the line Friday night, both Verdigris teams return to a familiar place on the road to state in Oklahoma City.
The Class 3A No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals waltzed past Vian, 58-46 and the No. 4-ranked Cardinals decked Eufaula, 66-53 to cap off the regional championship night Saturday inside the Jack Collins Fieldhouse.
Claremore set to host 4A Area Basketball Tournament
Claremore High School will be a busy place Thursday through Saturday with several of the state’s top Class 4A basketball teams competing in the area tournament.
Forte key to OSU's postseason success
Phil Forte stands 5-foot-11, according to information provided by Oklahoma State, making him the smallest member of the Pokes' roster — and among the shortest in Big 12 Conference.
Waiting for best dunk
Markel Brown had to know Monday’s game against Kansas State would be special after knocking down a half-court shot for his only warm-up right before the National Anthem.
The moment came just minutes after the senior guard was recognized before the game in Gallagher-Iba Arena, which marked his last in an illustrious four-year career on the Stillwater campus.
MIAA MEN'S BB TOURNEY: NSU knocks off Washburn 79-75
The Northeastern State men’s basketball team ended the season for Washburn with a 79-75 victory Tuesday night in Lee Arena in the opening round of the 2014 MIAA Championship.
Adair rolls past Chelsea to win 3A Girls Basketball Regional Title
Keni Lippe scored 16 points, a quartet of teammates each had nine and the top-ranked Adair girls blazed past Chelsea, 70-23, to claim a 3A regional tournament title.
WRESTLING: Pryor pair makes state podium
It wasn’t exactly what Pryor head wrestling coach Roger White wanted, but two podium placements at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament this weekend in Oklahoma City is no small feat.
SOFTBALL: Arkansas-OU game rescheduled for April 30 in Fayetteville
Due to inclement weather and conditions, Wednesday's game between the University of Arkansas softball team and No. 13/19 Oklahoma has been rescheduled for April 30 at 3 p.m. (CT) at Bogle Park.
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- 3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah