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.
Claremore’s Webster tabbed 5A-4 Special Teams Player of Year
Claremore senior wide receiver Caleb Webster capped off his final year of high school football with the District 5A-4 Special Teams Player of the Year award.
It took a little over 57 minutes, but Bedlam finally broke out at Boone Pickens Stadium. That was when a defensive struggle turned into an offensive shootout.
Oklahoma landed the last two blows and left with a 33-24 upset victory in one of the most memorable games in the series’ 108-game history.
LCU Lady Chaps cruise past Rogers State, 84-65
The Rogers State women’s basketball team dropped a 84-65 decision to Lubbock Christian on Saturday afternoon at the Claremore Expo.
Ex-Zebra shooter Miller provides spark for Allen CC
The success of the Allen Community College Red Devils this season has been aided by former Claremore Zebra shooting guard Alex Miller.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore guard was one of five players to score in double figures during the Red Devils’ 80-76 win over Fort Scott (Kan.) last week.
Foyil’s Pierce named District A-8 top offensive lineman
The key to the Foyil Panthers’ football success over the past four seasons inside McGregor Field has been attributed to the leadership of senior offensive lineman Daltun Pierce’s ability to win the battle in the trenches.
Earlier this month, Pierce was named the District A-8 Offensive Lineman of the Year.
McCown, Bears flawless in 45-28 win over Cowboys
Neither the brutal cold nor the league's worst defense could stop Josh McCown and the Bears.
Instead, Chicago jumped right back into the playoff race.
McCown threw for a career-high four touchdowns, and the Bears scored on their first eight possessions to grab a share of the NFC North lead with a 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on a frigid Monday night.
OU releases 2014 women's softball schedule
University of Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione and Oklahoma softball head coach Patty Gasso have announced the Sooners’ 2014 softball schedule.
OU baseball season tickets on sale
Season tickets for the University of Oklahoma baseball 2014 season are now on sale to the public through SoonerSports.com. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone at 405-325-2424 or toll-free at 800-456-GoOU.
OU baseball hires new pitching coach
University of Oklahoma head baseball coach Pete Hughes has named Jamie Pinzino as the program’s new assistant baseball and pitching coach. Pinzino, a 12-year veteran in the collegiate ranks and seven-year head coach, comes to Norman after a one-year stint as head coach at William & Mary, preceded by one year as an assistant for the Tribe.
OU baseball announces 'mini-pack' ticket packages
Baseball mini-packs are on sale now for the University of Oklahoma’s 2014 season. The “Grand Slam Package” allows fans to pick any for games for a special low price of $32. This package includes reserved seats and represents a 33% discount off the regular single-game reserved price. Order online at SoonerSports.com or call (800) 456-GoOU.
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- Claremore’s Webster tabbed 5A-4 Special Teams Player of Year