STILLWATER, Okla. — Building team chemistry can prove just as important as technique and skill on the playing field.
That’s why there’s been a recent trend of viral videos, such as the Texas Longhorns football team getting players hypnotized – much to the amusement to many of their teammates.
Oklahoma State recently took a similar path.
But instead of possibly making fun of teammates, players put themselves out there to showcase themselves with a talent show.
“It was a fun experience,” redshirt junior running back LD Brown said. “… Coach (Chris) Thurmond put it together, he was like, ‘Let’s do something fun.’ He let everybody choose what they wanted to do.
“It was fun because you see guys get up there and you are like, ‘I didn’t know he could do that!’”
According to Brown, the winner was a bit of a shock to the team.
Israel Antwine, a sophomore defensive lineman out of Millwood who recently transferred to Stillwater from Colorado, brought down the house with an impersonation of President Barack Obama.
“We had no idea Israel could do Barack Obama, he had the whole crowd just laughing,” Brown said. “We were all like, ‘Wait, he’s quiet.’
“When you are around him, he’s quiet. But he got up there and he was talking and controlled the crowd. When he won, we weren’t mad or salty about it, he deserved it.”
While Brown gave Antwine his due, he felt that his act was just as competitive – finishing second to Antwine.
Brown grouped up with junior receiver Dillon Stoner, redshirt senior quarterback Dru Brown, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Samuela Tuihalamaka and junior defensive tackle Sione Asi to sing “My Girl” by The Temptations. And per Brown, they scored a 29 out of 30 from the judges with the only judge not giving them a perfect 10 being defensive line coach Greg Richmond – who is obviously the position coach of the show’s winner.
“We got scammed, really,” the Cowboy running back said. “… We had three judges – Coach (Rob) Glass, Coach Richmond and Coach (Kasey) Dunn – and Richmond is the one who scammed us. We got a perfect score from two of them, and Coach G-Rich gave us a nine.”
Brown said his group truly put on a show to vie for that perfect score.
“We had it choreographed – I put together all the choreography together,” Brown said. “We had the outfits and everything. … We made up the steps in like a day, and we practiced with the choreography. We had outfits on, we had shades on, it was fun.”
Though Brown was concerned about the controversy surrounding the scoring for the top contenders, he did feel at least one act was scored appropriately.
Senior cornerback A.J. Green and redshirt junior linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga teamed up to attempt a magic trick, that did not wow the audience.
“A.J. and Amen did a horrible magic show,” Brown said. “They did a card trick, they had the crowd involved and in the final act they tried to see if they could pull the card out shown at the beginning, and it was the wrong card.
“Everybody laughed at them and booed them offstage. I think they got like a six out of 30. It was more a comedy act, but they thought they were going to get it – they practiced and everything. But they didn’t do it.”
Another highlight from the talent show, according to Brown, was 29-year-old freshman punter Tom Hutton playing guitar for the crowd.
“He played the guitar, but didn’t do as well as us,” Brown said. “He did pretty good though, he’s a pretty good guitar player.”
Elmquist is sports editor for Stillwater News Press, a CNHI News Service publication.