The first leg in my four-week college football road trip sponsored by La Quinta featured a lot of history.
Unfortunately for the 2012 Oklahoma Sooners and their fans, the history that was made on Saturday night was of the ignominious kind as the 6th-ranked Sooners lost 24-19 to the 15th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats.
How rare was Oklahoma’s whimper of a performance in front of the home crowd under current head coach Bob Stoops? It was just the fourth time a Stoops-coached Sooners team has lost at home.
My little bro Bryce and I picked a heck of a week to come, huh?
I have many fun photos and anecdotes to share from a fantastic weekend in Norman, and share I will. But before we get to the photo diary, a quick recap of the actual game.
Oklahoma-Kansas State Game Recap
Though it wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, any football game looks great from the seats Bryce and I watched from.
Here was our vantage point, right on the 50-yard line.
While it was a night Bryce and I won’t soon forget, I’m sure that’s all OU players, coaches, and fans wanted to do as soon as the game was over.
The 7-time national champions have a lot of great college football history to celebrate – and boy do they ever, as I learned – but Saturday’s lethargic home loss to Kansas State won’t be making its way to the Switzer Center anytime soon.
And poor Landry Jones.
The erstwhile Heisman candidate, whose own fans were loudly calling for him to benched Saturday, can probably cross “Statute outside Memorial Stadium” off of his goal list.
Kansas State really didn’t so much win on Saturday night as Jones served up the game to the Wildcats on a royal-purple-and-silver platter.
The friendly, energetic, bespectacled woman sitting next to me, who looked to be in her mid-50s and sported short Peppermint Patty-like hair, shocked me at one point by shouting, “Damnit, let’s get Landry out of there!” Remember, this guy was supposed to be a Heisman candidate.
And she was not alone.
The palpable distrust for Jones from OU fans permeated the stadium as he made inexplicable blunder after inexplicable blunder.
Curious, I asked the woman why she was down on Jones. She informed me that ever since he’d gotten married, his play had taken a distinct turn for the worse. Then she reiterated her plea for an appearance from the backup.
My two cents on Landry Jones, now having seen him play live all of one time: he has a howitzer for an arm, it’s NFL-ready; unfortunately, his decision making and accuracy are not, and he doesn’t seem to possess that “it” quality the best quarterbacks have (at least as much as said “it” quality can be assessed on one night 24 rows up from the 50-yard line).
Kansas State QB Collin Klein, on the other hand, looks downright Tebowian at times when throwing, but he’s a tough SOB and made throws when his team needed him to. He carried himself like a leader on Saturday night and found a way to lead his team to victory.
Take these observations for what they are worth, but having not attended a football game with good seats in a long time, I had forgotten how much more you can actually see, and feel, and digest being there live. (Or at least think you see, feel, and digest…)
Of course, being there live, you also have to deal with the occasional Clappy McClapperson obstructing your view with exuberant high-hand clapping. This is what I stared into on every big 3rd down:
Clapping aside, I’m glad this gentleman was sitting in front of us.
He was with his young soon, probably about 10 years old, and it was neat watching him teach his son all of the many in-game traditions that go on at OU football games, from holding up the index finger and chanting “Oooooo” before kickoffs to the famous “Boomer…Sooner” stadium chant.
And, of course, cheering on the Sooner Schooner after every OU score:
My favorite moment of the game, outside of the few truly splendid moments of on-field action like when an OU receiver literally leaped over a KSU defender, actually came before the kickoff.
Oklahoma has a terrific pregame intro on the video board, most of which I was able to capture on video:
If only the Sooners had brought the same intensity to the field on Saturday night that they brought to the intro video…
Alas, they did not, and the loss cast a pall over the stadium and campus for the remainder of the evening. Such is life in a college town where football means as much as it does in Norman.
But it didn’t get Bryce and I down. Not in the slightest.
We had a great day taking in the many sights and sounds of Norman. The game – independent of the result – was the icing on the cake.
Click to continue on and enjoy the photo diary.