2011 BCS Championship & Top Memories of Bedlam Football From an Okie Fan
Well, there are games and then there are football rivalries. There are rivalries, then there are meaningful and epic battles that change the national discussion about who should be playing LSU for the BCS game.There are national discussion-changing matches...annnnd, then there's Bedlam.
This year's "Bedlam" game between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State was a doozy with a capital D. Here are a few reflections I'll keep in my heart for a long, long time:
1. The participation in this week's "Gundyville" camp out was huge. Gundyville is a designated area on the North side of the stadium where students vie for the best spots in line at the first come, first served ticket gate. Even bigger was the line of students to get in the game. But the best part? No fights, no pushing, no shoving, and no hassles.
2. The OSU Defense played most likely their best game of the entire season. I was personally empowered just by being in the stands watching Big-D magic. A serious game-changing event happened when Jamie Blatnick scooped up a fumble and took it down to the one yard-line. The celebration in the stands lasted for several plays past that moment. (See highlights video, 1:24 time-stamp).
3. During the post-game radio show, Boone Pickens said two very cool, human and emotional things:
- After answering definitively that he felt his investment into the OSU Athletic program had "been worth it," he finished with a slightly choked up, "...and I really wish my mom and dad could see this day."
- He then talked for a few minutes, and noticed he had begun repeating his answers. To this he said, "You'll have to forgive me...I'm a little giddy about tonight's victory, plus I'm 90. Either one of those reasons could be why I'm repeating myself."
4. And speaking of those connected to the program getting choked up, Cowboy Gameday sportscaster Robert Allen, said at one point during his interviewing, "I want to finish up these interviews because I haven't had a chance to run out on the field, fall to my knees and bawl like a baby."
5. Of course, one of the uncomfortable game moments transpired when "the mob" stormed the field post-game and both goal posts were torn down in short order. News reports came through all media venues of several people being injured (some broken ankles, probably incurred when making the 9 foot jump down onto the field), plus one person with more serious injuries who was medi-flighted to a hospital and is currently "stable." According to a close friend of the seriously injured person (reported on a discussion thread within a GoPokes.Com forum), they had fallen on their head and were experiencing cranial bleeding. However, he also reported prognosis looks positive.
These injuries and the neglegence of group-mentality aside, the vision of a celebratory student body claiming Oklahoma State's first outright conference championship ever was quite a sight indeed.
6. Through all the politicking, Twitter rants, national sports coverage discussions, AP vote on collegiate football standings and finally...the BCS vote, hopes were held out that quite possibly Oklahoma State could actually make it into the national championship football game against LSU. Emotions ran amok, however, when news of the vote - split only by 9 points in a vote that included well over one thousand points, tipped toward Alabama playing in the final game.
Through the flurry of reactions (everybody always has an opinion, right?) a Twitter feed started making the re-Tweet rounds that put a smile on everyone's face. The account moderator of @Fake_TBoone (the name is what it says...a Fake T. Boone Pickens), sent this message:
"BCS has just two more minutes to justify its existence. Otherwise, I will buy it and dismantle it."
It's hard to be cranky when you're smiling at fake T. Boone Tweets.
7. Regardless of the BCS vote, it's nice to know that public sentiment was on the side of the OSU Cowboys. A public opinion poll on ESPN.Com today posed this question: "Who would you like to play against LSU for the National Championship game - OSU or Alabama?" Over 186,000 votes were placed and in 48 states, OSU won the majority of the votes. In Louisiana, the vote was split 50/50 and in Alabama (the only state where Alabama won the majority of votes), OSU still received 37%.
8. Finally, the moment that might stick with me for longer than any of the others above, happened at half-time during the game. The "Pride of Oklahoma" OU Marching Band and the "Cowboy Marching Band" played to the entire stadium in a tribute to the four who lost their lives in the plane crash only two weeks ago.
Below is video of that moment, and then below that, a photo taken from the stands. That particular tribute filled my Okie heart with pride, my Okie spirit with gratefulness and solemnity, and the assurance that Bedlam means much more than a football game. It means that those on the field and the crowd can pull together and support each other through things much more important than a game...
...they can pull together in real life on behalf of those who were lost.
Below: Notice those in the stands holding four fingers up? This was to honor the four killed in the plane crash only two weeks ago. Up on the jumbotrons, photos of the two coaches who were killed in the plane crash. Moments earlier, photos were shown of the two alums who were killed in the crash as well."
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