Bob Stoops today: Sing the anthem right
BY JOHN E. HOOVER World Sports Writer
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
9/14/10 at 5:21 PM
On Sports Editor Mike Strain's blog: OU fans fired up about today's Air Force story
Related story: 'Sooners!' song substitution still simmers
NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wants Sooner fans to sing the words. The right words.
At the end of the “Star Spangled Banner,” some OU football fans have a tendency to shout “Sooners” instead of “brave.”
No one is sure when it started in Norman. It’s a rip-off of something Kansas City Chiefs fans began doing in the late 1990s.
Some aren’t bothered by it. Some are.
Before the national anthem, OU administration takes to the public address system and asks fans to remember, it’s “Home of the Brave.”
The shout was louder than usual last week despite a previous moment of silence to remember and reflect on 9/11. With Air Force Academy coming to Norman this week, Stoops on Tuesday seized the opportunity to speak out.
“I’m totally in agreement with our administration and most everybody,” Stoops said. “Hopefully the people that are singing ‘Home of the Brave’ can be louder and stronger than most anybody that’s signing ‘Home of the Sooners.’ I have great respect for these young men and all the academies, their service and their sacrifice. You have to respect it and appreciate ‘em.”
Asked if he would consider addressing the crowd and reminding them before kickoff — over a live microphone, not per his usual pre-recorded message on the videoboard — Stoops said he might.
“Well, whatever our administration thinks is necessary,” he said. “I have to be honest, once it comes time to play, my mind’s a little bit (focused) on the football field. So I probably wouldn’t be the best. But I’ll do whatever they want me to, and of course whatever opportunity I get this week, I’ll make sure I express my opinion.”
Other topics Stoops discussed during his weekly press conference:
On why most programs don’t enjoy playing teams like Air Force and its tricky offense:
“Well, you don’t see it all year. So you rock along all spring, year in and year out, all last year, 12, 14, 22 games, you don’t play against it. It’s rare that you play against it. And then once you do play against it, you won’t play against it again. So it’s a lot of preparation, a lot of time put into something that you’re only gonna do one time.”
On if he could have predicted the uneven nature in which OU played its first two games:
“Sure. It doesn’t take much one way or the other to be a little off or to hit it just right. Early in the season, I don’t know that that’s unusual. We don’t get preseason games. And like I’ve said, the week before, we have guys in position to make plays, we’ve made those plays many times. So I’ve got total confidence that when we’d be in position to make ‘em the next week, we’d make ‘em.”
On being able to quickly identify characteristics he likes in recruits:
“If I knew that I’d be the recruiting guru of all gurus. You don’t know how a guy is going to change, develop, mature, grow. In the end, all guys, we make a bunch of mistakes but so does everybody else. And we get lucky on some guys. Sam Bradford, how did you guys not know he was a 5-star guy or a 6-star guy? You didn’t know that. In the end guys develop differently.”
On if he watched Sam Bradford’s NFL debut on Sunday:
“Just some, not a lot. But I understand he did well. He’s got everything it takes. As I said, I’m sure he needs to be supported well, too; but he’ll keep working it I’m sure and will do well.”
Sooner fans participate in pre-game Saturday. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World