OU Notebook: Showing respect
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
9/15/10 at 6:04 AM
Most Oklahoma fans fondly remember what happened during the Sooners' 44-3 victory at Air Force in 2001. What stands out to Bob Stoops, however, is something that happened right afterward.
"We're celebrating after the game and we're on the field jumping around," Stoops said, "and their whole team goes over to the student section and starts singing their fight song. I really appreciated (that) all our players got quiet, stopped celebrating and just stood at attention and watched them, out of respect, watched them as they sang to the student body their fight song."
Stoops wasn't the only coach to notice.
"Fisher (DeBerry, then Air Force head coach) commented to me a little while after that he really appreciated the class that we represented Oklahoma with, the class our players played with, the respect we showed their team afterwards," Stoops said. "And I'm a guy that really looked up to, and still does, Fisher DeBerry and the way he coached."
Stoops' point - the Sooners showed Air Force some respect the last time the two programs played. Hopefully Sooner fans will do the same when the Falcons come to Norman Saturday. Stoops is urging fans to respect the national anthem, especially with a service academy in town for the first time since 1965.
"Hopefully with our people being here and Air Force being here, we'll surely be loud in singing 'home of the brave' and nothing else," Stoops said.
Back to the game: In the 2001 runaway, OU held the vaunted Air Force triple-option to 137 yards on 53 runs. Was that success a product of the Sooners having superior players like Tommie Harris, Rocky Calmus and Roy Williams? Or was it more well-drilled discipline?
"You want to go back and start pulling out the numbers of the guys and who they were?" Stoops answered. "Two Butkus Award winners (Calmus and Teddy Lehman), a Thorpe Award winner (Williams)...
"But to be in position to make plays, you have to play smart, you have to be disciplined in how you play your blocks, where your eyes are, who you're reading to bring you to the play where you need to be.
"So it's definitely as much mental as it was those guys being good physical players, too."
Sooner sod: OU will remove portions of the end zone at Owen Field next Monday to commemorate both the Sooners' 800 victories and 70 consecutive home sellouts.
Portions of the turf will be marketed as Game-Used Sooner Sod. Each field remnant will be included in a display case along with a photo card featuring the stadium and OU football highlights. The cost of the display is $84.99.
Original Print Headline: OU Notebook: Show of respect