Writing columns about Bedlam have gotten me in hot water in the past.

Death threats, offers to fight in the parking lot, 24-hour security at my house, and talks of getting a gun have been commonplace over the last 20 years.

I also got a nice plate of crow to eat.

For those that don’t know, Bedlam is when the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University play each other in any sport.

It all started in 2002 when Oklahoma State beat a really bad Nebraska team, 24-21, and Cowboys fans tore down the goalposts. After the win, then-head coach Les Miles started talking about a bowl game. OSU was 3-4 at the time, and I thought it would helpful to write a column about how they probably would not make a bowl game. I was a new sports writer, and I don’t think I put it quite as nice as I just did, but you get the point.

I was the sports writer at a local newspaper and it was an afternoon paper. The newspapers hit the stands at around 11 a.m. By 11:15 a.m. I received my first invitation to fight outside in the parking lot. Yes, a very upset 80-year old gentleman wanted to “go a few rounds.” I respectfully declined.

The first death threat rolled in about noon and it started to become a thing. By the end of the day, my column was posted on numerous message boards (those were a thing back then) and my address was posted on a popular OSU website.

I was also informed by my editor that the OSU athletic department was not happy about the column.

I applied for Bedlam sideline passes and was approved, like always.

The OU Sooners were 10-1 and looking to play for a national title, and the OSU Cowboys were 6-5.

I sauntered up to the will-call ticket booth in Stillwater and asked for my sideline passes. When I said my name, the person behind the glass stared at me, and without even looking said, “I don’t see any passes here for you.” After a lengthy conversation and a few phone calls, I received a temporary pass, which was basically just a “Hello, my name is…” sticker, and I was questioned about its authenticity by every usher in the stadium. And I missed kick off.

Well played, OSU. Well played.

Then, I got to watch, from the sidelines, OSU hammer OU, winning 38-28. The game wasn’t really that close. Not only that, OSU made a bowl game and beat Southern Miss, 33-23.

It proved to me that OSU fans are just as loyal as OU fans, and they will defend their team until the end. I learned a valuable lesson that season.

Well played, OSU. Well played.

​Kirk McCracken 918-581-8315

kirk.mccracken@sandspringsleader.com