2019-10-21 sp-emigcolumn Schooner

Members of the RUF/NEKS lift the Sooner Schooner after it tipped over during a touchdown celebration against West Virginia at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman on Saturday. No serious injuries were reported. 

IAN MAULE/Tulsa World file

Woke up Saturday morning, scanned the slate of college football games on tap and thought, “Boy this could be a real drag.”

You’d think after writing about this stuff for nearly 20 years I’d know better.

To review...

This made me laugh

The best part of Oklahoma’s blowout of West Virginia on Saturday happened after the game, when Mountaineers quarterback Austin Kendall hosted a greeting line of Sooners about the size of a royal wedding.

I saw the images on Twitter and thought back to Kendall’s transfer from OU last January, and Lincoln Riley initially trying to prevent Kendall’s immediate eligibility at West Virginia before backing down under the scrutiny of negative press.

The Sooners were never going to be threatened by Kendall quarterbacking against them 10 months after his leaving them. It was never going to be a bad precedent for the Big 12.

Riley’s players, the ones so respectful of their former teammate Saturday, could have said as much as Kendall decided to leave. Too bad Riley didn’t get their input before making such a pointless initial decision.

This made me gasp

The Sooner Schooner spilling onto Owen Field after one of OU’s touchdowns. That looked like a living nightmare for the two passengers who went tumbling from the front seat of the wagon. Thank heavens nobody was seriously hurt, ponies included.

My suggestions moving forward aren’t as drastic as PETA’s (the organization tweeted Saturday: “KEEP HORSES OFF THE FIELD”). Rather...

1 – Limit the riders to the ones in the seat.

OU’s statement indicated “weight distribution among riders in the rear of the wagon” was at fault. You want to correct weight distribution? Eliminate the weight.

If the spirit squadders want to run alongside the Schooner during its run, fine. But keep them out of the wagon.

2 – Widen the turn.

Looks to me like the two ponies make a pretty hard pivot on their turn back toward the ramp. I never really noticed it until Saturday’s accident, which is usually how these things go.

Give Boomer and Sooner a little more room to run.

This made me cry

I credited Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders for manning up and accepting responsibility for his three turnovers against Baylor during his postgame interview session. I did this on Twitter, which was probably a mistake because Twitter can bring out both the worst in people and the worst people.

Sure enough, one tweeter came out of his cave long enough to reply with a picture of Vince Lombardi and this quote: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”

Done and done, though the loser isn’t who the tweeter thinks it is.

This made me think

The postgame crowd at Boone Pickens Stadium maintained a little more civility, with the only audible wrath directed at Mike Gundy as the Cowboys coach walked off the field.

Something Gundy said in early September comes to mind here. It was about fan support in Stillwater, the blooming of a really cool game-day scene in and around the stadium.

“There’s two things in my opinion,” Gundy said. “One, we started winning consistently and two, we’re fun to watch.”

The Cowboys are 5-6 in Big 12 home games since 2017. As for fun?

LD Brown’s 68-yard touchdown run Saturday was fun. So was Tom Hutton’s 20-yard fake punt completion to Dayton Metcalf.

Otherwise, that was Baylor ripping off plays covering 78, 73, 64 and 63 yards. That was Baylor dominating the last hour of play with a 35-7 run.

It’s still a really cool game day at OSU. But if Gundy wants to keep it that way, and keep fans off his back, he might recall that quote.

This made me cry

Les Miles coaching the daylights out of his Kansas Jayhawks at Texas on Saturday night was like Mack Brown doing the same for his North Carolina Tar Heels against Clemson on Sept. 28.

Miles went for the win after pulling within a point very late, just as Brown did. Miles forsook a PAT for a 2-point attempt, as Brown did. I loved both decisions. I thought both deserved to win for their faith and their guts.

It kills me that neither won.

The Tar Heels called a poorly devised play and failed on the 2-point try. The Jayhawks converted their 2-pointer in Austin and took a 48-47 lead. It’s just that they left Sam Ehlinger 1:11 to drive the Longhorns to a game-winning field goal.

This made me laugh, think and cry

I giggled as KU quarterback Carter Stanley, having the night of his life, flashed “Horns Down” at Texas fans after throwing for the 2-pointer.

I thought, “Gee, wonder if the Big 12 referee is going to stop the game, walk over to Stanley and scold him for embarrassing his sport.”

I sobbed when Ehlinger’s rally rendered Stanley guilty of premature celebration.

Guerin Emig






Sports Columnist

Proud father of Gretchen and Holden. Devoted husband to Christy, who has been my best friend since biology class at Booker T. Washington. I covered the Oklahoma Sooners for 15 years. That was both challenging and rewarding. Now I get to write columns.