Unique New York

Just like a regular woman, only crankier.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I am about the least knowledgeable person to consult in matters of sport. When asked the difference between a touchback and a touchdown, I really struggle for answers. However, there are some things that I know just by being of the world, and things I was inspired to write after watching the Fiesta Bowl last night.

I grew up in Oklahoma, one of the few places left that does not have a pro football team. However, we do have college ball. I love college football. There are, of course, bazillions of college sports, but football is particularly near and dear to my heart. I love the excitement of the game, the closeness of calls, the brutality, the elegance, the skill, and the spirit.

Here is why college football is better than pro. Having lived in states with pro ball and without, there is something pure about an entire state that rallies behind a group of amateur athletes. These guys may get free rides and perks, but they are doing it all for the chance to play at career ball. Watching them in college is watching them before they lose their innocence; before the thing they do for love and pride becomes the thing they do for money. I have no problem with doing what you love to do as a career, but there is something precious about your passion always being able to be your passion and not your bread and butter.

In a state that is always three steps behind Dallas, Oklahoma is always competing to be developed, city-like, and exciting enough to attract tourists. Let it get all the Macaroni Grills, the SuperWalmarts, and the PF Changs that it wants, but please, keep it simple, and keep it just college football. For Oklahomans, wearing crimson and cream is just as much about supporting a team as it is state pride.

This year, as OU went up to battle Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl, I couldn't help but think back to the Orange Bowl back in 2001. In that single year, Oklahoma was transformed from the state that McVeigh bombed to the state that kicked everyone's ass in football. Suddenly, it was like Oklahoma was allowed to hold its head high again. Once sparse stadiums were packed to the brim with Oklahomans, just waiting to see our team defeat all the major players like UT, ATM, and Texas Tech.

I was reminded of OU's past victories when BSU won the bowl game last night. I watched each play, and watched how tense the fans were, and how they wanted so much to be taken seriously. Even when it seemed that OU had the victory locked in, BSU would come back with brilliantly executed plays. As a spectator, it was great to watch two teams that have both been underdogs, and both who come from states that most people can't imagine why anyone would want to live there. This makes the victory this much sweeter and the story of the team that much more compelling.

Hats off to you Boise State. OU played a great game last night, and Boise beat them in overtime. Here's the Miss America crown; it's Boise's turn to take a trip around the stage.


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