Round 1; Game 3
OKC Thunder v. Houston Rockets
2013 Playoff win 3 of 16
Dear People of Seattle & former Sonic Fans,
We’ve read numerous news articles and social media posts about how bitter you are about our Oklahoma City Thunder. Well we’re here to help you.
Let’s start by asking…. WHY? Is it because they lost… a lot, while in Seattle? Is it because you didn’t buy tickets and attend the games regularly no matter what? Is it because the ownership changed from one idiot to another? Is it because the Seattle legislators didn’t approve arena renovations, OR a new arena? If you’re not sure, watch the independent documentary called “Sonicsgate” made by one of your very own and details all of the above quite well.
Now, you’re probably going to ask “what’s next”? There’s plenty of options, like swearing off the NBA because you still have the Seahawks and Mariners. You can support the nearby Trailblazers, although that’s more or less what you’ve had before with the Sonics. Or, you can accept the Thunder as your new team and watch them write a new chapter in NBA history.
Now don’t feel bad and there’s no need to thank us. The important thing is you learn from your mistakes. We’re sure that the Thunder’s recent success of beating last year’s NBA champion Mavericks, then heavy weights Lakers and Spurs to claim the Western Conference Title can possibly sting. But thankfully time will heal all wounds. Right?
If by chance you are still upset that your franchise abandoned you and went on to greater success, well, the last thing OKC fans can say is…
Get Over It!
Happy New Year, Sooner Nation! I don’t know about you, but thank goodness it’s 2012!
This past year/season has been a really rough for the Sooners (and fans). But it didn’t start that way. Let’s begin with the Fiesta Bowl victory over Connecticut.
Soon after this BCS bowl win, Sooner Nation was feeling pretty good. Who wouldn’t? Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles and Travis Lewis announced they were returning to OU for “another Big XII Championship and a run at the National Championship”. It sparked excitement that another crystal football was soon to be in the Switzer Center.
Next came National Signing Day, where Stoops and crew signed another quality class, filling some needs and creating better depth. Some incoming freshmen would possibly (and did) see playing time.
Heck, even April’s spring practice was good. No major injuries. Everyone gelling and building chemistry. What could any championship-contending collegiate team wish for?
Then something happened that NO team, collegiate or pro, wants. Sooner linebacker, Austin Box, was found dead in an El Reno home. Austin was a projected starter and finishing his career as a Sooner. Sadly this was the first of many major loses this season.
Ranked #1 in pre-season polls, OU played very well and reeled off 6 straight wins of the 2011 season. Along the way, we discovered runningback Dominique Whaley was more than just a walk-on. We also found out who didn’t “get with the program”. Jermie Calhoun decided he wasn’t going to play despite being 3rd on the halfback depth chart. Too bad for him since he had his chance when Brennan Clay and Roy Finch took turns getting hurt. Tight-end Austin Haywood also bolted for greener pastures.
MY TAKE: Anytime this happens, I always defer to Switzer’s famous quote; “Come to Oklahoma and win championships. Go somewhere else and watch Oklahoma win championships” (or something like that). Defectors as these have their reasons, although it makes one wonder what’s going on inside the program that they came to this decision.
Inexplicably, the Sooners took a week off by not showing up until the mid 4th quarter of the Texas Tech game. The Red Raiders were doing everything right. And the OU offense, defense and special teams were collectively doing it all wrong. Guess they forgot about that ranking, BCS hopes and home-winning streak. This was the beginning of the end of OU’s National Title dream.
The following week against Kansas State, OU’s budding star Dominique Whaley fractured his ankle on the first play of the game. Thankfully a capable Finch took over. This season was looking more bleak with OU losing their leading rusher.
Against the defecting Texas A&M Aggies, OU receiver and record breaker Ryan Broyles suffered an ACL tear and will not finish the year. The Sooners get the win but regrouping after losing your leading rusher and receiver was going to be a serious challenge.
Up next was Baylor and super athlete Robert Griffin III (RG3). The Bears have moved up in talent and it showed. Unfortunately, the OU defense had a “Jekyll & Hyde moment” by not playing as they had in the first 6 games. The offense wasn’t the same without Whaley and Broyles and unable to play catch up. This loss knocked OU’s ranking down a little, but they were not out. They still had a chance.
After trouncing Iowa State, Bedlam had arrived and a lot was on the line: state pride, Big XII Champion and a trip to the BCS National Championship game. This is a game that your play makers show up. Unfortunately, OU’s didn’t. Let it be known that Landry Jones hadn’t thrown a TD in the past 2 games. OU seemed to be out of Sooner Magic and incapable of being competitive. The end resulted in a loss, with a consolation “prize” to the worthless Insight Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Between Bedlam and the bowl game there was a handful of more loses. Jaz Reynolds had been hurt and was not available for the bowl, hurting the WR corp even further. Also, stud freshman running back Brandon Williams was missing family and decided to leave OU (and rumored to transfer to Texas A&M).
To conclude, this wasn’t OU’s year evident by the loss to Texas Tech. Plus, losing your major contributors greatly decreases your chances of winning consistently.
Now that it’s a new year, I can’t wait for a new recruiting class and possibly the return of Mike Stoops! Thank goodness it’s 2012!
I’m starting a post-game blog with thoughts, random observations, or unique finds on the innerwebs that are all about the game or Sooners. I’ll try to be consistent about it so bear with with me.
As I tweeted, after waiting for 8 months for OU football I wouldn’t mind having an 11AM kickoff just this one time. But alas, it wasn’t my call.
After the long wait, it was finally, FINALLY, “Football Time in Oklahoma”! The Sooners performed as they should. Fired up (Thanks in part to The Ultimate Warrior’s message to Tom Wort), prepared, and showed no mercy. There was some sloppiness and a few busted defensive plays that lead to Tulsa’s scores, but overall the “sharks” attacked with purpose.
On offense, Landry and Ryan showed they were still a threat. The question was the runningback committee and how effective it would be. Well, it was VERY effective. Brennan Clay and Dominique Whaley were the co-starters and became a hard-hitting 1-2 punch, especially Whaley. This was his coming out party. Folks, we will control and win a lot of games this year having those 2 in the backfield, PLUS having a slasher like Roy Finch.
The final score, 14-47, and a statement that Oklahoma is back and like every year, a serious contender for the National Championship game.
The Intro Video.
Every game starts out with the much anticipated “Intro Video” to fire up fans in the stands. This was (in my humble opinion) one of their best and shows why they win national awards in video production. I have a buddy who works in the Sooner Vision department and props to him and the crew. AWESOME JOB! Here’s the video in case you haven’t seen it…
I’ll keep this brief. I was told the decal would change and why, and I’m OK with that. It’s a little disappointing but totally understand the reason.
I’m your typical guy I think. Married with children, trying to make ends meet.
I love college football.
I love doing graphic and web design.
So I combined those passions and created my online alter ego… King (last name) + pen (drawing tool) = Kingpen.
Then add on I’m an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma (Class of 1995!), who loves him some Sooner Football, then my identity changes to OUKingpen.
OK, too much back story.
As every Sooner-lovin’ Okie would do, he follows anything about his team: TV, newspaper, blog, forums, Youtube, twitter, facebook, etc. Just recently, ESPNU followed the Sooner Football team for an All-Access show. Sounded awesome! The episodes ran for a week, and I unfortunately missed them but was able to DVR at least one.
One week later (today), I get around to watching this episode on a quick lunch break at home. It begins with how the team will handle the loss of Austin Box and what they are going to do to remember him this season.
Now, being a fan of sports (especially college football as stated above), I hate to hear about an athlete’s injury. And hearing the news about Austin’s death back in May, of course made me (and Sooner Nation) sad for his family, friends and teammates.
On that day in May, I came home after work and quickly created a simple graphic. Just something to remember him. I posted it first here on my blog, then shared it on my Twitter and Facebook for others to use. Oklahomans know how to come together, and this is no different despite it being social media.
As I continued watching this ESPN special, it was then I saw HOW the 2011 Oklahoma Sooner Football Team was going to honor Austin…
A helmet decal.
Not your standard black, round sticker with a white 12. Or even initials.
Of all the images to use… of all the options to honor #12… this logo would represent the memory of Sooner Linebacker, Austin Box and to never forget. For this season. At least 12 games.
I don’t know how it happened. There was no contest. No connections inside the university, athletic department, staff or players. No email request. It was just… there.
My reaction was, “………… WHAT?!…………”
I just sat there with sandwich in hand, shredded turkey out of mouth, thinking and staring (because I had to pause it).
To some, it’s just a picture. But to me, a graphic designer… an alumnus… a lover of Sooner Football… This! This was my highlight reel. MY Superman Play!
Being on an official, authentic uniform of the team I love and support. Is one thing.
But being the identifying mark, a symbol, of Austin Box’s life here on earth. You can’t describe that feeling.
And I’ll be honest, and you can call me crazy… I got (and still am) emotional about it. I really did well up.
Now, what do I do about it? Do I cash in and ask my beloved university to pay for the use of my logo? What kind of person, no… what kind of ALUM would I be to do that? What would you do?
I’m a Sooner!
And I am SO humbled.
After a dismal and forgettable 2009 season, fans were pumped to watch an improved, experienced and HUNGRY Sooner squad to take the field Saturday night. The expectation: OU would dominate and take apart some team from Popcorn State.
Many of us are still waiting for that dominant Sooner team after witnessing their close win over Utah State.
Yes, the mighty Aggies from the state of Utah (sheesh) gave OU a run for it’s money.
Fans are asking: “Uh… Wha?”
The Ags came out ready and not in Norman just for a paycheck. Which can’t be said for Stoop’s Troops, who looked less than excited to be there. Was it lack of energy? That gi-normous pre-game buffet?
Whatever it was, the Crimson Machine was not firing on all cylinders. Quarterback Landry Jones looked worse than last year. He was less than 50% on completions, inconsistent in his throws and made some poor decisions. Jones even stared down receivers, telegraphing nearly every pass play. It was reminiscent of former Sooner, Nate Hybl. But Hybl had a great cast around him during his time. But for Jones? It’s good, but it’s too early to tell who will step up.
Thankfully, a handful of Sooners did come to play.
Reliable running back DeMarco Murray was one of 2 blankies for Mr. Jones. The senior from Las Vegas carried the ball for over 200 yards and helped (almost single hand-idly) keep drives alive by moving the chains. It was good to see Murray rebound from a bad injury last year and have a great game against the utes.
Then there was good ole #85. Ryan Broyles’ hands and agility were MUCH needed (pictured left). Broyles showed why he was Jones favorite target, just like last year. Of course, future opponents know this as well and will be targeting on shutting him down.
On defense, big props to middle linebacker, Tom Wort, who DID come to play! His energy rivaled everyone on the team. Yeah, it was probably too much when he laid the wood on USU’s QB. But in this Sooner fan’s opinion, it was necessary. The energy, not the hit.
This game should have been a slap in the Sooner’s face. I’m assuming Stoops will be calling out everyone during film study. FSU is only days away and there are numerous problems to fix in a short amount of time. If we don’t see an improvement, it will be a loooooooooooong rebuilding season.
Revisiting wordpress again to test it out as my mobile site for iPhone wallpaper