Bedlam Moment

Posted: December 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

I was born a sports fan. In fact, I was literally darn near born on a baseball field.  My dad was playing in a game and my mom was in the stands and went into labor. A friend went to the dugout to inform him. The friend returned back to the stands with this message to my mom: “Just let me bat one more time.” He did. He homered, touched all the bases and then ran straight from home plate to the car. The rest is history.

When I was younger my dad was so wrapped up in the baseball world, as our entire family was that I felt I didn’t get to spend enough time with him. So when I was around 7 or 8 I decided I was going to sit down with him and watch football so I could get that quality “father and daughter” time. I felt left out when he went to Sooners games and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. So, tv time it was. I became addicted from the first game. From that day on I also was included in Sooner road trips.

I learned so much about the game from my dad. From scoring, penalties, positions, and plays. I even became a master at trash talking thanks to my dad. It was a skill I was proud of and used my entire life. He was the best at it and stood behind every word he said. When OU would play Texas, it was a no holds barred situation when it came to words. I learned how to hate the color orange at this early age. All shades. (It still hurts a little that the OKC Thunder have orange in their team colors) When I married my late husband my dad told me the car was running and “it’s not too late” all the way down the aisle. He couldn’t believe I was bringing someone that went to Ok. State into the family.

It was a house divided indeed. We had our share of verbal wars, especially during Bedlam. Oh, and when the Raiders and Steelers played – my husband was a Raiders fan and I a die-hard Steelers fan – there was also a battle.  But as much “dissing” that was being done there was never anything malicious or hurtful said. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?

Bedlam has grown into a much more heated rivalry in recent years. I have seen and heard some atrocious things said by fans. On both sides. Trust me, if it makes me take pause then it must be pretty bad. As I have grown older, yes – I will blame maturity – I have discovered that trash talking isn’t really as fun as it used to be. Maybe because being born and raised in Oklahoma, I have way too many friends and yes,  even family members that are fans and/or alumni of OSU. I noticed it has become somewhat like politics and just turned nasty at times. I’ve learned how to have a conversation with opposition like an adult and though we may throw a few ‘jabs” in, it all ends in laughter. After all, it’s just a game, right?

Saturday, I took a friend to the game with me. She is a lifelong Oklahoma State supporter. It’s hard to explain the joy I got from watching her being that close to her team and having the opportunity to high-five her boys as they ran from the tunnel. I suppose the joy came from understanding the passion. She was thrilled and I loved that I could give that to her. We may have been rivals that day, but we are also friends. And we will be throughout the bowl games and all the way up until next time we meet on the field. We had a little fun on the way and even on the way back, but it was just that – fun. My dad may be grumbling a little bit, but I know he knows no matter what my blood will always be Sooner red and maybe it is ok that I “stray” and have friends that sport other team colors.

One thing is for certain. I know he was smiling down on Norman Saturday. (Wish the sun would have been as well.) At the last home game I got to meet one of my all-time favorite Sooners, the great Ryan Broyles. He was on the field giving an interview and I said his name, asked him to come over and he was the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Knowing bedlam would be the last game of the season I decided to take a jersey and maybe I could get lucky enough to get him to sign it. During half time he was doing another interview in the same place right in front of our seats and when we asked him to come over and sign the jersey he obliged with a smile. Even in the cold rain. I took out the jersey and he noticed it was actually his name and number. I looked at him and explained this was the last thing my dad had given me before he passed. Dad knew how much I loved watching him play. He looked at me and I could tell it genuinely meant something to him. He said that was so sweet and took the time to make sure he personalized it and signed it where I wanted him to and took a picture with me. I still don’t think he understands how much this meant to me.

I don’t need to tell you the rest of the story. The Sooners came out after the half to a 17-17 tied score. They dominated the second half and won the Big XII Championship, at home on Owen Field. This was the first time we won it on our home field. We got to see Samaje Perine take a knee instead of walking into the end zone for a last “in your face” slap to the Cowboys. Some of the players did a “victory lap” around the field, including Baker Mayfield. We were actually the last fans he high-fived! Tight end Mark Andrews came over and thanked us for staying despite the weather. It’s things like this that make it worth every penny that I spend as a fan.

We stayed in our seats and celebrated with the team and other fans. We were cold and there wasn’t a place on our bodies that wasn’t soaked. And we didn’t care. I didn’t even post one trash talking thing on social media. I knew I didn’t need to, the play on the field said it all. I guess I really have matured (Sorry, Dad.) and my days of rubbing it in are diminishing.

What I couldn’t wait to post however, was a picture of me and the Ryan Broyles jersey. I think I was so excited about it while it was happening I didn’t get emotional. But when I actually typed the words I realized what I was truly holding. The very last gift from my dad was signed and I then let the tears fall down my already rain soaked face. It was truly a moment.

Sports has so many great stories of sacrifice, victory and defeat. This moment is by far my favorite.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @soonerleesa

  1. Denise says:

    I know your dad is smiling!

  2. Shane says:

    Your a stupid bitch who has no talent. Give it up already.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    You have a special way with words. I know your father must be proud.

  4. WINNING! I so appreciate your passion & love of sports and talent for putting it in words we can laugh & cry over. I can see you in my minds’ eye thru all this – much love my friend!

    P.S. And Shane – jealous much?

  5. soonerleesa says:

    You make my heart smile.

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