Friday, December 2, 2011

Bedlam Bash... and My Mother

bedlam [bed-luh m], noun.
                      (1) a noisy confused place or situation;
                      (2) state of uproar;
                      (3) madhouse.

As everyone in the great state of Oklahoma is well aware, tomorrow is the big showdown in Stillwater. The game between the two in-state rivals always falls as the last game of the season and is typically one of the most anticipated of the year. Bedlam 2011 is definitely no exception.  Saturday's game has a lot more on the line than just pride... We're talking Big XII Championships here. We're talking Bowl Game placements. We're talking a possible Cowboy berth into actually receiving a little national credit for a program that is far beyond "up and coming" even though nobody has seemed to notice.

If Oklahoma State wins the Pokes would clench their first outright Big XII Conference title. It'd be Mike Gundy's first Bedlam "W" since his Cowboy coaching reign began. It would mean serious bragging rights and possibly getting out of the lime light of "big brother." But above all else, it could possibly land the Cowboys in the National Championship.

If the University of Oklahoma wins they would be bringing home their 8th Conference title but it would be split three ways - OU, OSU & K-State... although OU would have beat both the other teams. With the series currently sitting at 82-16-7, OU will be sitting in a position they are not very familiar with, "underdog." This year, the Sooners are looking to be the spoiler - keep the Cowboys out of the big party and drastically increase their own bowl game placement.

Of course everyone knows what color I'll be wearing on Saturday... Crimson. I went to undergrad at OU, law school at OU, met my husband at OU, and now I work at OU. I am a Sooner through and through and loyal to the core. BUT it could have very easily gone the other way. I'm from a house divided; my mom went to Oklahoma State, my dad went to college in Norman. I grew up attending the Cowboys' Homecoming walk around every year on my birthday and I'll be the first to admit, it's the best homecoming celebration in the nation. Mom was grooming me to be a cute little Cowgirl but then she made one HUGE MISTAKE. We were on campus in Stillwater and I was wearing my favorite orange and navy shirt from Limited Too (Does that make me sound old? Yes. Is it relevant? No. Nevertheless, if you were a Limited Too girl growing up, you're totally getting the mental image now. You're welcome). My mom and I were just chatting it up and she casually mentioned that my shirt needed to go... and then she said the words that changed my future and she'll always regret, "Raegan, I'm afraid orange just isn't your color." That was that. Orange was out, red was in. (As embarrassing and shallow as that is, that is the honest to goodness truth. I went to OU because I look better in red than I do in orange. Don't judge.)

That little tidbit of "Random Knowledge About Raegan" was not the point of this story. This post is really all about my mom and what a wonderful example she has set for me. My mom loves Oklahoma State, but proudly wore Crimson to so many of my college events. My mom loves the Cowboys, but will always cheer for the Sooners. My Mom adores Stillwater, but learned to like Norman. My Mom isn't a sell out or a trader. (Matter of fact, she has NEVER worn anything that says "OU" on it... even in the dreadful down pour at last year's season opener when the only poncho we had was covered in the symbol. That's her line, we don't need her to cross it.)  My Mom is an OKLAHOMAN. She taught me to always cheer for Oklahoma, regardless of whether the team wears orange or red. She explained to me that it's always best to be positive about both schools - I know and love people who went to went to both places and a football rivalry isn't worth hurt feelings. She explained to me that the joy of in-state rivalry has everything to do with silly pranks (like putting a big OU decal on your favorite Cowboy fan's vehicle... or hanging a big orange flag from your Sooner neighbor's porch) and nothing to do with harsh words. My Mom choose to be a supportive mom over being a die-hard Cowboy and because of that I will always pull for her Cowboys (as long as they aren't playing my Sooners).

So, here's what I'm hoping for in tomorrow's big game: 

I hope that the best team wins tomorrow... and if that team doesn't wear Crimson, you won't hear a hateful thing out of me. Instead, a month from now, you'll see me proudly sporting a Pistol Pete t-shirt during the National Championship game (or whatever BCS bowl they play in)... for my Mom of course!  

I hope the game ends injury free... So that regardless of the winner, both teams will go into their bowl game 100% (Or whatever percent the Sooners are without Whaley or Broyles)

I hope that both sides keep it classy... I've seen/heard more trash talk on facebook and twitter this week alone than I care to see all year. I have no problem with competitive banter, but people like Matt Lynch of Kansas City, KS take it wayyyyy too far. (See his infamous tweet here.) When tragedy struck, we were ALL Cowboys and at the end of this game, we all will remain Oklahomans. So let's please try to be civil and kind.

I hope it's a barn burner... because I have a feeling we are going to be cold, windblown and soaking wet (ie miserable) so let's have a great game and make it worth getting the flu! 

Bottom line: Cheer hard for your team! Sport your color of choice! Be kind and classy, regardless of the outcome! And don't forget, we are all Oklahomans!!

Boomer Sooner!
Be Blessed,

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