There is only ONE Oklahoma

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oklahoma Football ...............................Nothing Else Matters

I came across this VIDEO the other day and if this will not get you fired up for the Sooner Football season,
nothing will.

What a great montage of Sooner Football history. From "THE KICK" the shut up tOSU fans and sending Woody Hays to the watch repair shop, to stuffing an "UNSTOPPABLE" FSU offense. Ahhhhh, the memories for distant past and the memories from even a “rebuilding season” like last year.

But what stuck out most in my mind from the video was a couple of quotes:

“These people don’t know what it means to be a champion………..
Oklahoma invented it.”
Barry Switzer

“The history of Oklahoma is about winning championships.”

Bob Stoops

Those two quotes alone maybe the biggest recruiting tool needed to lure any blue chipper to Norman, if that blue chipper has the desire. When I think back at the outstanding players who have slapped their hands against the ‘Play like a Champion Today’, sign just above the locker room door, I wonder what was going through the minds of players like Billy Simms, Jack Mildren, Danny Bradley, Joe Washington, Jamelle Holieway and others the first time they did it. Was it is sense of empowerment? Determination? Resolve? Or was it a sense of destiny and dare to show their greatness to the rest of the college football world?

Then there are the players that were not the 5 star blue chippers but had something special inside of them that made them stand out. Players like Josh Heupel, Jason White, Tinker Owens, Mark Clayton and others who really were not house hold names out of High School, but by the time they left Norman, were All-Americans.

Obviously, we know that not all of the players have this special trait though and even this before this season has started, we have seen it. But what exemplifies Oklahoma Football is the ability to fight through adversity, and if you look back at some of the greatest seasons, you will find very few that the Sooner Football team didn’t have to fight through something that many of the “experts” had wrote them off.

The only thing wrong with the video above? Not enough Bud Wilkerson, Billy Vessels, Tommy McDonald and Steve Owens, but then again there is not a lot of footage of those greats. I do miss the “crown” on Owen Field and seeing the Bone run to perfection. Maybe someday it will return, but until then.......…


Here is to another college football season and maybe another championship!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bristol, Is it really that great?

I am not going to try to re-invent the wheel here, but there are a few aspects of the Bristol Motor Speedway that I just don’t ‘get’. But before I go any further, there has to be something unique about almost 200K fans packed in a college football type stadium to watch a Nascar race. That is a spectacle in itself. But is it really 'racing the way it ought to be'?

When I look back at the “new generation” (sometimes AKA Cookie Cutter) of Nascar tracks that were built in the past 10 to 15 or so years, just what were the complaints that we heardthe most? Then lets compare that to Bristol, BUT maybe more importantly, not simply complain, but I’d like to attempt to offer a solution.

Number one complaint: “tracks are one grooved and don’t promote passing or side by side racing”

If that is not BRISTOL then what is? Nowhere in the planet is the chrome horn needed as much in order to pass the car ahead of you than BMS.
SOLUTION: While the highest banking in Nascar is something to be admired, maybe the time has come to revert back to a lesser degree of banking, one that would allow for an asphalt surface. The cars have developed more down-force than ever before, let unleash them and go back to racing and not punting.

Complaint number two: “tracks that allow ‘fuel mileage’ and ‘pit strategy’ to be a factor is not real racing, racing should be decided on the track”

While this is related to ‘number one’, it is no fun watching races where the car that short pitted at the earliest possible lap and got track position, and then can hold off for 130 or so laps the other cars that pitted after for a race win. That is just not ‘racing’ SOLUTION: How about a softer tire (might provide more grip for multi groove passing) and maybe more importantly a smaller fuel cell, something that would force teams to pit every 70 or so laps at the most. (Have to give a shout out to a good buddy for that one, great idea Jamie!)

Complaint number three: ‘TeVee can’t follow the action when the field spreads out and one loses the flow of the race and we miss stuff’

This might be a problem at any track, but I really struggle with the coverage at BMS for one main reason, the camera is switching from camera to camera every second or so, but not always following the same car. This is especially a problem at BMS for some reason.
SOLUTION: There probably is no real solution to this, unless Nascar offers ‘pay per view’, but that is another story. But does anyone else find himself or herself scanning ‘Trackpass’ and just watching ‘their’ driver, more than the TeVee coverage? I have.

I guess for most of the Nascar faithful, the allure of Bristol is the possibility of ‘contact racing’. But the product of that contact is something that many criticize about racing at plate tracks. That is where an incident can take out half or more of the field. (Aka the Big One) Now I am not going to say this happens at Bristol, but instead on one ‘big one’, there is a good chance of having 20 or so ‘little ones’, depleting the field. But like plate racing, BMS simply put is just another style of racing, like road courses, plate tracks and such. I am just glad that we only have to watch this two times a year.

But then again, after all of my ‘complaining’, I’ll be watching Saturday night as usual. So Bristol must be doing something right.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

“I think we’re going to have to watch that again.”

A few years ago, a message board buddy posted a thread about watching a ‘new show’ and was wondering if anyone else was watching it because he thought it was a thought provoking and entertaining show. Taking his advice, the next week I caught the 4th episode of LOST in season one. In only a few moments into the show, I realized that I was hooked.

The genius of the show is the thought, the plot twists, the writing, and the unknown direction and possibilities of just where this third season may take us. As seen in the season one finale, and the subsequent theories from the viewers, that were later squelched by the season two premiere, season three could go just about anywhere.

So in order to prepare for the season three premier, one really needs to take another look at the season two finale and below are some random notes and notions I came up with.

· The final scene in the artic does answer on of the biggest questions since the first show aired. “Is the outside world still there?” The answer is yes, and more importantly, someone (Penny Windmore) is looking for the island for whatever reason.

· The “button” was indeed real and important as well as the Swan hatch. Jack felt the button was some sort of “mind experiment” and we now know that either Jack was lying or simply mistaken. The real question is since the fail safe key has been inserted and turned by Desmond, is the island back ‘on the grid”

· Zeke’s real name is Tom. (Some called him “Mr. Friendly) This really isn’t anything significant to note, other than this is about the 4th or 5th character named Tom from the show. And speaking of names, Mrs. Clue is named Bea.

· So the “girl in the picture” with Desmond in the hatch was Penny Windmore. But the question still remains was the familiar “look” Jack gave when seeing the picture for the first time in the hatch at the beginning of season two. Did Jack recognize Penny?

· It is becoming more clearer that the cause of the plane crash can be directly associated with Desmond, and him being “late” in inputting the numbers when he fought and killed Kelvin.

· Speaking of Kelvin. Another nice touch that Kelvin was indeed Inman (worked for the CIA and met with Sayid)

· Where are Michael and Walt really going? A hint maybe seen in the Pearl Orientation video in which it was stated that after one’s shift that should take the “Pala Ferry” back to the barracks and encampment. The compass heading that the ‘fake Henry’ gave Michael just may take them there. But if so, what will they find?

· So what is the fate of Locke and Eko (and Desmond)? And why is Charlie seemingly unconcerned about them?

· The “Hurley’s Bird’, thing is, I’m guessing just another Red Herrin that the writers of the show have been good at in throwing the theories of course. Like the seemingly countless religious overtones, there significance is more of coincidence than the actual direction the show is taking.

· Jack, Kate and Sawyer in custody of the Others (or “the hostiles,” which is a new term for them), and Hurley’s in for a long walk. Will Sayid, Jin and Sun save the day?

· Speaking of the “Others”, I will have to revise my earlier season two theory that the Others were actually two different groups of people. One being primitive in nature, while the other more technologically advanced. We now know that costumes were used for whatever reason. Is the ‘fake Henry’ really “Him”? To early to tell but I am learning towards the he is not, but it is pretty clear that he should be a pretty big part of season three. Still not sure what to make of the ‘We are the good guys’ comment from the fake Henry though. Just who are the ‘bad guys’?

· A little tidbit on those pesky numbers. In the final ‘arctic’ scene, if you look at the computers screen the number 7418880. Just multiply the numbers together and guess what the product is?

· The Others had a fake camp and the fake hatch. Where are the Others really living and why is there a fake hatch door? The “big room” the Walt spoke of in ‘three minutes’?

· Locke has been once again fooled or duped by believing that “nothing will happen” if the button is not pushed.
That makes about a half a dozen times this has happened on the show.

So just as the season one finale opened up almost unlimited possibilities, the season two finale did the same. Who would have thought that season two would have opened up with “Make your own kind of music” and the ever developing story line behind the hatch.

The countdown for the season three premier begins……….

Friday, August 18, 2006

Elliott Sadler: Liar, Liar... Pants on fire

Sometimes in order to get a clearer picture of an individual, one must take a step back and take a long look at the past. Sadly though, when it comes to the "Southern Gentleman', one only has to look back a few months to understand the web of deception that surrounds Mr. Sadler.

Flashback less than 4 months ago

"When Sadler arrived at Yates, he said it was a dream job, perhaps a lifetime job. And now? He's not so sure. Sources say Sadler is talking to other team owners looking for a deal."

On the surface, the speculation concerning Sadler is innocent and even justifiable. After all, the 38 was not running like it had the past year and there were some key personnel changes at RYR.

April 29, 2006 “IM HERE TO STAY”
“You just can’t change a team overnight. It’s going to be a long process. I’m here to stay at Robert Yates. I can’t see myself going anywhere."

The twisted web of untruthfulness begins.

“I just told him to keep me out of it. I don’t want to know about it. I want to find out when everybody else does that way I won’t get into trouble. If he stays that great, I would love to keep him as a teammate and love to keep him at Robert Yates Racing. If he goes I’d hate to lose him as a teammate but still I’m going to keep him as one of my best friends. I want to be there as a friend first, but if he decides to stay I definitely want to be his teammate again."

Even though there is the persistent talk in the garage that Sadler is talking to other owners, the Southern Gentleman is still toeing the company line.

a Robert Yates Racing representative confirmed that Sadler is under contract with the team, through the end of the 2008 season

Just a friendly reminder about integrity. The press understood that this fact was important.

While saying there is an out in his contract if he wished to exercise it, Elliott Sadler said Thursday he has no intention of leaving Robert Yates Racing.

"I'm not unhappy; I'm just frustrated with the way we've been running. That is two different scenarios. There's a difference in being unhappy and being frustrated. I'm frustrated just because I want to run good."

"I've been reading stuff about, 'Contract this and contract that,' and I haven't even looked at my contract. I don't think that's important. Yes, I do have an out if I want an out, but who cares? I want to get this team running. My responsibility is to put that 38 car up front each and every week."

"I plan to come back. I think it's my duty."

The untruthfulness just gets bigger and bigger. And more importantly is the date, less than two months from his actual release date from RYR. Who is Sadler trying to dupe here? Is he honestly thinking that he can convince people that in less than 60 days the situation went from 'DUTY' to 'PACK YOUR BAGS'?

Elliott Sadler has let it be known he isn't happy in the team's No. 38 car and appears to be looking for a way out, especially after teammate Dale Jarrett accepted a Toyota pension for 2007, with Michael Waltrip.

So three weeks after the 'I'm not unhappy' quote, now it appears that Sadler is laying the seed to bolt. What ever happened to 'You just can’t change a team overnight. It’s going to be a long process. I’m here to stay at Robert Yates'. Again this just show that Sadler in his life has never really had to work for anything, and when things look the least bit bleak, he will do his best to find a way out. There is nothing wrong with a little hard work, it brings much satisfaction. But I guess getting your fingernails a little dirty is not for a Southern Gentleman.

Robert Yates denied Internet reports that Elliott Sadler is unhappy and wants out of his contract to drive the #38 Ford that runs through 2008. "That's not what he's telling me. That's all I can really say. I guess the grandstand can start speculating anything. So far, he hasn't communicated that with me yet."

So its mid June, and according to the owner, there has been no dialogue between Sadler and Robert. This really would be a non-issue, until one listens to the EVERNHAM/SADLER press conference. (See below)

Sadler denied he had had any negotiations with Evernham, and he has a year left on his contract with Yates. He admitted he had had a long talk with Yates this week at the Indianapolis tests.

"I have not made my decision on what I want to do next year. Can I tell you something different in two or three weeks? Maybe. Right now, I need to concentrate on what we're doing here. I owe it to my sponsors. I owe it to Robert and Doug."

So Sadler finally talks with Robert, and expresses his desire to leave in Mid-July (remember this date). Based in his past non-truthfulness, why deny talking to Evernham. Sadler used this same spin in '02, when he bolted from the Wood Brothers, and eventually signed with Yates.

Sadler denied that he's had discussions with Evernham or anybody from Evernham Motorsports about leaving Robert Yates Racing, but admitted there have been discussions with other teams. "You'd be surprised at how many cars will open up next year,.”
“I don't know anything about a deadline or day. Right now, I want to focus on that No. 38 car. I really want to get one more win in it."

Key phrase, 'one more win'. Sadler, for the first time admits his desire to leave RYR, one way or another.

Robert Yates Racing (RYR) announced today that driver Elliott Sadler has requested and been granted a release from his contract to take effect at the conclusion of the 2006 season.

The shopping spree begins? Or is this just the final phase of a carefully orchestrated plan?

"I couldn't really make myself buy into the system and which way I think the company is going. So we just decided to split ways and do something different."

Sadler said he's entertaining multiple offers at this point. "There are a lot more seats open than there are drivers available, I think. That's what caught me off this week with some of the phone calls I got. I'm not in a hurry to try to make a decision. I have no timelines."

The justifications and excuses begin. It is like deja vu, all over again! Just as Sadler did in '02 with the Wood Brothers lacking the 'chemistry' and didn't like the direction the team was going.

Sadler, who signed a long-term contract to drive the No. 19 Dodge.

"Long term' contract, which means nothing to the Southern gentleman.

Now in order to go full circle with the untruthfulness and spin from the Southern Gentleman, one needs to talk a look at the EVERNHAM/SADLER press conference.

"We actually started talking to Elliott probably in July when we were looking at trying to put a fourth team together. We started to communicate back and forth what his future plans were. Again, he was under contract with Yates and we didn't have a place to put him at that time, so we initially started looking at what we could do in the future with our fourth program."

For this to be the truth, the Sadler/Evernham conversations would have had to begin between July 14th (Sadler denies talking to Evernham above) and July 20th (RYR gives Sadler his release). That’s less than one week, and a week that included a race weekend. Could it have happened then? Sure it could, but there is one problem. Evernham said that talk begin when he was looking at a 4th team, this was going in late June, and early July. Remember Evernham was very interested in developing his ARCA program to a fourth cup team. 'Erin-gate' was much before the July 14th date sited above.

"We just decided a couple of months ago that we were going to split ways. I talked with some other teams, not only Ray”

Now the date Sadler said this was August 16th, and the time period that Sadler and Robert 'finally' talked was during the Indy test season week, which was held on July 10 thru July 12th. So if the 'Southern Gentleman' and Robert had truly agreed to part ways then, why the denials of talking to Evernham, along with the other teams?

Then there is the final blow concerning the twisted web that the 'Southern Gentleman' has woven. A very innocent post on his Fan Club Message Board from his PR/Spotter.

“The last few months have been very busy -- evaluating situations, making decisions and executing the plan”

Key word is MONTHS (plural), not the last few weeks, like the 'Southern gentleman' has been claiming. The web begins to unravel.

One can just hope that Sadler enjoys this spin, when his seat begins to get hot in the 19, but then agian, his pants are already on fire.!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's just a little kid's wagon, right?

Some might just think it’s a wagon, and in many ways they would be correct. But the ‘Radio Flyer’ has been through a lot of changes over the years. While it is ‘just a wagon’, it is also the source of fun, and even practicality. Here is the “War Wagon’s” story.

The idea for a ‘war wagon’ originated way back in the 2000 season, when I got tired of ‘hauling’ my race day gear (and other’s) to and from the track, and what was seemingly a marathon walk from the parking lots and camping areas at many tracks. But of course, we couldn’t just have any ole ‘Wal-Mart Radio Flyer’ for about 40 bucks. We had to get this Radio Flyer, ‘race day’ ready.

First, that meant a trip to the local flea market to replace those ‘standard’ thin, hard rubber tires; instead the first option was a set of pneumatic tires. After all, there were times when it would be needed to have a ‘smooth’ ride over many gravel parking lots and sidewalks. But after the first race day, this proved to be not enough rubber for the road, and an upgrade to larger pneumatic tires was needed.

Also during this time was the need for a ‘race day’ paint job. There was little question of what it needed to look like, after all, this was a ‘war wagon. But Nascar is an ever-changing sport, and the need to upgrade the paint scheme was an ongoing project, but a fun one at that. The irony over this last paint scheme is that I never completely finished what I started 3 years ago, from the move to RYR. How fitting, considering ‘my’ driver didn’t seem to want to finish it out either.

Then there were the ever-present‘comments’ from the Nascar faithful, who of course, were also hauling their scanners, coolers, and other race day stuff. I just wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, ‘hey, we need to do that’, or ‘Can I put my stuff on top?” Lets face it, when presented with the task of hauling 4+ people’s stuff over sometimes two or more miles to get to one’s seat, the War Wagon is a great choice.

The War Wagon was not only practical, but it was a great 'race day statement', as seen not only by the paint scheme, but by ‘Ricky’ in the latter years. It just might be time for ‘Ricky’ to be joined by a buddy. Anyone got a certain Nascar Beanie Bear to offer?

Now the question that really remains, is that the War Wagon is in need of another makeover. Just what will it be? I’m thinking a trip to Lowes is in order. If that’s not foreshadowing, I don’t know what is!

Yep, it truly is a "kid's wagon" in reality, but on race day, aren't we all just that? kids!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Riding the Money Grab Gravy Train!

Its bad enough that Elliott Sadler has now stooped to ‘pay’ fan club events, but now his handlers are offering ‘pre-order’ of event T-shirts. Now some may not think much of this practice, but there are some glaring issues here. The first being the greed that Elliott and his handlers have shown this past season.

If I was one that paid my hard earned money to attend this event, in which the event T-shirt was included in that admission fee, I would feel very slighted that now because of greed alone, every Tom, Dick and Susie can buy something that was originally intended and publicly advertised to be exclusive to his paying fan club members.

But the problems don’t stop there. Looking at the design on the T-Shirt, there is one key component missing. That would be Sadler’s PRIMARY sponsor, M&Ms, while the associate sponsor’s (Citi financial) logo is conveniently displayed. I am sure Masterfoods is very pleased about this, and just another example of the bridges Sadler and his handlers are burning. Like his recent on track issues, it appears that Sadler his also ‘given up’ on his primary sponsor. You remember, that same primary sponsor that was instrumental in Sadler getting his ‘dream ride’ in the first place.

But it is probably a good thing, as just by looking at the sizes of the pre-order T-shirts, it is clear that this event is NOT for the whole family. Children don’t seem to be welcome (unless they can fit into an adult medium T-shirt or larger) or maybe it is because those children don’t have the DOLLARS to hand over. But I see there is plenty of 2X and 3X T-shirts for what Brett so fondly calls, the ‘huge fans’. I am sure there are plenty of those to go around.

The sunshine pumpers my not see it, but I can see it very clearly.

The real question is, what soft drink beverage will this ‘barn party’ be serving? One would think it would be a Coke product, but with Elliott chumming up to Ray Evernham lately and seeing that Ray is in the Pepsi camp it maybe interesting to see, but that is a whole other story.

Robert, cut your losses now, and get someone else, anyone else to finish out this season in the 38 car. The self-proclaimed ‘Southern Gentleman’ doesn’t deserve it.

The Sadler saga continues. Remember, you are not a FAN, until you are a PAYING customer!

Friday, August 04, 2006

“Coach, I'm your guy”

Really, when one thinks about it, one would expect nothing less from this person when asked by his head coach if he would consider returning to the QB position after the starter was kicked off the team. After all, few athletes at the University of Oklahoma have given up more and not even a peep of complaint from him.

Even though the shock waves are still rumbling, after listening to Coach Stoops’ press conference on Thursday, I still have every bit of the anticipation that I had for this upcoming football season than I had a week ago. In some ways, maybe a bit more! Some of the more enjoyable Sooner seasons have been when much of the media and public persona have ‘written off’ the Sooner football team.

But maybe what really gets me exited about this season, is the person who will be under center for the Crimson and Cream. Paul Thompson has made many sacrifices throughout his OU Football career. From removing his red-shirt in a ‘meaningless’ game his Freshman year, to ‘re-redshirting’ his Junior year after Heisman Trophy winner stayed for an additional season, to changing to the Wide Receiver position last year after just a handful of games. His coaches, and more importantly, his teammates respect him. They look up to him for his leadership, something that is beneficial at the QB position. No ‘fist pumping’ when scoring a TD late in the game of a double digit loss, no ‘raising of the arms’ in disgust after a dropped pass, and no ‘spiking’ of the ball after the final play of a Bowl victory.

So yesterday, a few things popped in my head when I heard the news of what Thompson’s answer to the Bob Stoops’ question of ‘will you return to the QB position’? And the answer was ‘Coach, I am your guy’. One is that I am happy that you are getting a 2nd chance (even though the 1st chance really wasn’t much of one) to be the starting QB at OU. Two, is that I can’t wait till the half time ceremony at ‘senior day’ when you receive the ‘Don Key Award’. Paul Thompson should very well go down as what being a Sooner is all about. one can only hope that even if he struggles and doesn't get the Sooner faithful where we want to be this year, they well support this man’s endless integrity and what he has given to this program. He's the Anti-Bomar. It's all about the team, the University, the program and NOTHING about what's in his own best interest.

Marc and Felecia must be very proud of their son these days.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jerry Bomar, you should be so proud now

That your son has now taken Marcus Depree's place as the biggest waste of TALENT to play at OU. Rhett has been nothing but incident after incident since enrolling at OU. I guess I expected more from a High School Coach's kid. Now we know where Rhett got all that money for those $8 beers at the Ford Center while drinking under-age at the Hornets games!

So Bomar had a job at a Norman, Okla., car dealer (Big Red Sports and Imports) at which he'd work about five hours a week, but claimed, for tax purposes, that he earned $18,000 a year!!! Its not rocket science Rhett. You have now in fact, confirmed your are a prima donna. To all the 'BOMARheads' that refused to see something like this coming. Are you happy now?

So now OU coach Bob Stoops will most likely turn to this man to hold the riegns of the Sooner Schooner monster:

Joey Halzle
# 11
Quarterback - QB
Height: 6-4 Weight: 201
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Golden West CC

Enrolled at OU at the beginning of the 2006 spring semester...In 10 games at Golden West he threw for 2,077 yards and 13 touchdowns...Three-year starter in high school...Threw for 2,500 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior...Earned first team All-Area and All-CIF honors as a senior while leading his team to the All-CIF championship...Has a 28.7-inch vertical leap...Can do 21 reps on the bench at 185 pounds...Runs a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash...Coached by Ray Shackleford...Born: Jan. 29, 1986...Parents: Corky and Teresa Halzle.

• No. 40 JC player in the nation (CollegeFootballNews.com)
• No. 3 Junior College QB (CollegeFootballNews.com)
• No. 91 player in the JC Top 100 (Rivals.com)
• No. 49 JC player in the nation (SuperPrep)