I’m back after a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. My turkey was as good as it’s ever been, if I do say so myself. And my mammas’ stuffing was Big League! My brother, Pete, made turkey soup the next day with the carcass and it was the best soup I’ve ever had – of any kind. I am so thankful for Julie and my family, my brother & sister, and Julie’s extended family as well.
Thanksgiving weekend also means Bedlam. As you know I’ve been doing radio for over 17 years now; and when I first started I used to worry about making everyone happy. I quickly realized that is impossible and I decided to do my show based on the truth. To the dismay of many fans, I would not be a homer for the school I so proudly attended, Oklahoma State University, this past weekend. I would never change my experience in Stillwater, but there sure are some orange clad fans that embarrass the heck out of me.
Here are two examples: If you listen to my show you know that I picked OU to win the game and cover the spread. After Al Eschbach and I gave our picks at the end of the pre-game show we started walking to the stadium and there she was… A woman dressed in orange calling me Trader. I sure am happy that my name rhymes with Trader… Jim Trader this, Jim Trader that. But this pathetic woman was mad because I wouldn’t go against a team that had won 29 straight in this stadium and was 65 and 2 under Bob Stoops at home. Guess what? I was right on the money. Hmmm… maybe telling the truth and calling the game the way I see it is the right thing to do. If you want a homer for your school there are others on the radio that will tell you what you want to hear… but that’s not me.
Example number 2: Because my family was in town all weekend, I didn’t have a chance to look at all of my emails from Tuesday of last week until Monday morning after the game. One of the emails I received was from an OSU fan who before the game couldn’t believe that I was picking OU. He said that the home field thing that I had harped on was incorrect, because over the last 15 years OSU has won in Norman. That wasn’t the only reason I picked OSU, but he was trying to prove that I was wrong. Obviously I was right and on Monday morning when I got his email I sent a quick reply saying, “Well, I guess I was right. Sorry.” He then replied by ripping me and saying how weak it was that I had waited until after the game was over to answer his email and that if I had been wrong, and OSU had won the game, that he wouldn’t have heard a word from me. He said I was arrogant and that he would never listen to my show again. I simply emailed back, “but I wasn’t wrong and I just now read your email”.
As you can see many people do not want to hear the truth about their beloved school. The week before I picked Tech to beat OU and of course the OU fans were mad at me about that. I’ll just go on calling it like I see it and being right more times than not.
Under the circumstances, OU played one of their best games in a long time. Brent Venerables and his defense were dominating. And although I thought Mike Gundy could’ve shown more imagination, and Zach Robinson was definitely hurt, I don’t think it would have changed anything for the Cowboys. The fact is it’s close to impossible to win in Norman I don’t care who you are. And before OSU fans start trying to figure out what’s wrong, just realize what is right – 9 and 3 with a Cottonbowl bid is a really good year considering the injuries and the suspension of Dez Bryant.
I can’t wait for the Florida Alabama game. There is nothing better than 1 vs 2 late in the season. It could be an old fashion, defensive, slug-it-out type of game, but I’m kind of old fashion. I realize that many of you would love to see Tim Tebow fall flat on his face, but it’s not going to happen. Florida wins and plays Texas in the National Championship game. More about that later. Next week we will talk about the Bowls, which I’m sure at least 20 of them will be junk. How can anyone get fired up for 6 – 6 and 7 – 5 teams? This year cries for a play off more than any other. Wouldn’t you like to see TCU, Boise, and Cincinnati all step up to the Big Leagues and go head-to-head with a Florida or a Texas? Not going to happen… instead we’re going to get Cincinnati against someone like Georgia Tech. YAWN!
Pro Football: I got an email Sunday night 10 minutes after the game ended ripping the Steelers and me. Par for the course, but I was really proud of the Steelers Sunday night. They went to a division rival with a huge crowd, started a third team quarterback who had thrown one pass in the NFL, and their star defender did not play. And they go to overtime? The Steelers may not be the Super Bowl representative from the AFC, but they’re not done yet. I know I wouldn’t want to play them in January.
I love what Craig Humphries said on the Sports Animal and it needs to be repeated. He said that when Bret Favre went to Dr. Andrews to get his shoulder operated on he must have operated on his head to. It took Favre until he was 40 to realize that the guys around him can be stars too. And boy is he throwing the ball really well. Great MVP race: Favre, Brees, and Manning… believe it or not, right now I lean towards Favre. The Saints looked unbelievable on Monday night. If their defense plays like that they will be unbeatable. Of course that’s not the way it usually goes. Right now, they are the best team in the NFL. How about that? The Saints.