Let me get this out of the way: I hate orange and black. When you’ve grown up with crimson colored blood (get it?) and your two biggest rivals have orange as their primary color, orange is a color you stay away from. You don’t buy orange clothes, orange road cones, orange snow cones, orange safety vests, or oranges. You barely even celebrate Halloween.
Having said that, there are some things I appreciate about Oklahoma State and Stillwater. This doesn’t include the Oklahoma State College of Veterinary Medicine, Desmond Mason, Homecoming or Sunni Kate Galloway. Remember her? No? Well, she’s a daughter of former OU baseball coach Sunny Galloway. She’s infamous for her appearance in Playboy’s 2006 “Girls of the Big 12″ edition. Big shout out to @TheLostOgle for their relentless investigative journalism. Love those dudes. Representing the Poke (hehe) faithful well, Kelli Gallo! However, there are a few things about that place north of Oklahoma City that stand out to me.
1. The Strip
Limey’s, Coney Island, The Barn (Drive-Through Liquor Store), the various bars, and Eskimo Joe’s (technically not on the strip, but for purposes of this list, it goes here.) What’s not to like about spending less than $15 on a night of drinking and eating? What’s not to like about a drive-through liquor store? Going out on the strip is a good time.
Below is a photo of Coney Island. Below is a photo of The Barn.
Ah, the famous Limey. Outside of Homecoming, the Limey was one thing I ALWAYS heard about Stillwater. I believe it was my third time in Stillwater that I decided to find out what all the fuss was about.
What’s so special about a sugary, citrusy, alcoholic beverage in a styrofoam cup? Not much, except for the fact it’s filled with approximately 10 shots of liquor that you can’t taste. I only had one, but that’s all it took…
Let’s just say I enjoyed the rest of my night.
What’s not to like about Eskimo Joe’s? Okay, the t-shirts. All of us, Sooners and Cowboys alike, have at one point in our lives have owned a Joe’s shirt.
Sure, over the years Eskimo Joe’s has become a little overrated. Yet there is no doubt that you still have to stop by, entertain buying a(nother) t-shirt, eat some cheese fries, and take home 50 glowing cups for your kitchen cabinet.
2. Barry Sanders
Barry Sanders is arguably the greatest athlete to come out of Oklahoma State. Winning the Heisman Trophy in 1988, and setting tons of records along the way, he shared the backfield with fellow NFL Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas, and stud muffin Mike Gundy.
In my opinion, he is in the conversation of being the greatest running back of all time. So elusive, quick, and able to find space where none existed, he was so much fun to watch. It’s a shame he retired after 10 years, still seemingly at the height of his football powers. On the other hand, if I had to keep playing for the Detroit Lions, I would probably retire too.
Here’s Barry being Barry:
The University of Oklahoma has had some great running backs, including Joe Washington, Billy “Boomer-Q” Sims, Steve Owens, and Adrian Peterson (who very well could end of being one of the all-time greats himself). But watching those highlight tapes of Barry playing for Lions, when you knew he was the only player on the team worth a crap, putting nasty moves on defenders, to me makes him unlike anything OU has ever had. He just was a special player, and probably the only Cowboy that I have a soft spot for in my heart.
Nowadays, if you need your Barry Sanders fix, just visit Barry Sanders Supercenter in Stillwater, where you can find a great deal on a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram or Hyundai with ‘small city overhead.’ That, or watch Barry Sanders Jr. apply his football trade at Stanford. It’s probably for the best he didn’t end up going to Oklahoma State. One Barry Sanders is plenty.
3. Uniform Choices
By my count, the Oklahoma State football team has around 1,654 uniform combinations. Traditionalist Sooner fans would point out that this is blasphemous. Where is your tradition? What about your history? Why are you Nike’s guinea pig? You’re not Oregon.
But in today’s college football, and college athletics in general, tradition and history isn’t as important as it used to be. With all the newfangled social networking websites like Tweeter, Facebooks, Myspace, Instagram, Xanga, and a bunch of stuff Google has tried, kids these days care about different things, like
getting paid looking cool. I’ll admit it, Nike has done a pretty good job with OSU’s uniforms (especially the greys), and being able to show off the different jerseys, shoes, helmets, and ‘accessories’ can give you an added advantage in recruiting a player to Stillwater.
I wouldn’t mind if our Sooners wore an alternate uniform a few games a year. If an alternate is out of the question, why not mix in a throwback uniform every now and again? Maybe do a few retro combinations like they did in 2003 and 2009. I’m not advocating for a permanent third uniform set, but a throwback or alternate uniform once or twice a year couldn’t hurt, right?
4. Mike Gundy’s Swag
Have you seen the dude’s hair? Have you seen the dude not wearing sunglasses? Have you seen the dude’s dance moves? Is there any specific reason why I am referring to Gundy as “The Dude”? Sorry Dude. OU fans know for a fact we will never see Bob Stoops doing the dougie, let alone the electric slide.
Mike Gundy’s ability to connect with modern college athletes has a direct impact on his team’s morale and excitement. And, until recently, the Pokes haven’t had much excitement on fall Saturdays. He’s relatively young for the college coaching profession (he’s a man, he’s 45), and he’s a former Oklahoma State quarterback who’s considered a saint by the Stillwater fanbase (or so it seems from the perspective of an outsider). Gundy is O-State’s guy, and the Cowboy brass is all in on Gundy. He understands what it takes to succeed as a player at Oklahoma State, and he definitely understands how to let loose for a fun night at Dirty’s or the Dragon’s Layer… Or both. He might not have Lil Wayne or Jay Z on his iPod a la Kevin Sumlin, but he’s still pretty damn hip.
In time, he might be able to match Bob Stoops in the visor and wins department. However, we all know no one wears a visor quite like Bob.
5. T. Boone
Every once in a while you will see an attractive, young, and ‘in shape’ woman with a much older gentlemen. In many cases, you would refer to the much older gentlemen as a ‘sugar daddy.’ Oklahoma State has a sugar daddy. His name is T. Boone Pickens.
T. Boone Pickens has done remarkable things for Oklahoma State athletics. He has given over $500 million dollars to the university, and $265 million of that has been for athletics. He transformed Rustoleum stadium into Boone Pickens Stadium. He has helped build athletic facility after facility after facility. There is an argument to be made that the OSU athletics would be nowhere close to where they are today without his contributions.
And guess what? If any Sooners are hatin, they’re jealous. If the roles were reversed, there would be no one in Norman second guessing someone who wanted to give THAT much money to their school. Yes, the University of Oklahoma has never been in a position to need that much investment. But either way, President Boren and Joe C. would happily take a couple hundred million for anyone who was willing to offer it. In this case, I am certainly not hatin’ the playa, or the game.
I don’t know T. Boone’s marital status, but if I were a relatively young and good looking Oklahoma State student or alum, I would let him be my sugar daddy. You owe him.
6. Friendly People (Girls)
Another thing I’ve always heard about Stillwater and Oklahoma State was how welcoming and friendly the people are. As someone who has visited Stillwater multiple times, I would say this is true. People have always made a point to talk to me, made sure I was having a good time, and, most importantly, they made sure I had a beer in my hand. And from a guy’s perspective, the women in Stillwater are a little easier to talk to.
I googled “Oklahoma State University Girls” and, honestly, the picture to the left is the first in google image:
Sure, it might be after you both housed a shot of whiskey, drained a beer bong or shot-gunned a beer. Or perhaps the conversation began by you asking her for a dip (just kidding). But the fact remains… The girls are just a little nicer and less pretentious than their crimson and cream counterparts.
As for the difference between the guys, you’ll get more cowboy boots than Sperry Topsiders in Stillwater, but in reality, no one likes college aged males between 18 and 23 anyway. Good luck ladies!
7. Karston Creek
I don’t play golf, but if I did, I would love this golf course.
It’s rated as one of the best collegiate golf courses in the United States, and one of the best golf courses in Oklahoma.
It’s the home course for OSU’s men’s and women’s golf teams and it’s probably no coincidence that the men’s team is perennially among the best in the country.
If you like to play a round at Jimmy Austin in Norman, then you would definitely enjoy a round here.
We might have our differences in school allegiances, but at the end of the day we are all Okie’s. Don’t let the non-graduates on the Sports Animal tell you otherwise, as we can learn to appreciate certain things about the other.
No matter if you’re from Tulsa, Ardmore, Oklahoma City, Enid, Gotebo, Hooker, or Slapout, we can all agree on one thing: Texas sucks.
Shea is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and former member of the Sooner
women’s track and field team.
Featured image from thegamingtailgate.com