Monday, April 28, 2008

The Hailstorm!

Oklahoma City is getting pummelled in the sports messageboards for supposedly stealing the Supersonics from Seattle. You should see the prejorative names some ignorant fools are suggesting the new OKC team call themselves...including incredibly cruel swipes like the Oklahoma City Bombers. I know people who lost loved ones in the Murrah Building bombing...a building me and two others were due to tour for a college government class project on April 19th that was cancelled at the last minute due to a golf tournament...a tournament that possibly saved my life. Yeah, I don't find much humor in that name.

OKC did nothing wrong. Seattle had plenty of opportunities to "save the Sonics." No one from the local area stepped up to purchase the team. Seattle built two new stadiums for the Mariners and Seahawks but not for their oldest professional franchise. Seattle was given chance after chance and now they cry because they have to live with the consequences. Don't blame Oklahoma City...a city ready and willing to host the Hornets after Katrina and ready to go when the opportunity came knocking. Don't blame OKC.

I lost my favorite NBA team in 1985 when the Kansas City Kings moved to Sacramento. I know how it feels. I wandered in the NBA loyalty wilderness until 1997 when I moved to Dallas and decided to root for the lousy at the time Mavericks since I had no rooting interest in another NBA team. I will continue to root for Dallas (despite their gutless playoff performances the past two years) because I don't believe in giving up on teams that easily. But I will wish good things for the OKC team and perhaps root for them if I ever move back there. The same would be true for any potential team moving to Kansas City (sooner than you might think!).

There's the real quandry...who would I root for between Kansas City and Oklahoma City? I consider both teams my hometown. I've never had to pick since OKC never had a pro team. I could easily be a Sooner and a diehard Chiefs/Royals fan. It was easy to become a fan of the Mavericks and Dallas Stars since neither OKC or KC had NBA or NHL teams. Don't know what I'll do if the waters get muddied up in the future.

P.S. Glad the Chiefs picked up Longhorn Jamaal Charles in the draft. He really helped the Sooners out last year fumbling on his way into the endzone and allowing OU to keep their lead and win the game. He's a Sooner hero. Just hope he's learned how to hang onto the ball since then.

P.S.S. My pick for the OKC NBA team is the OKLAHOMA CITY HAILSTORM.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Random Notes

An unbelievable thing happened yesterday. Little Southern Nazarene University defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 8-4 in a men's baseball game. The Crimson Storm of the NAIA don't meet up with NCAA schools very often. Everyone knows I am a diehard Sooners fan except for those extremely rare times when they meet up with my beloved alma mater SNU. This was SNU's first major victory over a major college power since they revived the baseball program in 1997. Stunning. What a big win for the Storm!

Well I got my braces yesterday and it wasn't that bad. No pain...just an annoyance. I'm sure I'll feel some pain when I go in for adjustments and tightenings. It is a pain to have cut up my pizza into little tiny pieces. And it's taking my five minutes to brush my teeth well. Hopefully I'll get faster with practice. Flossing is a nightmare. Two and a half years to go. Hope its worth it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Countdown

28 Days until school's out.

2 days until I get braces.

2 weeks until snorkeling lessons.

4 weeks till Radiohead plays Dallas.

8 weeks till I lay on the white sand beaches of the Bahamas.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Go Memphis!

Tonight's NCAA championship game is the twentieth anniversary of one of the most traumatic experiences in my sports-watching life. It was in 1988 when the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the national title game. The Final Four was being staged in my hometown of Kansas City that year. It's hard to describe how excited the city was...especially since nearby KU was in the semifinals.

To make it worse both my parents are Jayhawk alums. All my friends, teachers and enemies were Jayhawk fans. I was one of a few sparse Sooners in K.C. it seemed. I was feeling pretty confident...cocky actually. OU had the highest scoring team in NCAA history. They had defeated Kansas three times that season (twice in the regular season and once by 23 points in the Big Eight Tournament). Kansas was lucky to get into the tournament that year.

My Dad and I attended the final Final Four practice session at Kemper Arena which was free to the public and jammed packed. It was exciting to be ten rows from the floor to watch Duke, Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma do their last practice sessons. That night I videotaped the game (which my parents confiscated after I wished to delete it from existence) and almost had a stroke when KU pulled off the upset. It only got worse.

The next day everybody in the high school raked me over the freakin' coals. My KU Alum high school band director forced me and another OU fan to lead the clapping to the Jayhawk fight song in front of 120 jeering band students. Pretty traumatic stuff for a freshman. By the end of the day I lost my cool and when a guy named Harry jeered me in the hallway before sixth period going up the staircase I punched him in the head. The jeering went on for months. Months! Even football season didn't bring the normal respite because nobody cared about football in Kansas at the time.

The shame was that OU had one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time that year. Mookie Blaylock, Stacy "Sky" King, Ricky "Amazing" Grace, David Sieger and Harvey "General" of the best line-ups of all time. But that is all forgotten since stupid Danny Manning and his cast-offs got lucky the fourth time they played the Sooners.

Yes, I'm over it. That was 20 years ago. Especially when my band director emailed me to apologize two years ago. But I tell you this...getting over it doesn't mean I won't be rooting hard for the Memphis Tigers tonight. Sorry Mom and Dad. With all due respect I hope the Jayhawks go down hard. That's the beauty of for a team doesn't go away easily (go Royals!). But neither does hatred for a team go away that easily as well. Go Memphis!