Tag Archives: University of Oklahoma football

6’4″, 29, 220

Editor’s Note: For two months now, we’ve featured “Finding Manhood” on our Man Cave page as one of our partnership blogs we recommend.  We’re pleased to announce that beginning each Wednesday, we’ll now have a feature from their “Best Of” archives to share with our community.  Finally…regular Man Cave stuff AND Sports stuff!  I loved this post, and am glad it was chosen to kick off this weekly segment – Red Dirt Kelly

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It could be said that I am a big college football fan. It could also be said that I’m an even bigger University of Oklahoma (OU) college football fan.

My dad started taking me to games in Norman when I was a little kid and that tradition has continued into adulthood. In those rare occasions when I’ve been unable to make it to Norman for a game that is not televised, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to be a part of Bob Barry’s play-by-play color commentary on the radio for the better part of my life.

While there’s a lot I could say about Bob Barry and his style of radio announcing, the one thing that has stood out to me over the years is the way he introduces the players at both the beginning of the game and as they check into the huddle. After saying a player’s name and usually his hometown, Bob most always follows it with three numbers. For years I had no idea what the numbers were until one day a good friend cleared it up for me.

Each time a new player comes on the field, Bob says their height, age, and weight after announcing their name and the town they are from. Because I didn’t realize what that was until later in life, I always find it really amusing anytime I hear it now. For example, if I were walking out to the huddle for my debut as the starting left tackle for the University of Oklahoma, those listening to 107.7 KRXO FM in the greater Oklahoma City area would hear: “Michael Mitchell subbing in for the Sooners from Oklahoma City. 6’4″, 29, 220.”

Amusing though I find it, those 3 numbers really do matter in the game of college football… sometimes (see story about Darren Sproles below). If you tell me a guy’s age, his height, and his weight, you’ve told me a lot about him as a football player. I can generally gauge by his age the level of maturity and in-game instinct he’s going to have on the field. Obviously, his height and weight tell me a lot about his physical development and strength… how much power he’s going to pack. I like Bob Barry’s system because I like making snap judgments and it gives me a very quick, very simple shortcut to size a guy up.

As men, many of us are a lot like Bob Barry in that respect. We carry around numbers in our heads that are important to us and that we compare to the numbers of other men we know.

As we get older, the numbers we carry around in our heads are no longer our height, age, and weight…though for some men all three of Bob Barry’s numbers remain a big part of their identity.

And while it’s likely that you probably don’t care too much about your own height, age, and weight (unless you’re extreme in any of them to the point of medical danger), you probably carry around other numbers that you think ARE important.

For some men, it’s our salary. The more zeros at the end, the better, right? For other men, the number that matters is the number of letters we have after our names. For some of us, it’s the square footage of our homes or the number of toys our kids get on their birthdays. For others, it’s our golf handicap. And for some of us, it’s the dollar amount of our retirement account. (I do enjoy a good rhyme.)

No matter what numbers you carry around in your head, the fact remains that as men a lot of us have a hard time being comfortable in our own skin without comparing ourselves to others. We place way too much value on numbers that really don’t matter.

The problem with the numbers we carry around is at least two-fold.

First, much like the game of football, no matter what number we use from which to base our evaluations of ourselves and comparisons to other men, there’s always going to be someone with a better number than us. In football, it’s usually the left tackle.  But even the biggest left tackle always has someone coming up behind him that is: A) younger; B) probably taller; and, 3) heavier.

Maybe my income has 6 zeroes in it. (It doesn’t), but if it did, there’d be someone else out there who has 7. The same goes for my golf score (I don’t play), the number of fish I caught the last time I fished (less than my limit), the size of my home, the value of my investments, the horsepower of my car, my kid’s IQ, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on forever. And just like in the game of college football, there will always be someone with a better number.

The second way our numbers as men are similar to Bob Barry’s college football numbers is that often times they are both misleading and flat-out DON’T MATTER. While age, height, and weight are a quick way of sizing up a college football player, often times they are actually not the most important factors. We’ve all seen those guys who dominated the game of college football despite seemingly meager numbers. As an OU football fan, the name Darren Sproles comes to my mind. Sproles, who now plays on Sundays for the San Diego Chargers, is listed at 5′ 6″ and 185 pounds. He’s beefed up since his college days.

In 2003, despite his tiny stature, Sproles (who played for Kansas State) shredded the undefeated and highly touted OU defense in the Big Twelve Championship game leading to a 35-7 upset. Since then, he’s gone on to have a pretty good career in the National Football League. And yet, if you look at the guy on paper, his numbers betray him. And while I’ve never met the guy, I get the feeling that the one thing that REALLY sets him apart is a number that is impossible (at least for us non-medical professionals) to judge… that is, the size of his heart.

As men it’s really tempting to get caught up in the game of evaluating and comparing ourselves to other men based on whatever numbers we, or they, have deemed important. However I’ve recently started to meet and read about men that don’t fit the mold in this area. Men who may or may not have impressive numbers, but who just flat-out don’t give a damn.

These are men who evaluate themselves on intrinsic things that can’t easily be sized up with a quick number. Things like the amount of passion with which they face life, the way they treat other people, their own level of self-discipline, etc. These men have a sort of strength that draws other people to them. Call it resiliency, call it the mountain man persona, call it whatever you want to call it – but men like this don’t need numbers.

Despite the fact that these men probably have impressive numbers to boast, they find their value in simply being what they were created to be. Living life with gusto. Holding doors for little old ladies. Trying risky things even if it means failing more than they succeed. Taking care of their physical, mental, and emotional health. Taking care of their families. Making the decision to live a life of discipline. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day just because it’s difficult.

That’s the kind of man I want to be. Until then, I’m 6’4″ 29 220.

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Michael Mitchell is a new daddy and the husband of a friend.  I’ll let him introduce more of himself as he sees fit.  Afterall, I don’t want to be puttin’ up some wrong “numbers,” yo! – RDK

Silent Sunday: 10/17/10

 

Click photo to visit the Edmond Sun website.
Oklahoma Christian University Students experience "Out of This World" chapel service, enjoying almost a 30 minute feed from the space station. Click photo to visit the Edmond Sun website.

 

 

6-0 OSU Cowboys now "Bowl eligible." Nice photo from the Daily Oklahoman. Click photo to read post-game report.

 

 

The mystery message. Red Dirt Kelly was walking across campus on 10-12-10 and spied this lone piece of paper randomly taped to a glass door. Upon closer inspection, she noted that there was a message, and some sort of insignia. The note read: "Forever blindly ill (sic) always wait thoughts (written in "of") you keep me up late." What did it mean? Who was it from? To whom was it directed? What did the bronze/gold metallic "M" symbol mean? ... Was it YOU?"

 

 

Sometimes Red Dirt Kelly sees things that give her ideas. This image gave her the idea that the Red Dirt Chronicles needed a company truck.

 

 

 

In November, 2009, Matt Mahan, his children and his brother-in-law were out digging for flint chips in the Dewey County area when his brother-in-law called them over to a bluff area he was working on. He had found "a dead guy," that ended up being a 200+ year-old skeleton. The medical examiner told them that based upon the femur size, the man could have been 6'6" or taller, and was probably not Native American. Have you ever just been digging around in the dirt and discovered a skeleton? It's almost Halloween, so we're publishing this photo now. We need to follow-up to see if a final report was filed by that M.E., and what the conclusions were.

 

 

OU killed Iowa State. That's the whole story. Click the photo to get the perspective of an Iowa State blogger.

 

Gracie Burris, 5, gathers small pumpkins in the "Hide-a-Pumpkin" pit in Muskogee, OK. Photo by Wendy Burton of the Muskogee Phoenix.

 

 

Labor Day Weekend In Oklahoma, 1960

I don’t envy the library employees who labored to document, scan and archive electronic images of The Daily Oklahoman from the day OPUBCO opened its doors.  But I sure do appreciate them.

Last year I was doing some research that led me to discover this feat had been accomplished, so last night I logged on to do some more.  This time for the Chronicles.  I wanted to see what Labor Day Weekend was like in Red Dirt country fifty years ago.

Italian sweater jersey dresses were $21.00; John A. Brown's was having a "door buster" sale - shirts for $1.00

What I found was a slice of life that made me laugh, frown, send a clipping to my colleague at OSU and think about my friends who are politically active.  I experienced quite an array of emotions for the hour I perused the September 1st, 2nd and 3rd issues of the paper.  Then I tried to decide how I would put all that information into a small Friday morning blog posting.

The decision I arrived at was to provide you bullet points of what stood out to me, provide you with a few visuals, then encourage you to try this type of exercise on your own if you enjoyed it.  Here we go…

  • The Oklahoma local and county fair scene was being announced in several sections.  In Beaver, OK they were announcing festivities in a recently completed complex that cost $150,000 to construct.
  • H.E. Bailey and group were doing the final studies to put in a turnpike to travel eastward.  I’m sure the Tulsa World reported the project as traveling westward.
  • Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee  were preparing to “tie the knot.”
  • OU and OSU were gearing up for their first football games of the year to be held later in September.  OSU was celebrating being voted into the Big 8 conference; 1960 would be their first year to compete although they had petitioned many years prior.  OU had just finished a pre-game scrimmage and was concerned about two injuries they sustained during the contest.  They did win the scrimmage, however.
  • An OU professor was being investigated.  He was under suspicion for being a “Red.”  The “Red” theme was all over the paper.  “Red China” was the title they used for that country in a national headline.  This professor story was sad to me.  From what I could tell, all they knew at this point was that he and his wife had “legally updated their passports while in Moscow” on an academic trip.
  • And speaking of Moscow, Khrushchev was in the news because the US had refused to provide him an actual red carpet to walk on into the United Nations building due to a classification of his status “being one of the 60 states represented” rather than “a dignitary.”  There was another international article wherein a student from Africa was warning her fellow students back in her home country not to attend a Russian university, as she had, because of extreme derogatory names she was called while there.
  • People were gearing up for their Labor Day weekend cookouts.  Sound familiar?  I’ll bet you wish we had 1960 grocery prices!
  • In fashion, the new fall line was being introduced at Peyton-Marcus in downtown Oklahoma City.
  • People were getting married, people were dying and babies were being born.
  • The weather was exceptionally hot for this time of year.
  • "Er, I ran into a door!" - political cartoons changed? Not much.

    And, Governor Edmondson was trying his best to educate the state about several legislative measures going to a vote of the people very soon.

  • I noticed that in the business section there were many announcements from local business and industries about new hires or new appointments to management.  All of the names were male.
  • A young pro golfer had been found murdered in Lawton.  There were other crimes and murders as well.
  • And, I read a nice recipe in the food section on how to prepare garlic bread with a clove of garlic, butter and Parmesan cheese.

So I wonder…what has changed?  The Oklahoma culture is still here:  Football season, Labor Day cookouts (standard across our country), the local and county fairs, community, politics and the news.

Milnot: Make it a NO Labor Day!

It seems that most of what has changed, besides the fashion, are socio-political factors.  There isn’t a “Red” scare any more…but there are others, right?  Are people of various skin colors still being threatened with persecution and derogatory name calling?

Okay.  Perhaps not all that much has changed.

However, the technology to retrieve this information is a huge difference.  People will cook with technology that wasn’t invented in 1960.  The football games will have real-time updates on the internet and entertain the crowd with multimillion dollar big screen “wow factors.”  Brides-to-be will be utilizing event management software by an account set up online within their wedding planner’s website.  People will take digital photographs of their fair entries and send them to their family around the country.

There are differences.  Perhaps a bit of the socio-political paranoia is gone…maybe.

But there sure are similarities as well.

"The Big Red Will Rise Again" (Article in the Dec. 2nd edition, AFTER the football season was completed) Click for larger view.
"Rattlesnake Roundups," fair news, stock shows and rodeos...News from Around the State.