Friday, November 30, 2007

Ohka-Nomo Misery

Here we go again ... tomorrow represents another Saturday when Boston Red Sox broadcaster JOE CASTIGLIONE will be reminded of how disappointing it was to first watch Toma Ohka and then see Hideo Nomo pitch for the home team at Fenway -- all because Sooners' athletic director JOE CASTIGLIONE will be watching his football team tangle with the No. 1 team in the nation.

That's right ... one Joe Castiglione knows everything about Ohka-Nomo misery
The other Joe Castiglione is up close and personal with Oklahoma-Missouri.
And, if last Saturday's Missouri-Kansas/Border Showdown was "Armageddon At Arrowhead" is tomorrow supposed to be "Castiglione In San Antone"???

All Castiglioning aside, some of us who are Sooner Schoonerists (but who are not as gung-ho about it as we were when Thomas Lott and his colorful bandana would engineer the Sooner Wishbone by first faking the handoff to Horace Ivory before pitching to Elvis Peacock), might find it necessary/imperative to actually root against Stoops' Troops tomorrow.
Bob needs to understand that it's nuthin' personal -- it's just that the America which enjoys college football cannot endure another entire December of "experts" informing us that "Jim Tressel (and his sweater vest) is the best big-game coach in the history of football.
41-14 vs. the Alligators proved that he clearly was not.

Not that anyone is fooled by "Big Game Bob."
True ... the national championship in '00 was remarkable (albeit a feat accomplished with many of John Blake's recruits) -- just as we were all quite impressed with the way that Bob turned the 0-12 Sooner team of '05 into a program of national prominence last year.
That is, until Boise State stupified Stoops in the Fiesta Bowl with a) the hook-and-lateral TD on 4th down b) the halfback-option pass on 4th down in OT and c) the gutsy, Statue of Liberty, 2-pointer which ended the game.

So, yes, it is true that Bob Stoops was the coach in the Greatest Ending In College Football History ... Period -- so, stop bringing up the way that USC mauled the undefeated Sooners, 55-19, in the BCS title game three years ago (because if Pete Carroll wanted it to be worse, 'SC coulda hanged 85 points on the Schooner that night due to the inability of future-NFL superstar Brodney Pool to recognize that when he stands in one place and Trojan receivers are running free in the secondary, that MIGHT be a problem ...).

Brig. Gen. Stoops don't like it so much if ya remind him of that disaster, just as he might get a wee bit sensitive if anyone mentions the season before 55-19 ... when the Schooner, which was 12-0 (winning by an average score of 48-14 in those 12 games), got absolutely smoked, 35-7, by Kansas State in the Big XII title game (two days shy of the one-month anniversary of OU's 77-0 win over Texas A&M).
It's one thing to lose.
It's another to get humiliated in a prison-sex manner.

Bobby doesn't want ya thinkin' 'bout those embarrassments 'cuz, if ya ever noticed, he can rattle off the school's national championship seasons and Big 8/Big XII titles at the drop of a hat.
Ya can't blame him -- after all, he IS the coach who is only two years removed from the 0-12 disaster -- a season which was punctuated handsomely by the final minute of the Holiday Bowl when linebacker Rufus Alexander intercepted that Oregon pass (when his team was clinging to that 17-14 lead) and then picked up a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for heaving the football into the stands.
Moments later, Rhett Bomar -- QB of the only 0-12 team in OU history -- was tagged with a delay of game penalty when he took a knee (for what he assumed was the last snap of the game) before spiking the ball and raising his arms in triumph.

The 0-12 season was, in the eyes of many, a lotta plumb bad luck.
A year after the Alexander-Bomar meltdowns, Coach Bob looked on as another player chucked the football into the stands.
Sadly for Stoops, it was Ian Johnson who excitedly flung the ball into the crowd after scoring on the Statue of Liberty play ... and, well ... maybe that's just bad sportsmanship if ya gotta use trick plays and gimmickry to win a ballgame, hell ... it wasn't as though Boise State had outplayed OU through the 2 1/2 quarters or nuthin' ... buildin' that 28-10 lead ... golldern razzle dazzle shit ...

Therein lies the rub: When we're rootin' for Bob, he comes up short.
Now, when we need him to keep Tresselvest out of our BCS title game, we have to root for Missouri.
Which doesn't sound like any fun at all.
Chase Daniel is a bit of a punk.

Anway, that's No. 1-ranked Mizzou -- or should we say, "The second Big 12 team in as many weeks in line to get whacked by The S.I. Cover Jinx."
Last week, it was the Kansas Jaywalks and the S.I. "Dream Season (So Far)" cover.
This time, it's "Mizzou, That's Who" -- and, well ... Chase Daniel is the coverboy for The Sporting News, too, so ...

True ... Daniel looked mighty good completing 81.6 percent of his passes (40 of 49) in that nationally-televised game last week ("you're looking LIVE at Arrowhead Stadium!") ... and, yes, this Sooner secondary IS ripe for carving like a Thanksgiving turkey (or didja forget how Texas Tech's Graham Harrell was abusive toward the overrated OU LBs and DBs ... seriously, does Marcus Walker look like Rickey Dixon or Roy Williams to you? ... has anyone mistaken Curtis Lofton for Bosworth or Calmus????).

Stoops has worked wonders in SchoonerTown ... more than merely turning around the 0-12 team of '05.

For example, it was Big Game Bob who oversaw two landmark changes in Sooner history:
A) First, Stoops had the players' last names returned to the backs of the jerseys after an '06 with nameless jersey backs (as you recall, when No. 11 was chasing Boise State's #1 down the sideline, it might as well have been #11 Jack Mildren or or #11 Tinker Owens or #11 Ontei Jones instead of #11 Lendy Holmes ... because there was no "HOLMES" on the back of Lendy's crimson-coloured shirt).
B) Big Game Bob instituted the white cleats at home AND on the road (instead of black cleats with white jerseys for away games).

Never let it be said that Stoops is not innovative.
Even if he doesn't know how to defend the hook-and-lateral, the halfback-option or the Statue of Liberty ...

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