Red River Rivalry, 112 years on and getting better all the time

Texas-Oklahoma Pregame Commentary

I think it’s good to bring in the players’ perspectives when we fans get so worked up about the game. In the early 80’s I worked with a soft-spoken man in his 50’s at Save the Children who ran the organization’s projects in Tuvalu, a tiny island in the South Pacific. In a conversation at company headquarters in Westport, Connecticut, I mentioned I went to Texas and he revealed he went to Oklahoma and played a little football there, on Bud Wilkinson’s teams in 1950-51, owners of the longest winning streak in college football history. He played both ways as most did in the days before the platoon system and on offense, he was a damn good end (he didn’t say it but I just “Googled” him thinking about the game). But when I asked him about the Texas-OU game, he didn’t talk about his glory, he just mentioned the time he dropped a pass, and felt “the whole stadium coming down

OU’s Jack Lockett makes a stop on the one-foot line in the 1951 Texas-Oklahoma game.

on me”.  And that was that. Kind of like when you want to hear war stories from a grizzled veteran and he’ll have none of it. Jack Lockett just wanted to save lives in the South Pacific. A damn good man, and there will be a lot of damn good men on the football field today. I salute them all, both sides. Win or lose, let’s just hope for a good game, that they play their best. It is a battle, a siege, and a privilege to watch, you lucky bastards. I haven’t been to a Texas-OU game since 1979 and this will be my third year missing it even on TV. I’ll get it on live ESPN feed though. If we don’t prevail, I’ll press on in the desert, and you’ll do the same. But we sure as hell want this one, yeah? Nice riff on Billy Joel, Willie, you could be headed down Tin Pan Alley.

Visit Wille Earl’s Longhorn Blog for a good read, even if you’re not an orangeblood: Willie Earl’s Longhorn Blog


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