Site update

If you follow our RSS feed, or look at the discussion group in chronological view, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been hit lately by a bunch of comment spam. Automated programs sign up as members to the site and post messages full of ads on older posts, hoping that search engines will find them and increase their page rank. (The more pages link to a site, the more important the search engines think that site is.)

We don’t yet have a great solution for this, but in an attempt to slow it down for now, we’ve done a couple of things. First, we’ve turned on a new attribute in all links on comments and discussion group messages so the search engines will ignore them.

They may still continue to do it, though, so for the moment, we’ve turned off membership. That means if you haven’t already registered on the site, then for now, you can’t – you need to contact me or Rita in E-mail and ask us to add you, and we’ll be happy to do that. This will stop the bots from joining as new members so they can post their ads. Hopefully, after a few weeks, they’ll give up and we’ll turn it back on – or have a better solution.

Sorry for any inconvenience, but we don’t want ads for little blue pills or online gambling tournaments stealing our site’s reputation!

Update: We think we have it licked for the moment, but it required turning off the pop-up comments window. The discussion group is still there, as are all the comments, but they won’t appear in a pop-up window for now. If you have any problems, let us know.

Why They’re Called That

The tradition continues. From Sunday’s Norman Transcript:

Former editor Jane Bryant forwarded a message from Lisa Hall, an OU fan from Tallahassee, who attended the game and then went home to help serve the OU band a meal as they made their way back to Oklahoma.

I wanted to share a special ‘hug’ our Tallahassee Sooners got yesterday as we licked our wounds after a long drive back from Miami. We had been asked to help make arrangements to feed the Pride of Oklahoma dinner as they passed through on their way back to Norman.

A local high school football booster group was more than happy to take on the project, arranging the catering and providing the facility to handle 340 hungry college students. Talk about a group of kids who needed a hug. They’d suffered through the game – and then a bus breakdown in Orlando that delayed their dinner stop until 10 last night. Yet they represented their school and their state with grace and dignity that is truly rare.

I’ve never seen such sincere expression of appreciation and gratitude for a warm welcome and show of support. The high school boosters were absolutely stunned by their courtesy and conduct. We had hoped to cheer them up – but we were the ones who came away cheered and so extremely proud to be associated with a University that is defined not just by a football team, but by the outstanding young people it serves.

Brian Britt read this letter at the 2005 Pride of Oklahoma Band Banquet.

Sooners finish 12-1

Despite the incredibly heartbreaking “-1″ part of that headline, congratulations to all 321 members of the 2004-05 Pride of Oklahoma for a fantastic Centennial season, and for keeping the faith from before the first kickoff until the last second of the last game. (I know I wasn’t the only one who heard St. Elmo’s Fire in the last two minutes.) They saw the Sooners win their third Big XII Championship, and performed in their fourth BCS bowl game (and third BCS National Championship game) in five years.

Boomer Sooner, through thick and thin. Thanks to everyone, and watch our site (or RSS feed) over the off-season for scholarship news, alumni opportunities, more news on Pride history, and anything else that comes our way.

Support the Pride in Miami!

If you’re in South Florida for the Orange Bowl on Tuesday, check out these opportunities to see The Pride before the game!

Practice sessions are at Barry University in Miami Shores, the same place the Sooners are practicing. Some pep rally performances feature pep bands and not the full Pride. (And, in case you’re calling someone in Florida to let them know, remember that all times are Eastern Standard Time…)

Sunday, January 2

  • 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Practice

Monday, January 3

  • 8:15 AM – 9:45 AM: Practice
  • 11:30 AM: Pep Rally (AvMed Coaches Luncheon, Radisson Downtown)
  • 7:00 PM: Pep Rally (Orange Bowl Beach Bash, Hollywood Beach)
  • 7:30 PM: Pep Rally (OU Touchdown Club, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino)

Tuesday, January 4

  • 9:45 AM – 11:00 AM: Practice
  • 3:00 PM: Pep Rally (OU Alumni Association, Intercontinental Hotel)
  • 5:00 PM: Pep Rally (Orange Bowl Tailgate Party, Pro Player Stadium, Orange Lot)
  • 6:30 PM (approximate!): Pregame! (No halftime performance – it’s the Orange Bowl, you know)

If you’re in the area, don’t miss a chance to see the final appearances of the Centennial Edition Pride of Oklahoma. If you’re not, share your Orange Bowl talk on our Orange Bowl open thread. GO SOONERS!