A few times added to the events calendar

The TV networks with Big 12 contracts exercised one of their rare (once or twice per season) options to set the kickoff time for the OU-Miami game with only six days’ notice. Normally, the networks have to decide no later than 13 days if they’re going to televise a game, and that’s when kickoff time is set.

So we had the rare instance of learning in the past two days both the kickoff time for OU at Miami on October 3 (7:00 PM CDT) and for Baylor at OU on October 10mn (2:30 PM CDT). Both games will be televised regionally by “ESPN on ABC,” with some areas Saturday night seeing USC at Cal rather than OU at Miami. After Wednesday, you should be able to click here and see the map showing which parts of the country will not see OU vs. Miami.

I put that up front because I saw someone came to the site today looking for the info. Of course, it’s been updated on the “events calendar”, and we’ll keep updating that with schedule information as we get it. (Someone else came looking for The Pride’s schedule during OU-Texas week, but that won’t be made public until that week.)

Even more important, however, is that the OU Band Department presents the first band concert of the fall semester on Thursday night. More on that later today—be sure to finish your Homecoming 2009 Registration before heading to the concert so you don’t miss the deadline!

2009 Homecoming Marchers

Click here to see the list of registered participants for Homecoming 2009. We’re updating this list periodically, but not instantly, so give us a few days after your registration to be sure.

If “give us a few days” would push that after October 1, then we still strongly encourage you to register now and avoid any last-minute hassles.

You are not logged in, so you’ll need either to log in, or join the site by registering (it’s free) to be able to see the list of marchers, as well as other members-only documents (including sheet music and other files as we have them to share.

Bring on the Golden Hurricane!

I’m a little late in talking about this week’s game, but I think I’m finally dry from last week’s.

It wasn’t the flash flood that we saw last year, nor the heavy pour I remember from the 1986 King Orange Jamboree Parade, nor was it cold like during the UTEP game. It was just gentle, steady, soaking rain that continued until midway through the 4th quarter—stopping, of course, right after The Pride had finally finished the (paper) boxed dinner in the stands.

But all that’s water under the tunnels (ugh) when you can leave with a 64-0 victory! The Sooners needed a bit of a tune-up after losing Sam Bradford for a few weeks (and Jermaine Gresham for the season), and they took advantage of the opportunity with an old-fashioned Owen Field home rout.

The Golden Hurricane of Tulsa blows into Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, and don’t let their unranked status fool you. Tulsa got one vote in this week’s USA Today poll (and would have tied for 44th place). When combining the computer rankings that are out so far with the polls that are out, Jerry Palm’s indispensable CollegeBCS site says Tulsa would rank 60th, tied with South Carolina. That’s exactly halfway through the list of 120 Division I-A Football Bowl Series teams—and the Gamecocks barely lost to higher-ranking Georgia.

Georgia, of course, lost to OSU, which itself got dismantled at home last weekend by Houston (whose band is directed by fellow alum David Bertman!), and Houston and Tulsa are both Conference USA teams. C-USA has regularly produced surprisingly good teams, and let us not forget that Tulsa itself has been to four consecutive bowl games, winning three of them. Our Sooners are favored, but after the first game of the season, I don’t think any of us are taking anything for granted.

There’s emotion on both sides: Mike Bryan, the son of former Sooner great Rick Bryan who died this summer, is a linebacker for the Golden Hurricane.

The Pride of Oklahoma will perform a new show this week with hits from within the past 12 months, a nice balance from the Heisman Trophy medley that stretched back to the 50s. The Sooner Fan Fest, which has moved from north of the stadium to the Jacobs Track Complex (just north of the indoor Everest Training Center), has been cancelled for this week due to the poor grounds condition and the possibility of more rain. But cross your fingers!

The game begins at 2:30 PM with coverage on regional Fox Sports Networks such as FSN Southwest; check your local listings if FSN Southwest is not your regional FSN channel. The gameday schedule is on our Events calendar and we hope to see you there. BOOMER SOONER!

Saturday is a Big Day for The Pride

I think it hurts more when you know you could have won the game but did not. I’ve seen the Sooners in off years (like about 12 years ago) in games where it was obvious they were overmatched, and while the losses were still disappointing, anything else would have been a miracle. Against BYU, just like at the BCS National Championship nine months ago, had 2-3 plays gone just slightly the other way, the outcome would have been different. For me, that’s always what really hurts—some for me, but just as much for the team and for our successors in The Pride of Oklahoma. As with last year’s Texas game, a mid-game injury to a key player causes real trouble for the Sooners.

We’ll see how well they bounce back this Saturday night at Owen Field, as the Sooners host the Idaho State Bengals in a game available only on pay-per-view in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets. Kickoff is at 6:07 PM or thereabouts, but if you’re in the stadium, you’ll see something really special.

For the first time since 1982, Saturday is Band Day at Owen Field!

We are very excited to tell you that thanks to the cooperation of Mr. Joe Castiglione, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics, and our Athletics Marketing Department, The Pride of Oklahoma is once again inviting high school band members to join us on the field as part of a special Band Day performance! This exciting event will take place on Saturday, September 12, 2009 in conjunction with the Oklahoma vs. Idaho State game.

I, your humble Webmaster, was fortunate enough to participate in the last such event held in Norman—but as a high school band member, still a few years from auditioning for The Pride. Unlike those events, where only entire high school bands could participate, this year’s event welcomes some entire bands as well as individual musicians from any band in the state.

(If you’re a band parent, you know how ridiculously crazy schedules are for students who participate in extra-curricular activiites have gotten in the past decade or so. A lot of great musicians at larger schools would love to be on the field with The Pride, but the school itself might not be able to arrange for a 200-member band to all show up, all day Saturday, in uniform, for such an event when there might have been an away game requiring the full band’s participation a hundred miles away on Friday night. Allowing individual participants lets students from schools take part in Band Day even if their entire bands can’t make the commitment.)

It’s the home opener as well. “The Pride” will reprise last night’s performance of a salute to all five Sooner Heisman Trophy winners (including the injured-for-a-few-weeks Sam Bradford) and perform a new tune with the high school musicians. The game also features the home debut of feature twirler Megan McGeary, a world-class twirler and a very nice person, much like her predecessor, Meredith Sigler (who helped recruit Megan!). I’m sure you’ll agree that Megan will make an outstanding addition to the Pride’s rich history of champion feature twirlers.

Meanwhile, the countdown on the red box on the home page continues to tick away as registrations for Homecoming 2009 are due by October 1. They’re arriving steadily, so make sure yours is one of them—don’t delay!

Cleaning up the site membership

This Web site and our mailing list are two separate systems, so membership in one does not map to membership in the other. Since the mailing list gets information out faster, we’d naturally prefer all Pride Alumni to sign up for it, but it’s difficult to get the word out at times. As Rita noted, OUBAA is reducing its paper mailing because E-mail is all but free to us and paper and postage are very much not. (Considering that “The Pride” has counted over 200 members each year for all of my conscious life, that’s a lot of alumni—and a lot of newsletters!)

In an attempt to give everyone the opportunity to stay up to date, I’ve invited all members of this Web site to join the mailing list. Since your member name here is your E-mail address, we have a lot of E-mail addresses to invite, and we hope you’ll all join the list and stay up-to-date.

The downside to using an E-mail address as a username is that for many people, that address changes over time as you change jobs or change ISPs. Because of that, we’ll get back a significant number of bounced invitations because those E-mail addresses are now dead.

Sometime over the next week or two, we’ll take the bounce information and use it to delete members on here whose E-mail addresses are no longer valid. This probably won’t affect many people, but there’s always the chance that you’re logging into the site using an old, invalid E-mail address because you never need to get mail at that address. (If you forget your password, the site mails it to you at your address on file—if that address is dead, you can still log on as long as you remember your password, but you can’t get any password reminders if you forget it.)

You are not logged in right now, so this is very unlikely to affect you. If you’ve registered before, please log in, or join the site at your current E-mail address by registering (it’s free). It’s how you can see members-only documents such as Homecoming 2009 music and other files as they become available.