It’s “saxeT” week!

The Sooners won another “squeaker” last night, holding off a late surge from a very good Cincinnati team (two BCS bowl games in the past two years) to move up to 4-0.

Our conference compatriots from Austin did not fare as well. It was late in the 4th quarter before sɐxǝʇ scored a touchdown against UCLA to bring the score to UCLA 27, sɐxǝʇ 13. sɐxǝʇ then attempted an onside kick and a) was offsides, and b) kicked it out of bounds anyway. If that doesn’t tell you how the Longhorns’ day went, consider this: UCLA took that possession and scored again, making the score 34-13. On the resulting deep kick-off, sɐxǝʇ fumbled the kick-off and gave the ball back to UCLA on the sɐxǝʇ 22 yard line with 1:05 to play. That’s when the moo cows threw in the towel. The previous time UCLA visited Austin, they held the Longhorns to zero touchdowns and beat them 66-7 or so back in 1997.

But of course, the Pac-10 is entirely overrated (pardon me while I roll my eyes). And after the game on ESPN, John Saunders recapped both scores and said “So, yeah, not real impressive performances from either OU or Texas this week.” As if holding off a BCS team at their home is somehow comparable to losing to an unranked team at your home field. Sigh.

Nonetheless, it’s sɐxǝʇ week for the Sooners and Longhorns, with the Red River Rivalry kicking off at 2:40 PM Saturday afternoon at The Original Cotton Bowl on the grounds of the Texas State Fair. ABC-TV has either national or regional television coverage, with coverage maps available later this week. The 4-0 Sooners will surely be ranked higher than the 3-1 Longhorns, but after being embarrassed at home by unranked UCLA, sɐxǝʇ will be loaded for bear in a high-emotion game. Historically, the Longhorns do best against Bob Stoops’s teams when the OU quarterback either is or becomes injured, and I think they may be desperate enough to consciously realize that. It could get ugly, but let’s hope not.

We’ll update the Events calendar with information about the weekend as we get it. We know the Friday morning stop-over for rehearsal is in Pauls Valley this year, and we’ll keep a watch out for the Friday night performance, the pep band appearances, and any other cheer-for-the-Sooners opportunities we may see.

Then it’s a bye week and then Homecoming 2010. The registration deadline has passed, but if you missed it, go ahead and register but be sure to add the name of the marcher and your phone number in the final comments on the order, so Rita can call you if there are any problems or questions. Priority obviously goes to those who beat the deadline (and so many thanks to all of you who did!) but we like to be as flexible as we can in the name of letting everyone participate who wants. So go ahead and register, but leave that phone number in case there are issues.

It’s going to be a big game on Saturday in Dallas. Get your crimson and cream ready, whether you’re in the Cotton Bowl or in your easy chair. BOOMER SOONER!

The Air Force (Academy) Is Coming

In case you’ve been living under a rock this week, the one true dominant story about this week’s football game centers around Pregame, but not around anything the Pride does. The tension between people who find it in spirit to end the National Anthem with “home of the SOONERS” and those who do not has been brewing for some time, but when Coach Stoops speaks, it becomes front page news in the Oklahoman. And I’m not exaggerating; I wish I’d saved an image of Wednesday’s front page, but only the current front page is viewable online.

As for me—sing “home of the brave.” One of the freedoms the National Anthem represents is the freedom to sing whatever words you like, or to not sing at all, or do whatever else you want. As a state agency, the University wouldn’t dream of ordering people to say one thing and not another, much less sing them. But the National Anthem ends with “home of the brave.” A song with the same tune that ends with different words is not the National Anthem. “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” is the same tune as “God Save the Queen.” Words matter.

If people are free to burn flags as a form of speech, they can certainly alter the words to the National Anthem if they wish—but they should realize that they’re not singing the National Anthem, and that in itself means something. I sing the words as written for the same reason I don’t have pizza delivered to church or play Frisbee Golf in cemetaries: it’s disrespectful, even if not intended that way. I speak only for myself, and not OU or OUBAA or any combination of any letters, so your mileage may vary.

All the attention has certainly let people know what’s going on at halftime, though: a joint performance with the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Drum & Bugle Corps, as well as with the Singing Sooners, to salute the armed services. Col. Alan Bonner is guest conductor for the National Anthem (arranged well before Anthemgate), and there are multiple flyovers planned for the game. It should be lots of fun!

Even so, the Sooners have their work cut out for them. Air Force is undefeated, and if the polls extended beyond the top 25, they would be ranked either #29 or #30. They defeated BYU last week, something the 2009 Sooners did not accomplish. They’re a clever and talented team with a great opportunity to show they mean business, and I’m pretty sure the football team is taking them very seriously. I know I am.

Fox Sports Networks have regional rights to telecast the game, so check your local listings for the 2:37 PM (CDT) kickoff.

Meanwhile, there are only eight days left to register for Homecoming 2010! I’m shouting because eight days is not very long! We are now less than a month away from the event itself, and registrations are due next weekend (see the big red box at the top of the home page for a countdown). If you have not registered, do so online as soon as you can, or download the newsletter and get it in the mail. The deadline is Saturday, September 25. Did I mention that’s eight days from now? Oh, good!

Hope to see everyone at the game on Saturday. BOOMER SOONER!

Register NOW for homecoming!

Rita Heath has now sent out the 2010 OUBAA Newsletter to everyone she can find via E-mail. If you did not get one somehow, you can grab a slightly down-resolution copy of it here in PDF format. (This version is 1.3MB, compared to the 3.5MB version she sent in E-mail, just to keep the server from crying if you all download it 12 times.)

The registration deadline for “Homecoming 2010” is September 25, 2010. That’s just three weeks after the first home game this weekend. If you need reminding, look near the top of the home page and see the Counting Red Box of Reminding.

As with last year, you can register online for Homecoming 2010, including extras like tickets, lunch tickets, extra shirts (new red shirts this year, which is why one is included it in every marcher’s registration), optional embroidery, and all that fun stuff. Payment is processed by PayPal, so you can use any major credit card or, of course, your PayPal account.

Two notes, just to be clear:

  1. When an item has optional information, like the text to embroider on your shirt or the info about your years in Pride and instrument borrowing, enter all of that before you click “Add to Cart.” Every time you click “Add to Cart,” you’re adding a new item to your cart. (Fear not, you can always edit the cart and remove whatever you want.) But for easiest registration, make sure you’ve provided all of an item’s options before adding it to your cart.

  2. We add a small “shipping” fee to each item to account for the fees that PayPal (and frankly, every credit card processor) deducts from the purchase price. This is not actual shipping, it’s just fee recovery. Since we’re not paying PayPal a big chunk of change for “merchant services,” it’s the best of the limited options available.

    This only gets confusing if you want extra shirts mailed to you. If you don’t, you can safely skip the next paragraph.

    If you do want extra shirts mailed to you, that requires a separate $5 fee (for each shirt) that you must add separately to the cart. If you intend to come pick up the shirts yourself, you should not add the $5 shipping item to your cart. The “shipping” that PayPal adds automatically is unrelated to mailing shirts, and amounts to something like 2.5% of the total purchase price because that’s roughly what PayPal charges OUBAA to do this for us. Since a huge percentage of you used online registration last year, it’s an insurance policy to make sure that 2.5% of a huge total doesn’t wind up costing the general fund several hundred dollars.

If you have any questions, contact me (the Webmaster) or Rita Heath and we’ll do our best to answer them. And don’t delay those registrations—they’re due three weeks from Saturday!

Gameday Saturday!

Unbelievably, it’s that time already. The Pride’s schedule is updated on our Events calendar.

Betty Wiseman relates that she will only have remaining inventory for sale on Parents Day (October 30) and for the last home game (November 13). You can reach Betty through the PRA Web site to inquire about OUBAA items and getting it shipped to you..

Hope to see you Saturday for the premiere of the 2010 Pride of Oklahoma!