Sunday, August 30, 2015

How 'bout them Sooners?

So, I’m sitting there in the media work room at Lucas Oil Stadium the other day, transcribing yet another interview with yet another player at the NFL scouting combine, when my cell phone rings.

How 'bout them Sooners?

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So, I’m sitting there in the media work room at Lucas Oil Stadium the other day, transcribing yet another interview with yet another player at the NFL scouting combine, when my cell phone rings.

It was my wife. Again.

``Did you talk to Sam yet?’’ she asked for about the 10th or 11th time in the past 4 hours.

``Uh, no. He hasn’t been in yet. But I’ll be sure to let you know when he comes in.’’ Then I started impersonating static and told her we had a bad connection and I’d call her back later.

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About 45 minutes later, my phone rings again. Yep. My wife.

``Did you talk to Gerald yet?’’ she asked.

``Defensive linemen will be in tomorrow, sweetheart,’’ I said. ``But I’ll be sure to give him your best. Hey, I gotta go. I think Les Bowen is choking and I’ve got to use the Heimlich maneuver on him.’’

FYI, Sam is Sam Bradford, the University of Oklahoma quarterback who may or may not be the first pick in the April draft. Gerald is Gerald McCoy, the Oklahoma defensive tackle who also may or may not be the draft’s first pick.

If you ever happened to read my bio over there on the right, you know that my wife Shelley is an Oklahoma alum and a big-time Sooner football fan.

As a professional journalist, I’m not supposed to have a rooting interest in any team. But every Saturday in the fall, I say a couple of Hail Marys for an OU win, because, well, the quality of life in Casa Domo is considerably better when Bob Stoops’ boys walk away with a W.

Shelley still develops a twitch whenever somebody mentions Boise State, which, as you may recall, upset her beloved Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl in one of the greatest college football games ever played.

When Oklahoma fell behind 21-10 in the first half of that game and my wife started calling for Stoops’ firing, I made the mistake of pointing out that there still was plenty of time left in the game.

She was not in the mood to be comforted.

``What in the hell are you talking about?’’ she said. ``Have you been watching this game? They’re not going to win. They suck. They absolutely suck.’’

``You’re right, sweetheart. What was I thinking? They suck.’’

As it turned out, the Sooners ended up scoring 25 points in the second half to tie the game, only to lose in overtime on a statue-of-liberty play on a 2-point conversion.

Shelley never has cared much for pro football, but she absolutely loves the college game. I never saw anyone look more forward to ESPN’s College Gameday show. She denies it, but I think she’s got a thing for Lee Corso.

Anyway, with Bradford and McCoy both expected to be among the first 3 or 4 picks in this year’s draft, and with 7 others Sooners also invited to the combine, including 2 other potential first-rounders – offensive tackle Trent Williams and tight end Jermaine Gresham -- my wife was glued to the set over the weekend, not watching Olympic ice skaters doing double toe loop salchow lutzes with a triple Hamill camel, but watching the top 330 NFL draft prospects do cone drills, 40-yard dashes and 225-pound bench press reps.

At one point on Saturday, she called me and was in near hysterics.

``What’s wrong?" I asked, worried that the heat had gone off in the house or that our chew-happy 1 ½-year-old beagle Charlie had eaten a container of Q-tips.

``Jermaine Gresham only ran a 4.76,’’ she said.

``Uh, well, that’s actually pretty good for a tight end coming off a major knee injury,’’ I replied.

``Do you think he’ll still be drafted in the first round?’’

``I think so.’’

``Did you talk to Sam yet?’’

``Les is choking again. Gotta go.’’
 

Daily News NFL Columnist
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