The True Colors of a Sooner

We can’t say that fall is here to stay but at least we got a taste. This week will be dry with tons of sun. While we will warm up again, humidity levels will be quite comfortable and the overnight lows quite pleasant. Not much to talk about so that leaves more space for….
This Date In History: On this date in 1893, a pistol sounded and nearly 100,000 mainly white settlers dashed into the Cherokee Strip of the Oklahoma territory to stake their claim. The land had been considered to be too arid and barren for farming for much of the century. Certainly not as good as that in the Southeastern US. So, the US government forced out the native Indians from the Southeast and resettled them in what was then called the Indian Territory. The forced march of native tribes such as the Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek was known as the “Trail of Tears” and nearly 4000 men, women and children died on the march. Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson gained notoriety for defeating defiant Indians in the Florida panhandle region, though today many people shiver at the thought of honoring Jackson as his methods are seen with 21st century eyes as ruthless and inhuman.
In any event, by the late 19th century, American farming method had improved and suddenly the land deemed as useless became valuable. So, in 1889, President Benjamin Harrison opened up the Oklahoma Territory for settlement. I’m not sure what happened to the Indians whose land was taken for the second time in less than a century but it probably wasn’t good. Anyway, the entire state wasn’t opened at once but instead in sections. The Cherokee Strip was the largest section. They literally fired a pistol and everyone raced for his stake. Little did they know that some people would later find that the true treasure lay below the surface as oil was discovered in the state. Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable were in an oil boom movie called Boom Town. It’s a great movie. I like Tracy as “Shorty.” Anyway, there were some people who left before the gun…in some cases a long time before the gun…and staked their claims in order to miss the rush. Sorta like getting into Macy’s on the first day of Christmas shopping before the doors open. These people were known as Sooners. The University of Oklahoma decided it was a good idea to adopt these cheaters as their mascot and the football team has done its best to uphold the tradition ever since.
The good, honest men from the University of Texas at Austin (THE University) have defeated the Boomer Sooners 57 times in the annual Red River Shoot Out. The scalawags from OU have won but 39 times in spite of their namesake’s tradition. Unfortunately, so far it appears that the Sooners won’t need to cheat to win the game in Dallas on October 6….but they’ll probably try to do it anyway. Perhaps the always honorable Mack Brown will be able to rally his fine boys in burnt orange and defeat the bad guys again.
Matt Milosevich graduated from Oklahoma….but I don’t hold it against him and you shouldn’t either.

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