Editor’s Update: I initially wrote this piece in early October. Seeing how tomorrow is Bedlam, I figured I should share it now…or never. Good luck tomorrow! Go Pokes!
Last weekend, Brian Phillips of Grantland wrote a great piece about Oklahoma State Football fans. As a girl with a high school degree from Stillwater, who stuck around OSU for a Bachelors and Masters degree (well… Joes had $2 Joes cups and ladies night), I felt the pain he described wholeheartedly. I remember all the times victory was snatched from us and we felt defeat. I don’t call the late game troubles the Pokes continually experience Squinky. I call it THE DOOM or THE DREAD. Usually, I just call it INEVITABLE.
I don’t like us being ranked. I know – you need to be ranked to be a competitor. Last year I had to tell the Husband and the Pledgebrother to stop talking about the BCS. Ain’t happening. I know the Inevitable. And while we are allowed to be the underdog, we are absolutely under no circumstances allowed to be the winner – not even the predicted winner. Ever. That kind of thing ruins our chances of actually winning. Brian’s article aptly points this out. Here’s my tutorial if you are thinking of becoming an Oklahoma State fan or kissing/dating/marrying/divorcing one. This applies to most Big 12 schools. Never say no one told you the risks.
1. Oklahoma State fans are more superstitious than Major League Baseball Players. The Husband adopts a shirt for the season. The SEASON. Which means every Saturday he wears the same thing. Which also means that I have to make sure it is clean…not that he would care. Nice.
2. Scheduling. Thank goodness for a bye this weekend. That allows the Husband to head off for his annual softball tourney in New Jersey. Also allowed him to attend a wedding with me on September 10 in the East Hampton. I know he would have opted out on a wonderful time in both cases if the Pokes had a game. He denies this. I know the truth. Fact is, the rest of fall will be arranged around the Pokes schedule. I knew what I was signing up for, so I don’t even get mad about this one.
3. Watching means winning. I don’t know where fans came up with this one, but for Oklahoma State fans, it is gospel – with a capital G. You have to watch. The team knows if you are watching. They know if you are tweeting, facebooking, or texting about the game. Gundy knows when you are yelling at him for pulling a Pat Jones. Weeden hears that he is mature and smart and a great athlete, but he also can hear you call him old and blind when he misses the open receiver. You have to watch. You have to provide more commentary than Herbstreit and Corso combined. You help the team.
4. Where you watch matters. Down to the nuances of where you stand. In the old apartment, the Husband and the Pledgebrother were happy to occupy either end of the couch. I was assigned the side chair, where I occasionally fell asleep in the third quarter, only to be awakened by joyous shouts or solemn discussions at the end of the fourth. This was taken to a whole new level in the new apartment. This weekend at halftime, I stepped out onto the deck to call some of my more reasonable Oklahoma State friends, only to be religated there for the whole half. The Husband and the Pledgebrother stood behind the couch, beer and bourbon in hand. At one commercial break, I asked to come in to get a drink and use the bathroom. Husband said any request was like a NASCAR pit stop, so hurry up. Pledgebrother even told me to the leave my spilled ice on the ground because I had to hurry and get back outside before the game resumed. They pretend to be kidding. But they are not. After the victory, Husband and Pledgebrother both confirmed that they will be standing behind the couch for every game and I will need to sit outside. I guess this is one way for me to get the outdoor space heaters I have been advocating for.
5. Its all worth it. In all seriousness, it is. This is a lifestyle. The games, the lament, the misery; it all defines us as people. That said, sports is not an escape for Oklahoma State fans. We live it. We think about it all the time. We want the best, but the smart ones (like me) expect the worst. But this might be the one aspect of my life where I am fine being wrong.
The Husband and the Pledgebrother decided in January 2011 that Oklahoma State was headed to the BCS Bowl Games in 2012. I promptly spit up my beer laughing. I am not invited to attend the BSC Bowl Game that we will be playing in. Assuming it happens. But I am not holding my breath. Fight on Cowboys. Prove me wrong. I dare you. It would make my 2012 much more pleasant. Until you start playing again in September 2012…and the whole mess starts up again. With bigger expectations.