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SoonerTimes Home > SoonerTimes > OU Sports > Even if they play, the Sooner football experience could be entirely different


Even if they play, the Sooner football experience could be entirely different
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47Straight
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 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2020 06:55 pm

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Even if they play, the Sooner football experience could be entirely different
By Clay Horning | Senior Sports Columnist

On March 10, Tuesday, Oklahoma’s football Twitter account asked its followers a question.

“Spring football’s got us thinking ahead,” it read. “How do you want to color the Palace vs. Tennessee on Sept. 12?”

The next day, in a different sport, in the pros, Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, which should not have felt like the first day COVID-10 changed all of our lives, yet was.

Still, the Golden State Warriors had already announced they’d play the Brooklyn Nets inside Chase Center, sans fans, two days later.

Something was coming.

Something not good.

Nonetheless, it was spring football in Norman, making it a great time to market the 2020 season.

That tweet remains up.

Fans can choose between a whiteout, crimson and cream stripes, a 50-50 crimson and cream arrangement, meeting at the 50, or a quadrant pattern.

The quadrants look cool.

Alas, they have received just 12 percent of 14,130 votes.

It was 12 days ago.

Might as well have been 10 years. Feels like it.

Now, we don’t even know if that game will be played.

Let’s hope it will.

Indeed, for the rest of this exercise, let’s presume and stipulate it will be, that college football will be played, not necessarily as normal, but on schedule and inside the stadiums we always figured it would be played in.

The Sooners will whip up on Missouri State on Sept. 5 and Tennessee will visit Owen Field the following Saturday.

The thing is, even if that happens, we have no idea how it will happen, what it will feel like, how it will look.

None.

It’s staggering.

Start on the field.

Start with the quarterbacks.

If OU must have a starter by then, and you’d like like one, even against an SEC opponent that’s lost 20 games the last three seasons, Spencer Rattler can no longer be the slam dunk everybody seems to think he is.

He’s spent one year in the program, primarily as a scout teamer. Tanner Mordecai has spent two, which is twice as long as one.

Further, whoever wins it, if either wins it, he will have won it under entirely different circumstances. He will not have hit the ground running, because he will have not been through spring drills, a fact applying to every player on the team.

Nor will he have had the structure around him during the time in between, at least not at its usual typical summer level, thus strength and conditioning could be a wild card, another fact applying team wide.

There are more unknowns than can be imagined.

Perhaps for the first college football season in many seasons, defense will dominate. The pendulum will finally swing back, because defense is primarily reacting, while offense is primarily execution, born of repetition, which is bound to suffer.

Take it off the field.

Into the bleachers.

Begin with who can afford to attend the games. If half the people inside your stadium in regular seasons suddenly earn pennies on what used to be dollars for an extended period, can they afford tickets?

That’s if they’re letting anybody beyond friends and family and professional scouts, and maybe media, who might prefer covering the games from ground level for a change given the chance, in to watch.

Don’t worry, college football will still be televised, but it may be played inside empty stadiums.

Even if we’ve reached the point government has proclaimed it safe enough to return to normal routines, will we?

Not since John Blake allegedly coached Sooner football has OU failed to sell out.

Perhaps that streak dies a natural death because COVID-19 has proven there are more important things in life, or because lingering fear having replaced the blithefulness of autumn Saturdays, tens of thousands of your old in-person fans would simply rather watch from home, thank you.

Even if you pack the place, is it still the same outside the stadium in the hours before the kick, filled with game-goers and just as many tailgating without tickets.

Football could be on, fans could be allowed in, but vendors could still take a bath.

We don’t know.

Even if we have permission to re-enter the old world, a new and horribly cautious one may still replace it.

Finally, how we think about, anticipate, handicap and experience everything leading into the season may be different.

What once we thought we new, we’ll now be guessing.

The phrase, “He had a great spring” will apply to nobody.

That alone changes everything.

Let’s hope it comes back.

Let’s hope we get to enjoy it in every way we possibly can.

If you’re a citizen of the Sooner Nation, hope Lincoln Riley and his assistants adjust better than others, and hope their recruiting efforts have not only brought great talent to campus, but self starters, leaders and quick learners, too.

They’ll need them.

Everybody will need them.

Because everything could be so unimaginably different.

https://www.normantranscript.com/sports/all_ou_sports/horning-even-if-they-play-the-sooner-football-experience-could/article_5a86ad54-68a1-5451-b257-81ead05cdfb5.html

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soonerBAS
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 02:06 pm

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unless this thing goes away completely which is highly unlikely or unless they come up with a shot to prevent it which could be possible I suppose, but otherwise I'm not expecting football next fall, I hate to think it but as long as it is out there being passed around all it would take is one person in the locker room to give it to everyone.

Gandalf
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 04:18 pm

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Well, we are paying our season tickets. I guess I am shooting for the positive but likely it is more hope than reality.

Hopefully we get a refund if they don't play.

ClintA.Adams
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 05:09 pm

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Rattler either has what it takes or he doesn't. If he bombs, it won't be due to lack of experience or less practice/scrimmage time, it will because he was incorrectly evaluated. I think he's a natural and will perform great though and he's got the right guy coaching him.

Bronco
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 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2020 08:26 pm

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Season ticket order form came this week. I am going to be optimistic and send it back ASAP!

gwydion
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 Posted: Tue Mar 24th, 2020 04:39 pm

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They will refund. OU refunded the portion of softball season tickets not played. I'm sure they did the same for baseball. Actually had the choice of refund or applying to next year's season ticket. I decided to apply since it it was money already out of pocket. Women's College World Series did the same thing.

UtahSooner83
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 Posted: Tue Mar 24th, 2020 05:57 pm

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Once there is a vaccine, things will return to normal


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