Twenty years ago, I moved from Oklahoma to Baja Oklahoma. At the time, I regarded it as an adventure, but now I consider it home. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Here’s what makes the Lone Star State so sweet: No state income tax. Cool state flag. Plenty of Tex-Mex. Shopping out the wazoo. Awesome barbecue. No state income tax.
And … believe it or not … you can openly cheer for the Sooners down here. Really. It’s not as much Longhorn country or burnt orange as one might imagine. Central Texas is Longhorn territory.
You can walk into any Wal-Mart in North Texas and OU T-shirts are sold right next to the Texas Longhorns fanny packs. If you’re in the Dallas County part of the urban/suburban sprawl down here, you might see a few SMU hoodies mixed in. If you’re in the Tarrant County part, you’ll see a lot of purple TCU gear.
Of course, Dallas Cowboys gear is everywhere, mixed with a reasonable amount of Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks stuff.
I believe the demise of the Southwest Conference made college football less relevant around here. Pro sports are big around here. OU even gets a better shake than Texas from the Dallas-area media (it wasn’t always that way). Sometimes, the bias against liberal Central Texas is stronger than the bias against Oklahoma.
You don’t really hear from Longhorns fans until OU-Texas time.
But Texas fans do woof a lot. When they’re not flashing their cute little “hook’em” sign, they’ll say something clever, like “OU sucks.” They don’t put a whole lot of context into it. It’s just fun for them to say.
When the Longhorns lose to Oklahoma in football, their fans are quick to point out that dozens of former Texans populate the OU roster. I politely agree, but I point out that the state of Oklahoma itself was built on the backs of out-of-staters. It even says so in the nickname “Sooners,” which was a name for people who entered the state before the official Land Run of 1889. In addition, the Trail of Tears forcibly brought in tens of thousands of more Native Americans. So, the Texans only add to that talent pool.
When Longhorns fans look at OU’s eight football national championships, and compare it to their three, they point out the Sooners’ history of troubles with the NCAA. Again, the Longhorns fail to see that the name Sooners is another name for a group of people who played fast and loose with the rules before the Land Run. We pride ourselves on being an outlaw state. It’s our heritage.
At that point, Longhorns fans will accuse you of being passive aggressive.
That’s when you say “Well, Texas sucks.”
ABOUT THE GAME: OU has one advantage going in: The Sooners have at least played a day game. Last week, OU finished a game in daylight for the first time in nearly a year. Texas has kicked off after 6 p.m. in each game this season. … OU has a better defense. OSU and West Virginia put some doubt into Texas’ defense. Meanwhile, OU’s offense appears to be building confidence. Landry Jones has had success with Texas’ secondary in the past. My prediction: OU 34, Texas 20.