Quality of life is determined by the number of delicious moments you savor before your time on earth comes to an end.
Inside the food court at the State Fair of Texas, I had a Fletcher’s Corn Dog, fried ribs, and several cold beverages from beautifully crafted wax cups, but I don’t think any of the aforementioned tasted as delicious as being right.
Man, do I love being right. Being right, especially when it comes to predicting a Texas Longhorns win over the Oklahoma Sooners, is the delicious moment equivalent to momma’s cooking — it just doesn’t get any better than that.
But before I dive into all the ways I was right, because there were several, let’s rewind the clock to last Thursday. During Red River Showdown week, it’s custom to take jabs and have some fun with the animosity that surrounds one of college football’s marquee games.
So I utilized my platform with Burnt Orange Nation, which encouraged me to write and then later published my article on an important reminder: Oklahoma sucks.
Of course, this is a website aimed to please Texas eyes and burnt orange bloodlines. But for all intents and purposes, the content on this platform is almost always objective, insightful, and interesting. Therefore, my article’s existence was merely an attempt to stir the pot during the biggest week on Texas’ schedule, and it was all in the name of fun.
Yes, I’ve worked in public relations. No, this is not an apology. If you didn’t love the column, or at least roll your eyes at it and brush it off for what it was, you need to reevaluate some things in life and find out why you’re so mad. Big mad.
But let’s dive into a few things that need to be addressed. Was the column meant to stir the pot and create bitter back and forth in the comments? Yes. Did the column also include some takes that were backed by statistics and fact? Yes.
Was I right about most of it? Let’s check: Oklahoma sucks, the Sooners defense is absolutely atrocious, and I said I thought Texas would win the game.
Correct, absolutely right, called it.
But we still aren’t done, because those three key points aren’t the issue at hand, or the portion of the column that needed clarifying. No, instead, what I want to circle back to and address has more to do with the reaction on social media, when many Sooners fans who miraculously know how to operate a smartphone bulldozed their way into my mentions on Twitter. This aggressive movement to jump into my mentions and misspell simple words escalated after an Oklahoma City radio show invited me to join them live on the air. The key portion of that sentence: “invited me to join them.”
Shortly following the appearance throughout Red River weekend, I was accused of coming on the show for attention, which then carried over to speculation that I wrote the column merely for attention.
No. I didn’t want, nor did I need any attention. I also wasn’t seeking it. I knew I was going to be clowned on, and most definitely criticized, when I went on the radio show. I was stepping into the lion’s den, or swimming with the sharks. Whatever cliche works best to explain my awareness of the situation heading into joining the show, use it. On the show, which I don’t recall the name of, I was bombarded with trash talk such as being told I wrote my column like a seven-year-old.
Listen, let’s start right there. If you’re accusing someone of “writing a column like a seven-year-old,” I would have to imagine the starting point for that issue is asking yourself if perhaps — AND HEAR ME OUT — your reading level is that of a seven-year-old.
I don’t know. That’s not my call.
I was also asked if I am a loser. Well, let’s see, I am married to an awesome woman who hasn’t left me (yet), I have a two-and-a-half-year-old son who can sing “The Eyes of Texas” and make the “Hook ‘Em” sign with his hand, and I drive a 2015 stock model Ford Fusion. So, I’m kind of a big deal. For example, on Saturdays, before I yell at the TV and scare my dog while the Texas game is on, the greeter at my local grocery store greets me by my first name. I don’t think losers are greeted by their first name every time they go to the grocery store.
But the most fascinating part of all this occurred when Twitter Tough Guys and Gals, almost all of them donning crimson in their Twitter pic, crashed into my mentions like the Kool-Aid Man, criticizing me for being a fanboy with a blog.
This was incredible for several reasons. First, Oklahoma lost. Second, for 52 minutes of Saturday’s Red River Showdown, Texas absolutely rag-dolled the Sooners. Third, when these unique individuals jumped into my mentions, I was astonished at the amount of misspelled words, but then I remembered the location in which these unique individuals lived and I was no longer astonished. But, lastly, I found it remarkable that Oklahoma fans who have a radio show in Oklahoma City were criticizing me for being a fan and writing a blog.
I mean, have you ever seen such a pot-meet-kettle situation? Look, for all intents and purposes (which some of the people from Oklahoma in my mentions probably mistakenly say “for all intensive purposes” all the time), I’m sure this group who hosts this radio show does a good job pandering to their target audience. So, you realize now why criticizing me for doing the same thing just looks silly?
But let’s address one more thing, because I do want to clear up one misconception bred from the article I did last week: I’m not a fan with a blog.
I’m a fan, who also happens to be a graduate of one of the finest journalism schools in the Midwest, who went on to become an award-winning journalist while working as a news reporter in Central Indiana. During my time as a news reporter, I served on a staff that won the award for the best daily newspaper in the entire state of Indiana; an award given by the Hoosier State Press Association. In addition to this, I’ve covered the NBA, among other collegiate and professional sports in Indiana, as an accredited member of the media for the last six years. If you’re going to criticize me, make sure you come correct with facts, like I did when I criticized Oklahoma and said the Sooners suck.
So, am I a fan boy with a blog? No. Am I loser? Probably. Am I a t-shirt fan? I don’t know what that means but unlike most people from Oklahoma, at least I wear a t-shirt when I go out in public.
The fact of the matter is for as long as I live and breathe I’ll be able to say one incredibly amazing fact about who I am, one truth that will never be up for debate: I am a proud native Texan, the self-proclaimed prodigal son of Corpus Christi, and that means no matter how much of a loser I am or will someday become — which I have no doubt I’m well on my way to an all-time low — I’ll never be as big of a loser as someone from Oklahoma. Because Oklahoma sucks.
You can cannon-ball into my mentions, or spew your misspelled hatred down below in the comments, and call me anything you want. But not until Oklahoma takes that Golden Hat back from Texas will you have anything to say to Burnt Orange Nation. And even then, the song remains the same.
“Give ‘em Hell! Give ‘em Hell! OU Sucks!”