It’s football season in Oklahoma. The leaves are still green but front doors are adorn with either crimson and cream Boomer flags, or orange and black, loyal and true wreaths and other decorations that tout a family’s collegiate preference. Personally, my family, my cousins, aunts and uncles, are Sooner fans. I have always been a Sooners fan. Football is not really my thing, but I love the excitement of being at the games, of thousands of fans with one finger extended high in the air and singing The University of Oklahoma Chant (O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Our chant rolls on and on . . .) like one person. I have a sense of camaraderie and unity with all the other thousands of people singing with me. I especially love the band. No other group of students sets the tone for the game and sparks excitement like the Pride.
In high school, it was my dream to attend OU. My aunt did, and it seemed like fun every day. My plan was to get my first two years of school at East Central (which was completely a blast and a time in my life I sometimes wish I could revisit), then transfer to OU. Plans change, and while I did not graduate from OU, I did take post-graduate courses on that beautiful campus. I consider myself an alumna.
My children knew the words to Boomer Sooner and Fight on East Central from a young age. One of the dads in our morning carpool group, a graduate and Ph.D recipient from OSU, used to make my kids crawl into the very back of his orange and black F-15 pick up truck when they proudly sported their Sooner t-shirts and hoodies.
My kids loved going to the games. We didn’t go very often, but it was always an event when we did. We loved watching the band the best. There is something about watching the pomp of the pre-game show with the drum major strutting across the field with his head just inches from the turf (the kids would go home and practice running and bending backwards at the same time). We absolutely loved (and still love) that part. We watched the band intently during the pre- game concert in the Oval, then followed them to the stadium. We moved seats at half-time to get a better view, then watched the post-game performance while collecting the giant souvenir cups tossed away by the fans.
When my children both started beginning band, I started imagining them playing in the Pride. I just knew my daughter, an All-State musician would march in the Pride, but she not only chose to go to Oklahoma State, she auditioned for the Cowboy Marching Band and made it.
Even though we lived a half hour from Stillwater for almost ten years, we never attended an OSU game. The CMB is an awesome marching band. I just never imagined I would be watching them.