Tuesday

Oklahoma: A House Divided

Anyone who has ever spent any time in Oklahoma knows that a lot of the rules of typical conversation etiquette do not apply here in Oklahoma.

For example?

A talk about religion with complete strangers in a lobby of the local oil change place?  Perfectly OK.

A talk about politics with complete strangers as you're checking out a local grocery store?  Perfectly OK.

A talk about sex with one's husband in a room filled with Okie women that you only just met that evening?  Perfectly OK.

And although the rules of polite conversation are pretty relaxed here in Oklahoma, there is one subject that we just don't simply talk about...politely that is.

The University of Oklahoma (O.U.) 
versus 
Oklahoma State University (O.S.U.)
You see in Oklahoma there are two types of people.  Those who cheer for O.U. and those who cheer for O.S.U.  If you look at these type of people there couldn't be a bigger difference in personalities.  

O.U. Fans:
1.  May or may not have attended O.U., but it is very important to them to have a dominating presence in college sports, correction, football.
2.  Although attending an O.U. football game when they're winning is probably one of the best college sports experiences to have, O.U. fans tend to be people who don't respond well to losing, and often threaten to fire the coach or give up their season tickets at the loss of one single game.
3.  O.U. fans tend to be people who enjoy clubs, such as fraternities and sororities, and only want to hang out with other like minded club lovers.
4.  They also tend to be always wearing the latest Okie fashion trends, usually involving rhinestones, and boy do they love the luxury cars, even when their houses don't cost as much as the wheels they drive.
5.  O.U. fans at first impression are a pretty competitive bunch, but at the same time their strength of conviction that their school is the best school in Oklahoma, if not the entire United States, is something to be admired.

O.S.U. Fans:
1.  Almost always have attended O.S.U. or have come from a family with a heavy O.S.U. alumni presence.
2.  O.S.U. people care about sports, all sports, and many have season tickets.  However, O.S.U. fans can have just as much fun at a tailgate if their team is having a winning or losing season as long as the beer is flowing.  After all, O.S.U. fans are used to losing, at least in football, and a nice cold beer makes everything better in Stillwater.
3.  O.S.U fans like clubs too, but they don't care if you do.  Also some O.S.U fans are trendy, but many are not.
4.  A hot, flashy car holds a very different definition than it does for an O.U. fan.  An orange Mercedes is nice, but what might be better is decked out van from the 70's with a kickin' surround sound system painted orange and black that has a keg fridge perfect for any proper tail gate party.
5.  When looking at an O.S.U. fan sure you might see more cowboy hats, big belt buckles, and boots than on the average college graduate, but at the same time O.S.U. fans tend to be a pretty easy going crowd.

Okies Have Strong Opinions:

As a person who has actually gone to both schools I can tell you, if you are an Okie it is very clear which type of person you are  And if you ask an O.U. or O.S.U fan to tell you what they think about the fans of the other school's team?  Well let's just say it's not very nice.  

And just so you know I am totally telling you the truth, here's a few comments from various friends and fans from each of the schools.

Opinions from the O.U. fans:
1.  I've heard at O.S.U. they have "No Spitting" signs in the classrooms.
2.  O.S.U. has only beaten O.U. 9 times since WW2 (in football).
3.  Has O.S.U. ever beaten Texas (in football)?
4.  Do they have to chase the cows off the field to play the game in Stillwater?
5.  It's no surprise Stillwater smells so bad.
6.  Your players would run faster if they weren't wearing cowboy boots.
7.  Your head cheerleader has the prettiest tooth on the whole campus!
8.  Why do Oklahoma State Cheerleaders wear bibs?  To keep the tobacco juice off of their uniforms.
9.  What do you get when you cross an O.S.U. fan and a pig?  Nothing.  There's some things that a pig will not do.

Opinions from the O.S.U. fans:
1.  O.S.U. has 49 team national titles, the fourth-most team national championships in the country.
2.  Remember that time that the O.U. fan blamed their football loss to O.S.U. on Bob Barry, an Oklahoma City sports announcer who used to be an announcer for O.S.U.?
3.  Remember the time that the O.U. fans named themselves after criminals who cheated in the Oklahoma Land Run? The Sooners?
4.  The O.U. fight song sounds so familiar.  Oh wait, isn't that Harvard's fight song?
5.  The only thing more obnoxious than an O.U. fan is an O.U. fan who actually went to O.U..
6.  Hey O.U. fans?  Don't you know?  Texas doesn't care about you?  Leave it to an O.U. fan to think they're more important than they actually are.
7.  What do you call a good looking girl on the University of Oklahoma campus?  A visitor.
8.  There are four O.U. players in a car.  Who's driving?  The police.
9.  A little boy runs up to his mother and says, "Mommy, Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a Sooner."  And the boy's mother says, "Come on son.  You know you can't do both."

See?  It's ugly.  And that's why in Oklahoma every good Okie knows, O.U. vs. O.S.U. is not a subject you can talk about politely.  In fact we barely can have a bedlam party where we watch our teams play each other.  I know.  I tried it once.  One set of fans sat upstairs watching the game, while the others sat downstairs.  Every once in a while a mistaken fan would meander up or down to the opposite team's floor, and very soon their after they were sent crying to the other room, wondering why their otherwise kind friends were being so mean.

It's because of stories like these, we Okies tend to stick with less offensive subjects like politics, religion, or sex with our spouses.  It's an Okie thing. And it will probably be that way forever. 

~~Mrs. McGillicutty

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