Bad Satire Taken Seriously
1:22 PM EDT on July 11, 2008
Did you hear that Sam Bradford AND Landry Jones were arrested for drug trafficking leaving one of the Horsepigs as the starting quarterback for the Sooners this year?
What's that you say?
You think something that scandalous would have been more widely reported than on a Nebraska fansite message board?
You think it would have been frontpage news and that James Hale would be spending as much time on the air as Dan Rather on election night 2000 trying to explain how the Horsepig is now in position to win the Heisman if it were true?
That's crazy talk. At least it is if you happen to work for The Oklahoman or if you sired Landry Jones.
For those of you out there who didn't email me this story, here is what happened: Dorks on an internet message board did what dorks on an internet message board do and inflamed the emotions of a rival fan. I'm not clear how they did it, but having been a dork on an OSU message board, I can imagine the OU fans were probably touting players from their incoming recruiting class as the second comings of Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, et al. Then, they probably claimed that every Nebraska signee actually wanted to attend the University of Oklahoma, but weren't good enough. It happens.
In retaliation, one of the Nebraska fans on the message board (James W. Conradt) wrote an article claiming that the Sooners' two best quarterbacks had been arrested for drug trafficking and making it look like the article came from The Oklahoman. Sounds like a proportional response to me.
Now a rational person would have noticed that the front of newsok.com made no mention of this, and wondered why this was not on the bottom scroll of ESPN. That same rational person would have then proceded to remember that Sam Bradford and (from all sources Landry Jones were good citizens. Instead, some Sooner fans freaked out, and The Oklahoman demanded that Conradt cease and desist his piece of internet satire.
As satirists, we at TheLostOgle support Conradt's right to prey on the gullibility of people. If the worst thing that happens when someone makes up a fact is that people temporarily believe the OU football season is screwed, that Van Shea Iven is a girl, or that the new NBA franchise in Oklahoma City is going to be called "Toby Keith's I love this Basketball Team", then I don't see the harm. Right?
"I'm going to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law," said Kevin Jones, Landry's father. "I've got deep enough pockets to do it."
That's a little extreme if you ask me, but T. Boone Jones wants to defend his son's name against rogue satirists, he will have to prove that there was reason for those who read it to believe what was said. With just a little research, I learned that former Oklahoma quarterbacks have set a precedence.
Maybe the Bomar/Big Red Sports and Imports scandal did not involve drugs, but it did prove that highly visible athletes who have every advantage are willing to throw it all away for just a few pieces of coin. In Bomar's case, he took the booster handouts and temporarily cost Bob Stoops eight wins on his official career record, then took his talents to powerhouse Sam Houston State. The good news is that his sense of entitlement did not get lost like his Division I scholarship. When he revisited the state last year, he blasted OSU fans as classless for cheering when he was sacked.
I tried to find a picture of B.J. Tiger for this segment, but the best I could do was this ancient O'Colly article regarding Tiger's first start in place of an injured Tony Lindsay. In it, one of Tiger's teammates remarks at how "very calm" the quarterback was in the huddle. There was a reason for that, we would soon learn. The guy was baked out of his gourd.
Tiger played well for half a season before he was pulled over by the campus police. Before they could even get his license and registration, the Cowboy starting quarterback did what came so naturally to him in games and took off running. Problem was: He wasn't as elusive as he thought and the OSU police officer caught up with him and slapped on the cuffs.
Back at the car, they found several pounds of marijuana stashed in a lockbox in the vehicle.
After some injuries to golden boy Jamelle Hollieway, Charles Thompson was quickly ascending into the pantheon of Sooner quarterbacks. Then, he sold some crank to an undercover FBI agent. Thompson's arrest was one of the chain of events that led to the resignation of Barry Switzer and ushered in the dark age of Sooner football. Come to think of it, the story of Charles Thompson is probably the one Conradt used as a template for the Bradford/Jones hoax.
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