How the Sooners Can Prove Their Patriotism
12:01 AM EDT on September 16, 2010
As an unashamed liberal, I have been accused of being anti-American on many occasions. For instance, when I was a delegate at Boy's State, I voted against the amendment to ban flag burning. That was really unpopular--particularly considering I was invited as a guest of the American Legion.
While we ate salt petered ice cream and listened to the veterans who ran the mock state government camp pepper us with sentimental arguments about the flag being the thing for which they risked their lives, I sympathized. On the other hand, I saw past the glurge and remembered what soldiers since the War of Independence have fought and died for is the freedom of every American. The freedom so important that it was listed first in the Bill of Rights was the freedom of speech. While it is unfortunate that some people choose to express themselves by causing mental anguish to people who get paid worse than undocumented laborers to walk around with a target sign on their back for the country, I don't truly believe soldiers want to limit rights on their behalf.
What does this have to do with anything Oklahoma related? Saturday is "Military Appreciation Day" at the Oklahoma Sooner football game, and Bob Stoops (via Berry Tramel) has to urge his fans not to end "The Star Spangled Banner" with "home of the Sooners" instead of "brave."
As I suspected, the one time I think kindly of Bob Stoops, Sooner Nation is ready to rebel against him. Most Sooner fans I have heard discussing the topic fall into one of two categories. 1) They are pissed off that an issue is being made of them disrespecting the national anthem that they are more likely to shout out the controversial edit; or B) They have convinced themselves that Stoops actually prefers the "OU Spangled Banner" and that his bosses (who, let's be honest, answer to him) made him lobby against the practice.
This week, with a service academy in town as the opponent, I predict that those singing brave will be boisterous enough to be the prevalent sound, but it will be temporary. When the only soldiers hearing the crowd place university above country are the ones who paid for tickets, the deterrent will be gone.
Since "Military Appreciation Day" is probably the only day that this fan base will cave to patriotism, here are some other things that Sooners can do at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium to show love of country.
Charlie Weis' job was on the line when his Notre Dame team took on West Point. Even though it cost him his livelihood, he let the Army team win. Your move, Stoops.
2. Alter the Sooner Nation flag
Sooner fans probably haven't noticed the similarity, but if you replace the OU emblem in the upper left hand of the flag, pictured above, members of Sooner nation wave during games with a blue box filled with fifty stars, it would look exactly like the flag of the United States of America.
3. Punch the douche bags who ruin the National Anthem
I will be the last person to say that any person within U.S. boundaries must censor their speech. On the other hand, having the freedom of speech does not necessarily require making a jackass out of yourself. Veterans hold Francis Scott Key's ditty as sacrosanct as the flag (personally, I'd trade with Canada in a heartbeat--but that's neither here nor there). Those veterans have either fought, or at least been willing to fight, for the safety of the rest of us. Ironically screaming that the land of the free is the home of the Sooners is basically the equivalent of kicking them in the nuts.
But if you're at the game and want to do it to spite Berry Tramel, or me, for pointing out how asinine the practice is...well, I guess it's your right.
(edit. For those of you who think I'm just using this as an excuse to take shots at OU, well, you aren't completely wrong--but I did abstain from making jokes about Ryan Broyles donating his game proceeds to the USO, in order not to distract from what I think is a serious topic.)