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In Defense of Gundy

9:00 AM EDT on August 17, 2011

In most ways, I consider myself to be a forward-thinking, progressive-minded person. I share Martin Luther King's dream of people being judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. The resistance of the masses to gay marriage makes me think we should abolish civil marriage entirely. I believe in the American's with Disabilities Act.

When it comes to being a Sooner fan, though, civil rights go wide right of the goal post.

Late last week, a carpentry contractor sued Oklahoma State's head football coach, Mike Gundy, for wrongful termination or breach of contract or something along those lines. He claims the OSU coach owes him $30,000 for lost wages because he turned down other jobs due to the promise of an $80,000 rennovation at the Gundy castle.

Putting aside that the contract was strictly verbal (anyone who has seen Jerry McGuire can attest that even word as strong as oak is worthless when it comes to agreements), Coach Gundy should not owe the guy anything. The carpenter earned his termination when he wore crimson and cream garb on sacred ground.

Since the guy was a Sooner fan and on some level all Sooner fans take some relish in the guy pissing off Gundy, Sooner Nation has mostly been "outraged" by the treatment this contractor received. "It's only a t-shirt," I've been told, and the guy says he dressed in the dark. You know, I have dressed in the dark before, too, since Mrs. Matthews is not a morning person, and a few times I've ended up wearing a navy shirt with black pants. When I worked at Kerr-McGee, though, I never accidently wore the Conoco-Philips polo I got when they recruited me. The reason? I knew my employers wouldn't laugh it off as a funny misunderstanding or accept my offer to wear the shirt inside out the rest of the day.

As for it being "just a t-shirt," that is never the case when you talk about rivalry. The way I picture it, the guy woke up that morning knowing he had to head to Stillwater. He loved the Sooners enough to at some point buy a Sooner baseball shirt...and seriously, who follows Sooner baseball that didn't go to school there? Unless the guy got into carpentry after receiving his degree from the College of Blue Collar Studies, that tells me a lot about how big of a Sooner fan the guy was. So, anway, my assumption is that he hates OSU, but likes the idea of getting a bunch of money. He puts on the OU shirt to shield himself from the orange aura in Stillwater. I jump to this conclusion because I do the same doggamn thing (in reverse) whenever I have to go to Norman. At minimum, he believes it will shield him from the taunts his Sooner-fan buddies will give him about being the servant for a guy they always make fun of while referring to the OU football team as "we." "Yeah, I took his money, but I did it while repping our boys."

So, sure, I make a lot of nasty assumptions about a person I've never met based on my style choice of orange colored glasses...and I'm just an alum scarred by mean spirited taunts from Sooner bastards. Imagine if I were the most visible, highest paid employee of the University who also happened to be an alumnus that handed the ball off to Barry Freaking Sanders. Take my super-paranoid thoughts and turn the dial to eleven. He has had to deal with being easily recognizable and being the primary Cowboy that OU fans want to harangue. Coach Gundy probably imagined the dude infiltrated his house as a poorly disguised spy and was going to poke around in the home office for playbooks when Gundy left to run practice.

Then, when it was all over, he was going to have to cut the disrespectful employee a big check. No...it was worth the frivilous lawsuit to send the guy packing.

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