Kamis, 08 Januari 2009

BCS national championship 2009: FedEX bowl game pits OK vs. everyone (& FL too)

anuary 8, 2:53 PM
by Patricia Phillips, Space News Examiner

OK, let's get the key point in early: Oklahoma rules. But as the Sooners go up against the Florida Gators in tonight's BCS hampionship game in Miami, the blogosphere would have you believe that no one backs Oklahoma--and there's no need to show up, either, 'cause the game is already lost.

Wrong. Oklahoma is a gutsy, gritty state that's built on survival and (believe it or not) old-fashioned values like hard work and integrity. We're tough, we Okies.

And we produce some pretty outstanding people. The latest star: Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, shown here. By the way, he's also Cherokee, a testatment to our Oklahoma multi-cultural daily life.

Several astronauts call Oklahoma home, Wiki notes:

* Gordon Cooper (1907-2006)
* Owen K. Garriott (born 1930), astronaut
* John Herrington (born 1958), astronaut
* Shannon Lucid (born 1943), astronaut
* William R. Pogue (born 1930), astronaut
* Thomas Stafford (born 1930), astronaut

Don't forget one of the Mercury 13 women astronauts, too: the incredible Jerri Cobb. The Tulsa World produced this excellent retrospective on Jerri:

Jerrie Cobb had the right stuff but was the wrong sex. She passed the same physical and psychological tests as the Mercury 7 astronauts -- America's original spacemen selected in 1959 -- and was expected to become the first woman to fly into space.

Just days before she and a dozen other women in what was called the Mercury 13 program were scheduled to report to the Naval Aviation Center in Pensacola, Fla., for further training, the program was abruptly canceled.

Cobb and another of the potential female astronauts appeared before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics in July 1962 to plead for women to be allowed to make space flights.

But the panel decided that training women astronauts would hurt the space program. Cobb complained the next year that chimpanzees were treated better than humans after she learned that chimps had flown into space -- she even offered to take the place of a chimp on a later flight..

The Mercury 13 program testing was done by the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research, a private organization in Albuquerque that had tested the original seven astronauts. Foundation Director Dr. W. Randolph Lovelace II said Cobb did as well as any of the men and complained less.

As a consolation, NASA hired Cobb as a consultant. But after going two years without being consulted, she quit that job as well as her job as the chief test pilot for Rockwell International's Aero Commander in Oklahoma City. She then turned her flying skills another direction -- as a medical and agricultural missionary in the Amazon jungle, an area she knew from her days as a ferry pilot.

Now, about Florida--you expect me to take seriously any state that brags about winter temperatures in the 70's and 80's? That has no scenery?

Listen, the only way Florida would ever have mountains would be if Dolly Parton came to town and laid down on her back. She'd automatically be the highest point in the swamp state.

The scenery there consists of a green even the Army would reject, more green, green, green, swamps, snakes, cockroches, and mildew. Exceptions: Kennedy Space Center, Tampa,, Sarasota, and the sunset over the pier at Key West. That's the only free passes I'm giving.

Long-time fan Mel, a University of Florida Gaor guy, is deluded enough to think that we're worried about heading into the squishy state. Nah.

Here's one of the many reasons we're tough: the six seasons of Oklahoma weather. They are:

Ice storms bad enough to knock out power to half a state, snow, sleet, hailstorms, black ice, freezing rain, blizzards, thundersnow, windstorms, and straight line winds.

Brief time-out for warmer temperatures, hail, thunderstorms, and tornado warnings. Rotate with Season 1, frequently. Then get iced in after three days of early spring temperatures.

The major Oklahoma season: tornadoes. Accompanied by hail, straight line winds, winds that pop up over 70 MPH in 15 minutes or less, lightning, thunderstorms.

Season 4 (if you're counting): floods, tornadoes, hail, straight line winds.

Next up: heat and humidity so bad that compared to it, Hell is merely an air-conditioned spa. It's said that Satan came to Oklahoma in the summer once and left to cool off. Spice the heat with floods, tornadoes, hail, and straight line winds.

Tornadoes and the leaves changing. They change fast because frankly, they're getting out of town fast.

Florida friends love to learn that I'm iced/snowed/flooded in and email: it's 79 degrees and I'm going out tonight except that it might rain. Piffle.

That kind of stuff doesn't build grit, ya'll. Sometimes we experience four weather seasons in one day. (And we like it.)

Tune in to Fox tonight when the Sooners invade Florida. The point spread? We come to win, but we don't really care about the points, long-term.

Because we're Okies. That's enough. We're survivors. We're winners.

Note: I'm a former Florida resident, and I have to admit it's not really that bad. If you don't compare it to Oklahoma.

Seriously, folks, have a great time enjoying the game, and always remember these words of wisdom: BOOMER! SOONER!
For more info: this writer is temporarily Oklahoma football crazed. It's kind of an Oklahoma Derangement Syndrome.