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Bedlam Baby, Just Bedlam



Photo Attribution: Emily Nielsen

Our modern day monolithic sporting community has this tendency to bludgeon the present, or whatever is happening at this moment, to the point that the only way to enjoy events is when looking forward to them or back at them. It’s a societal problem at large, or maybe a 2011 media problem, to be specific, but whoever the guilty party may be, it is a problem.

Figuratively speaking, everything that can possibly be written about this game has already been written (not literally of course, because the interwebs are not large enough for all those permutations). We have beat to death the weather angle and destroyed the “this will make Oklahoma State a national contender!” story. We have wrung this game around its own neck and smashed every key on our keyboards in the process. It is a necessary diversion (for what would we read about, if not for a game that might or might not be meaningless in the national title picture?!?), but not always a fresh one.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Bedlam, and I love the creativity and entertainment I’ve seen from some of my favorite writers, both national and local this week. It’s just that…well, it’s just that it’s time to play this game.

And it’s a game that has felt a bit hollow to me, as if something about it doesn’t ring true to the praises we’ve been adulating it with all week, nay, all season. There is, of course, the matter of that Iowa State affair and Tech and Baylor didn’t help things either, and I suppose that’s why it seems a little empty, or maybe a tad shallow – it was supposed to mean so much more. The Big 12, the title game, perfection, and bragging rights were all supposed to be wrapped up in the most relevant Bedlam affair any of us had ever seen.

But things went south as things tend to do and we’re left with this, which seems like it’s supposed to feel like that.

I know that once 7 PM rolls around tomorrow night, and I’m hopping up and down jammed somewhere between the student section and the amalgamation of personalities that occupy the west end zone seats, that all will be right in this world we have constructed for ourselves.

I know that thousands of key rings will rattle and Quinn Sharp will hit the back of the end zone with his kickoff and Boone’s stadium will get immensely louder than a stadium would normally be on a cold Saturday night in December.

And I know that in ten years when we talk about this season we’ll talk about stroking Tech in Lubbock and we’ll talk about how Weeden embarrassed the 2011 Heisman trophy winner (Lord, help us) at home or we’ll argue about whether or not OSU could have gone century mark all over Turner Gill on his way out the door at Kansas.

We’ll talk about that second half at A&M in hushed, reverential tones and we’ll talk about the throws Weeden made in the second half of the Kansas State game. We’ll also undoubtedly talk about how we didn’t know what to feel or who to talk to or what to do after that night in Ames when that world I mentioned earlier, constructed by us, constructed for us, all came crashing down in a heap of tragic news and meaningless (but still meaningful) football scores.

Maybe we’ll talk about how we fell .00003 points short of getting Lester in NOLA for the title game or maybe we’ll talk about Justin Gilbert doing Joe Adams in front of Joe Adams in the Cotton Bowl.

But you know what? Above all of those things we might talk about, we’re still going to talk about whatever happens tomorrow night the most. Whether it’s a field rush and a goal post dunking in Theta Pond or it’s Landry ramming a shiv into our already-very-fragile hearts on his way to the NFL. We’re going to talk about it above everything else because talking about sports is what we do and we are preternaturally inclined to talking about the most emotional, exciting things we have experienced during our consumption of these games.

We’re going to talk about it because this game matters inasmuch as it is a game between two schools that don’t really like each other that much and have a recent history of playing defibrilator-inducing affairs marred by dramatic scores, pantheon-level performances, and upload-it-from-your-iPhone-at-the-game-because-it’s-going-viral-in-a-hurry plays. Year after year after year.

So it doesn’t really matter that the national championship is circling the drain or even that the Big 12 title is still at hand. What matters, very simply and very succinctly, is that we get to watch this game with 55,000 of our best friends to close down a semester of the most fun football season anybody under the age of 30 has ever seen (or maybe just remembered).

What matters when we spill into the stadium tomorrow and whisper about whatever uniform OSU’s players are wearing and debate the merits of a bad losses vs. good wins is that we are alive and talking and that we get to consume sporting events and chat about them with people as crazy as we are.

What matters is how this school and these people have responded to what happened on November 17th.

No matter what happens against OU, someday we’ll look back on 2011 and say, “gosh, that was pretty fun wasn’t it, I mean that year was one of the most thrilling rides we’ve ever been on.”

As fans, we can’t really ask me for much more than that (besides maybe a big BWeeds laser or Gilbert kick return every once in a while).

And who knows, if we’re lucky and a few voters throw a few bones, Rece could be revealing orange on the BCS countdown show on Sunday night.

It’s funny too, because I just looked at a map and it says Louisiana is some 450 miles from Oklahoma, but we might only be 60 minutes from New Orleans.

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