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Remember The 10: The Game OSU Had To Win

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This is a post I bring back annually to honor the 10 Oklahoma State people who died in the 2001 plane crash in Colorado. This one is essentially recycled from last year with a little sprucing up. There’s no need to really add much to what OKC Dave called “more like a religious experience than a game” last year in the comments section.

The first home game after the crash was a game Eddie Sutton called, “the most important game I’ve ever coached.” Quin Snyder coaching Missouri one side, Sutton the other. It was February 5, 2001. Just a week after the plane went down in Colorado. OSU won because it had to. No other outcome was possible.

“We did have to come out and win this game,” said Andre Williams at the time. “Losing never crossed my mind. It was like, we win or we win. We came out and got it done.” Sutton went on to say, “it would have been devastating not to win. I know how much it meant to so many people.”

A lot of his players echoed that to Mark Cooper in a Tulsa World story he did last year.

“I’ve never played a basketball game like that,” Victor Williams told the Tulsa World.”I’ve never played a basketball game where I felt so responsible for other people. And that’s what made that game so different.”

“I was emotional,” Sutton said 16 years ago. “I got in the dressing room and I think a lot of us were emotional. I don’t think I was the only one who shed a tear.” No, he wasn’t. The Big Swede, Fred Jonzen, said it was the biggest roller coaster of his life.

“I haven’t had any other thought in my mind except that we were going to win tonight. This past week has probably been one of the toughest times in my life, if not the worst,” Jonzen said at the time. “And tonight was probably the best time of my life.”

The best of times. The worst of times. And maybe the greatest moment in the history of this 78-year-old building (this was TC’s only bucket of the game).

One student told Cooper it was, “literally the loudest moment I’ve ever heard in Gallagher.”

 

Doug Gottlieb was interviewed by the O’Colly last year, and he talked about the reverberations of that year. The year after he graduated.

“When you haven’t been on a college campus, you come back and you think, ‘Oh my God, everybody looks like they’re 15,’” Gottlieb told the O’Colly. “I remember walking into the basketball office, talking to the coaches, and everybody looked 10 years older.”

“It’s not just 10 people that died in a crash,” Gottlieb continued to the O’Colly. “It’s that they were 10 individually very special people for very different reasons. I would like, if possible, for them all to be remembered, even if only for one thing, to be remembered individually because that’s how we remember them.”

Here they are.

“Now, if you’re a student, you’re 20 years old,” Gottlieb told the O’Colly. You were 5 at the time. It’s just a statue. It’s just a tragedy. It’s just sad. But if I told you … they were all gone at once, especially when you hear how tremendous they were as helpers in the community, I think you have a little bit stronger connection to it.”

Heavy stuff on a heavy week. OSU will honor the 10 at the Arkansas game on Saturday night.

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