STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 5: Defensive end Richetti Jones #99 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrates after the game against the Kansas State Wildcats on November 5, 2011 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State defeated Kansas State 52-45. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Warning: egocentric blogger speaking for an entire fanbase ahead
Oklahoma State fans are tortured souls. I know there are disasters in the world that are much worse than supporting a perpetually middling football program so using a word like "tortured" is a little over the top. Famine, for example, is worse than this. Drug cartels, war, floods - all bigger disasters. Hell, there are probably even more things in the world than these four that are just as tragic than being a long-time Oklahoma State fan... NUCLEAR MISSILES! I knew I could think of one more. So when I use the term "tortured soul", take it in the context that there are worse things out there (at least 5), and I am simply using the term in lieu of a better phrasing that I am too unoriginal to come up with.
So how does this torture manifest itself? First, a brief history of the experience of being an Oklahoma State fan over the past 50 years...
OU OU OUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOUOU no one cares about wrestling, golf, baseball, basketball ou ou OUOU OU! OU? Yes, OU! OUOUOU OUououOU Henry Iba OUOUOU OU OU OU OU BOOMER OU OU No Big 8/12 championships OU OU ou ou OU Hey, Pistol Pete was in an ESPN commercial OU OU ou ou OU oU SOONER OU OU ou ou Bob Simmons OU page 5 of the Daily Oklahoman sports section OU OU
Don't misunderstand, this is not OU's fault (unlike everything else, including all the disasters I mentioned in the first paragraph). It really isn't anyone's fault that we have been wired this way. What has happened is a result of Oklahoma State always feeling as though there were a shadow cast over it. In our minds, Oklahoma State is like the beautiful farm house with the wholesome family living inside, big healthy horses and livestock out back, and an attractive farmhand who likes to work the fields with his shirt off (uh uhm, I'm off track - anyway, there is a lot of nice stuff)... but all this beauty is hidden from street view by a massive corporate farm/asshole factory. In a way, the fact that our farmhouse is so secluded is what made us love it in the first place. It was as though we were in on a great secret that all those looking at the corporate farm as they drive by were not privy to. We love this about our school, our fellow alumni, and the city of Stillwater.
But sadly, some time goes by. We creep into our twenties, thirties, and onward. The school and the athletic program grow along with us. Gradually we broaden our scope until one day we don't appreciate the seclusion as much as we used to. We want something more. We want confirmation. At this point we stand up and say, "Hey, what the hell is wrong with you America? How come you don't know how great we are?"
At no time in Oklahoma State history is this duplicity more apparent than right now. There has never been a time where Oklahoma State and its fans have been this targeted by the national spotlight, while simultaneously feeling so questioned, unappreciated, and overlooked. Every Oklahoma State blog, fan twitter, tumblr, facebook, and adult friend finder are littered with postings of proud fans who complain incessantly about an overall lack of respect, and/or call out a national media member for slighting the Cowboys.
"Robert Smith is a dumb guy"
"Lou Holtz hates us more than he loves Werthers"
" #smh #fail #hater #looksgoodinasuit #michiganeconomy"
these are only fictional representations of real statements, and good ones right?
This dichotomy is our torture. We love our secret, yet we pine for acceptance.
Right now, I would put the fanbase happiness meter for Oklahoma State somewhere in the seldom seen "What the fuck is wrong with you?" range. The weird thing about this part of the meter is you have to go past ecstatic to get to it. We have overshot our goal. About 3 weeks ago we were ecstatic when we realized that the math assured us a place in the title game was within our own team's control. Then came the spotlight, the spotlight we simultaneously shunned and craved, and with it, came all the doubters. What followed has been our natural retaliation toward the doubters.
Well I think it is time to realize that this is wasted effort. It is time to get back to who we are as Cowboy fans. We are students, alumni, Stillwater folk, Willie's bouncers, Gary Busey (the entire fanbase falls into one of these categories). We are the unheralded ones that are sure we had the best possible college experience, the strongest fan ties, rock solid devotion, and unwavering support. Being the only ones who give a shit about us should be nothing new. It has never been in the best interest of the national media, or national opinion to want OSU to succeed, and this does not change because the football team has won a few games. Luckily, this team is in the blessed position of not having to care what anyone else thinks or wants. It doesn't matter. Instead of worrying about being once again put on "upset alert", all we have to do is simply sit back, let all the pundits, Stanford, Boise, and the SEC runner up state their points about why we don't deserve this shot, then retort with a simple "Computers Bitches!" while pointing to either: A) our glowing computer ranking OR B) our crotch.
I get that there is a certain satisfaction that comes from proving the doubters wrong, but not at the expense of the celebration of the accomplishment itself. So let's all take a deep breath, turn on our Joe's cup Christmas lights, take a look back at these 9 games our football team has won for us (yes, for us), get excited about the 3 known games that are coming, get even more excited about the potential of what that 4th game could be, turn off ESPN, turn on Ropin the Wind, and let the enjoyment take over.
This season isn't about the doubters.
This season is for us.