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One Last Ride

Imagine with me what it might be like for some of OSU’s brightest to wear the colors one final time.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Stanford v Oklahoma State Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

We’re just about a week after National Signing Day, which has many fans across the country salivating at how the newest bunch on athletes will perform once they are on campus and competing on the field.

What’s next is always at the forefront of our minds. The night the Heisman Trophy is awarded, commentators are already debating who will be finalists at the next ceremony. After Sunday’s Super Bowl victory, New England Patriots coach Bill Belicheck was quoted as saying how his team is already weeks behind in preparations for the 2017 season.

What is and what has been—whether good or bad—often gets so easily lost in looking to the horizon, to the future. Winds of change and progress and freshness blow away the sands of time and all we’re left with is what might be.

We look ahead. And we forget the past.

If you asked any former player if they ever dream about donning the uniform and competing one more time, I’d imagine an overwhelming majority would answer in the affirmative and probably with tears in their eyes. The response might border on unanimity.

In collegiate sports, unlike in the professional ranks, the opportunities to lace ‘em up and wear the team colors to battle for supremacy on the field, court, ice, mat and other surfaces are limited to a smaller window of time. You can only compete so long and under certain parameters before exhausting collegiate eligibility.

So I began to wonder what it might be like to see some former Pokes in orange and black again—one last time to suit up and perform for fans’ applause and wonder.

Over the next several weeks, CRFF will be running a series to feature Cowboys and Cowgirls of yesteryear that we wish could have one more chance to compete in an OSU uniform.

Here are the guidelines for selection:

  1. A player who is such a tremendous figure that virtually anyone who isn’t an opposing coach or player would want to see in the starting lineup cannot be selected unless extenuating circumstances—like a career-ending injury or an NCAA suspension, etc.—are present.
  2. The player selected does not have to have success at the next level to be included. Though such “professional” achievements may exist, I’m more concerned with what was accomplished in an OSU uniform.
  3. Players selected should not be currently competing at the professional level (within reason) as it makes the possibility of imagining them in an OSU uniform that much easier.
  4. Those selected may not have achieved a long list of team accomplishments while playing at OSU. For example, players from the 1990s OSU football program or the Travis Ford era in basketball are just as qualified for inclusion as those from Final Four or Fiesta Bowl fanfare.
  5. For the sake of brevity, I’m only intending to select from eras I am most familiar with, 1980s-present.
  6. This is not to be an exhaustive list of players or sports. It is not to diminish the achievements of all OSU athletes throughout the years, especially in sports that typically receive little notoriety or coverage. We’re only looking to see what it might be like if these players had one more shot.

So join us here over the next few weeks as we dust off the Cowboy history books and bring back some of the stars—some shining brightly, others possibly dimmed—I wish we could all see go for one more ride in orange and black.

Feel free to comment below or on Twitter with athletes you would suggest for coverage in any sport that you want to hear about. Pick any sport, it doesn’t matter. We will talk to them all!

Do you know how to get in contact with some of these players? Let us know! Shoot us an email or a DM on Twitter. We would love to help these former Pokes reminisce about their time wearing the orange and black, and share their experiences with you.