One of my friends gave me a gift card (to Nike.com) for my birthday a year and a half ago.
I haven’t spent it yet. I’ve been holding onto it.
I like not spending it more than I like spending it because I like all the possibilities of it, everything I could purchase with it.
Right now, that $50 gift card can buy anything I want it to buy. In November, after I buy the new OSU basketball shorts with it, it is no longer infinite. I will have purchased a thing, this pair of shorts I will undoubtedly enjoy, but the possibilities, they will be gone.
The gift card can no longer be anything I want it to be. That is a very strange idea I guess, but it is not unlike college football seasons.
Today we can be national champs, anyone can theoretically. Tomorrow though, tomorrow we must be 1-0 or 0-11.
There’s a finality to it, this harsh reality for seniors that they will never again play a home opener. And for fans that they are one season older (because who counts in years?) and one season more removed from their youth.
Youth though, that will be a narrative this year (maybe THE narrative this year). College kids littering this campus and infiltrating these establishments; a child playing quarterback, really he was born in 1993!
This metamorphosis is what guides us, of Weeden handing the torch to Lunt. Just as so many of us, graduates and fans, handed the torch of our collegiate fandom to those who came behind us.
And yet here we are, as we are nearly every year, long on knowledge but short on understanding of a season that is heavily cloaked in mystery.
How good will we be? Can we go back to back in the Big 12?
Does it matter? Today we can be anything. National champs.
It doesn’t matter, because as tomorrow fades into the next day and that one into the next, we will continue to be fans and talk about irrational, ridiculous things. We will continue to be OSU.
12-1 records are not what make us great. We make each other great, and hopefully we are better for having done this whole wacky thing together.
Yet for those who have lived it, for the ones who lumbered through the 90s and maybe even those who saw our last major national title in the 40s in person, tomorrow is going to be a sweet revelation.
Yes tomorrow as the most putrid team to ever visit Oklahoma takes the field, another team, our team will be huddling at the northwest corner of the stadium.
They will be chanting and screaming and doing all the things collegiate football teams do before entering battle.
Then the gate will open, the people will scream, the band will play, and somewhere an old man will shed a tear and look away.
As smoke wafts into the heavy sky, Larry Reece will puncture the air with his booming voice. And he will introduce Oklahoma State in a way nobody has ever heard before…
“Welcome to Boone Pickens Stadium, home of your defending Big 12 champions.”
Enjoy the season.
- Well we must be 1-0 if Gundy wants to keep his job, but you know what I’m saying. ↩