Amongst the cheers and yelling last night at Lloyd Noble Center during the game against Stephen F. Austin, the chant of “Let’s go Sooners” followed by clap-clap…clap-clap-clap caught my attention. I began to follow the sounds as they weren’t coming from the cheerleaders or spirit squad. I smiled when I spotted a fan in a Crimson and White polo shirt, standing up, carrying on the chant with his wife by his side. “Good for him” I thought to myself. What true spirit.” Occasionally when he would start again, other people in the crowd would join with him. If his independent cheering bothered anyone, it didn’t faze him. Like myself, he clearly has a passion for the game and our Sooners.
As I have stated before, I enjoy football but I love basketball. It is the sport I played what feels like a zillion years ago. That orange ball with the black stripes (don’t read too much into that, Sooner fans), was what I lived to reach for as soon as my homework was done. I would stay outside until I could not see the goal anymore.
I love (and hate) that the outcome of a game can come down to one point, one free throw such as it did for our guys last night. They fought their way back from a deficit and the game was on the line. Two free throws would tie the game. The first one went in, our shooter pumped his fist. Now time for the second and tying basket….no pressure. The ball bounced off the rim and into the hands of a Stephen F. Austin player. He drove down the lane to waste more of the clock. The game was over.
As I headed to the car, disappointed for the team I thought about the fan I saw tonight. Those are the fans that have our players’s backs…..they don’t give up because we are down by 10, 15 points. They stay until the end and are the ones whose attitude is “we’ll get them next time.”
So to the fan in the red and white polo, you yell all you want…we need more fans like you.
Fellow Basketball Fan in Norman