One Week Indoctrination - Session 2 - Sooner Symbology
Understanding the Imagery of OU
As we all know, one of the things that binds effective communities within society is common symbols. This is no different for the Sooner nation. Although we will not actually be inside the game this weekend, you will be among tens of thousands of people that will be communicating a shared understanding of these items, so a general introduction is in order.
Now, you might be asking yourself, "Cary, are you doing this instead of studying Greek?" To that I would say, "Why, yes, of course."
Before we get to the images, I neglected to include in yesterday's lesson a very important article - Red River Shootout. This will give some important history concerning what is happening in Dallas this weekend. And by history, I mean 106 years of history. The Dallas event specifically has 92 years of history.
The Sooner Schooner
This is the closest thing that OU has had to an official "mascot" for several decades. Although, in the past two or three years there has been a horse costume mascot named Boomer but most real Sooner fans only see this as a way of getting into ridiculous things like these mascot challenges on television commercials. Pay no attention. The Sooner Schooner, however, is legitimate.
If you recall from our previous lesson, OU has a rich history beginning with the Oklahoma Territory Land Runs of 1889. The Schooner, as a covered wagon pulled by two miniature horses named Boomer and Sooner, reflects this. It generally makes its appearance after touchdowns and is driven around the field by the members of an old OU Booster fraternity called the RUF/NEKS.
These will be the most important images to know while in Dallas. The OU/Texas meeting has a long history in and of itself, but its origins have an even deeper context rooted in very old border and bridge disputes between Oklahoma and Texas. These original disputes died away, of course, but their legacy has been captured by the intense hatred manifested in the University of Oklahoma/University of Texas rivalry.
What is somewhat unique to the OU/Texas rivalry is that is does not just emerge during the October football game each year - it is a year-round, sustained culture of disdain for all things Longhorn. This is true to the point that anti-Texas symbols have become almost synonymous with OU symbols.
The Upside-Down Longhorn
This symbol is almost as common as the OU logo itself, especially in Norman. On any given day of the year, especially on campus, this symbol can be observed on T-Shirts, hats, cars, windows, notebooks, sidewalks, and any other place that an image can be placed, drawn, or formed. The sentiment is even permenantly emblazoned on one of the main walkways on campus:
Upside-Down Longhorn Hand Gesture
This symbol is simply the reversal of the UT Longhorn Hand Genture that is usually accompanied by phrase "Hook 'Em." Flipped upside down it simply means "Texas Sucks." This is usually effective as Longhorn fans usually have no retalitory gesture, save for the middle finger, which is entirely unoriginal and has no specific significance to OU. This symbol is also communicates commraderie among OU faithful and does not necessarily need to be directed towards Longhorns.
The Crimson and Cream
The casual observer may label the official OU colors as red and white, but that would be wrong as that would make us the University of Nebraska. Neither are they Crimson and White, as that would make us the University of Alabama. Rather, as of 1895, the official colors of OU have been Crimson and Cream. This of course has been simplified in many instances to red and white, but the richer, darker variety of red and its off-white counterpart are the true color representatives of Sooner Nation. This makes for a very classy look for players and fans:
That's about all the time I have for today. Tomorrow's lesson: OU Campus Tour