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My Vote

Today I ran across an old story back from 2000 on the Sports Illustrated website that had a photo of a little exploit of mine back in the day:

Caption: "OU sophomore Cary McCall shows his support for the Sooners with his "Stoops for President" signs, which he sold for $5 each."

This was in the middle of the 2000 Sooner football season, during which the presidential elections were in full swing, the Sooners were on a meteoric rise towards the national championship, and Bob Stoops was nothing less than a hero for what was happening.

It suddenly occurred to me one day as I was sitting at home that a Stoops for President yard sign would be awesome. I thought that surely someone was doing this, as it seemed obvious to me, but I was unable to locate anything like that. So I went to a local sign shop and ordered up 250 of these babies and took them around campus selling them for $5 a pop (about twice what I paid). Sales were okay up until the day of the OU-Nebraska game. That was the first game I had these available, and they immediately became a hit. I sold them from the sidewalk outside the stadium, and they ended up getting on the news and TV all over the place. I still had quite a few left after the game started however, so it was looking like it was basically going to be a wash as far as the money went. But it was still a lot of fun and people liked them.

But then the magic happened - OU went into the game ranked #3 (the first time we had seen that kind of status in many years) and Nebraska was #1. We had already begun the incredible climb up the polls starting with a massive slaughter of Texas, and a national championship was now in sight if we could somehow handle Nebraska. Not only did we handle them, we came from 31 points down to dominate them in the end, creating a near riot in the stadium and all across Norman. I got out of the stadium before the end because I knew that this was my chance.

Suddenly my signs were worth $10 and I couldn't hand them out fast enough. I actually slipped a couple of friends $10 each to handle the load with me. OU was now the #1 team in the nation, fans were euphoric, and Bob Stoops was a god.

The photo above was actually taken several days before the game while I was out on campus, and ended up getting on the AP wire and got printed in newspapers around the country, along with a story written by some guy from the Daily Oklahoman. It was a fun 15 minutes of fame. I even gave one to Bob Stoops himself, which I actually regret, because he didn't want it and I could have just had him sign it and then kept it for myself.

So, all that is to say, if you get what you believe is a great idea, go for it! You never know what might happen.

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Blogger Jessica - 1:59 PM

Oh, thanks for the memories! I was there with you every step of the way. Remember we had a rubber stamp made with the same thing, stamped them on oranges and threw them on the field. What a totally, incredible year that would make anyone fall in love with football.

Sigh...the best part was that the rise was unexpected. It sure was a lot more fun when the expectations were blown out of the water, you know?

I still have my sign...in my OU room, proudly displaying my blatant partisanship. Stoops, baby.


Blogger Cary - 2:05 PM

Yes, yes you were. And I still have that stamp. It never worked too well, as the ink would rub off the oranges. Were you in Mario's truck with us when we drove around throwing all the Stoops for President oranges at people during the riots? Awesome times.

And, yes, it certainly is different going into a season with such high expectations. Now we complain when we beat top ten teams by only 20 points. But that rise out of nowhere was euphoric.


Blogger not so zen momma - 2:27 PM

I was in the truck!

I have a photo of you holding the $500. It is a print, you know, before digital cameras. So it is packed somewhere in this house...

Your photo also ran in Oklahoma Today, the in that got me my first job. And now I'm a contributing editor!    

Blogger Zie Zie - 10:34 AM

I would definitely purchase a "Stoops for President" sign. McCall, you're a genius! Cant wait for the game on Saturday!!!! BOOMER SOONER!    

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