Golden Bears? OU’s getting no respect



Last Tuesday the OU men’s basketball team won the Summit League Championship, earning them a spot in the NCAA tournament. We kick ass.

By the looks of our campus the next day, however, you wouldn’t have known that the team, led by seniors Derick Nelson and Johnathon Jones, had just cemented their place in history as the best Summit League team ever.

As a fanatical follower of our championship basketball team, it really pisses me off that students who go here have no idea that we’re the champions of our conference, our players, or about the    unimpersonationable coach Kampe.

“Well I don’t watch basketball, Ryan, so of course I don’t follow our team!” you might say. My reply to you: “Why not?” and/or “Go to hell.”

Homecoming, for our fellow state universities, is generally a celebration about the school’s football team, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and completely forgetting about said football game. I want to forget half the Wolverines’ beyond lackluster football season myself.

At this year’s Homecoming, the 4,000  fans were treated to an incredible last-second, fade-away shot by Jones that beat rival Oral Roberts University. I was high-fiving and chest-bumping random strangers, my throat was sore from all the cheering, and I didn’t even care if I looked like a jackass in the process.

It was one of the best finishes to a basketball game, college or professional, that I have ever witnessed, and people didn’t even know we had a Homecoming.

Don’t get me wrong, our basketball team currently has a great following. Sioux Falls shook last week during the Summit League Tournament, with Grizz Gang students and alumni showing their Grizzly pride. There was even a glimpse of Russi, in South Dakota of all places.

We can do so much better, people. Perhaps it’s the conference we’re in. The League Formerly Known as the Mid-Con has only been around since 1982, and we’ve only been in it since 1999.

Leagues like the Big Ten (1895), Southeastern Conference (1932), and Atlantic Coast Conference (1953) are rich in lore and annually field teams full of All-American caliber players.

The Summit League is comprised of 10 teams from craptastic states like Missouri, the Dakotas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Utah. So despite our conference’s name, only one of the schools is actually near any kind of “summit.”

With so much distance between schools, it’s difficult to travel to opposing arenas and publicly deface their beloved mascot statue. It isn’t too difficult, however, to make fun of their school’s name. ORAL Roberts? Jokes make themselves.

According to FSN North, the sports network that covered the first and second round games of the Summit League conference, we were the “Oakland Golden Bears” and tournament MVP Derick Nelson became “Greg Nelson.”

Either the commentators were too stupid to read a media guide beforehand, or they realized that they were stuck broadcasting in South Dakota and just didn’t give a Souix Fall-shit anymore.

When they announced Oakland would be playing against Pittsburgh, the CBS camera failed to capture the hundreds of Grizzlies fans that filled the O’Rena. Way to fail, CBS. The Grizzlies getting a 14 seed was also a disrespectful kick to the Golden gonads.

Pittsburgh … damn it. As if we needed another reason to hate those Penguin-cheering, Steelers-worshiping punks.

So maybe we aren’t as great as the Spartans, Wildcats, or Jayhawks. But who says we have to be? We are the Grizzlies, and I’m damn proud of it.

On a Thursday night in December, come to the O’Rena. Hell, it’s free for students. If there’s anything that an Oakland student likes, it’s free stuff. You can afford — no, too easy.

So come enjoy a game featuring the best team in a league full of ridiculous-sounding mascots. We might give you a hard time for being a bandwagon fan, but you’ll be one more Grizzly voice in the growing roar of our student section.

As the country watches grizzly bears maul panthers (we’ve already killed jaguars and mastodons) wrecking brackets everywhere, I’ll be chest bumping with my Grizz Gang shirt on.