It is clear, cold, and windy here on the southern plains this Friday, October 26th, 2012. There were clouds early in the day, but they have been chased away and now the sky is relentlessly blue.
In other parts of the country the presidential campaign rages on. It is a desperate struggle waged by increasingly bellicose candidates, frenzied staffs, and peppered with wild eyed partisan pundits who screech like a swirling flock of angry starlings. A variety of polls offer conflicting numbers, proving perhaps that the country has become so irrevocably divided that even statisticians are willing to twist facts to suit their own ends.
A cable outlet is showing a court hearing in Florida. George Zimmerman is sitting in a chair at the defense table staring directly ahead, rarely blinking, seemingly in a grim trance. The prosecution and defense are arguing about the amount of information that should be released to the public and accusing each other of conducting pre trial arguments in the court of public opinion. They are droning on and on. Listening to them is rather like hearing someone explain the millimeter by millimeter variances of the surface of a steel screw. There are no Perry Masons and Clarence Darrow is long gone. What we have left are hack politicians and barely articulate ambulance chasers.
In Oklahoma right now, for at least many hundreds of thousands of people, all that stuff is just white noise, a meaningless hum of static that no one pays attention to.
Yes to many in this wind whipped, dusty, state, especially to those of us of a certain age, who attended the University of Oklahoma, there is only one thing that matters at the moment. That is that Notre Dame's football team is in town for a game tomorrow night.
When Oklahoma and Notre Dame take the field none of the young men on either side of the ball will have a sense of the history or how important this contest is to old fucks like myself.
Oklahoma and Notre Dame are two of the traditional powers of the college sport. They are counted among a dozen or so schools who make up the truly elite of the game. In addition the two teams rarely meet.
The last time The Fighting Irish were in Norman for a game I was 16. When I was 7 they defeated Oklahoma at home to end the Sooner's 47 game winning streak, a record which stands to this day. The one and only time OU beat Notre Dame I was 5 years old. This January I turn 63.
No, the young guns can't possibly grasp what this contest means to someone who has spent 55 years waiting to get back at those sonsofbitches for that 1957 game.
I used to hate Notre Dame, even more than I despise the buffoons in orange we play every year. That has mellowed now. I recognize them as a class operation and as steeped in tradition, if not more so, than OU. I can identify with that and even admire it. Tomorrow before the game I will welcome their fans to Norman, shake their hands, maybe even have a drink or a beer with them.
Then I will enter the stadium and with 83,000 other loons, drunks, and outright psychopaths I will scream for their heads to be delivered to me on a plate. Such is the nature of the game and the beast. Simply put, I don't have another 55 years to wait.
victoria aut mors