Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oklahoma vs Notre Dame game

I hear they’re organizing a football game tonight here in little ole Norman, Oklahoma.  #5 Notre Dame is coming to town to play the #8 ranked Sooners.  Notre Dame owns an 8-1 record against us.  They were responsible for ending our 47 game winning streak.  OU only lost 3 times between 1953 and 1957 and all three losses were at the hands of the Irish.

Games like this are why I get excited for college football.  We don’t normally have a lot of ranked non-conference games here.  In the past we have scheduled some nice non-conference games, but only a few times have the teams been competitive on the years that they’ve visited our stadium.  We’ve played host to Miami, Florida State, Alabama, UCLA and Oregon. Only FSU, Alabama and Oregon were ranked. 

ESPN is set up outside Memorial Stadium and is bringing the whole world with them.  You’ll notice that I don’t refer to our stadium as Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium. “Gaylord Stadium” sounds like an insult that you hear on the playground in 5th grade. “Hey nice going Gaylords, you lost to an unranked Texas Tech team at home!”  Also, I don’t like how the University decided to change the name without consulting or notifying the fan base or alumni.  I guess if you donate enough money (and own the local newspaper) you can do whatever you want.  Too bad they forgot the original reason it was named Memorial Stadium in the first place which is to honor the World War I heroes.  Bob Stoops has a 79-4  home record so you think we could rename it something more appropriate like Warlord Stadium.

I really don’t think that having the World Wide Leader in town really does anything for the game except make traffic a little more congested. Games like this don’t need any more hype.  College football fans will probably tune in to this game regardless if they are fans of the two teams or not.  Whoever wins this game has a good shot of appearing in the national title game; or at least staying in the national title conversation. 
I was going to do a statistical breakdown of the two teams, but I realized that for the most part stats are meaningless.  I looked at the Longhorn and Sooner stats prior to the Red River Shootout and looked as if both teams were evenly matched.  Maybe with the numbers people we were even, but in reality we beat them 63-21 and it wasn’t really that close. Texas scored 12 points in the last 5 minutes of the game.  The stat people almost fooled me into thinking that the two teams were evenly matched. I won’t make that same mistake twice.

Another thing that bothers me about stats is that they have too many teams tied in those spots.  Too many teams are tied at 17 for example so if you can just average a few more yards or restrict your opponent by a few less yards you could move several spots.
People who are familiar with Notre Dame say that they are good on defense and bland on offense with an indifferent special teams unit.  I’d like to think that OU is pretty good offensively and defensively and we have a really nice returner in Penn State transfer Justin Brown.  Brown has also been a pretty nice target for Landry Jones these past few weeks.  They seem to really have their timing worked out. 

According to MY stats OU’s defense looks to be giving up about 10 points per game.  Notre Dame is doing pretty badly offensively. I haven’t looked into too much, but as a team they are scoring 26 points per game.  Most of those points were scored on Miami and Navy, but OU scored most of our points on Kansas and Texas so I shouldn’t gloat too much.  Speaking of Texas how is it that the biggest athletic department in the nation has fallen so far?  They have good coaches and good players.  I don’t get why they suck so much.  63-21.  Wow. I know it has nothing to do with this game, but I’m still in awe of how well we played against them. Sorry. I sometimes get sidetracked and like to reminisce about how much I dislike the Longhorns.

I hope we can play that well tonight on Owen Field in Memorial Stadium.  The turnover margin will be key. ND has a great D-line and a somewhat inexperience secondary.  OU looks pretty good in the secondary, but sometimes doesn’t get enough pressure on the QB.  Tonight should be different though. ND quarterback Golston has his issues at QB. I don’t think he’s quite there yet, so hopefully we will be able to get to him early and get his timing off.
I’m not going to give out a prediction as I’m usually about 50% on my predictions. Don’t want to embarrass myself, I’m just going to enjoy the day.  And the media circus.  Hopefully I’ll enjoy the outcome.
Look for me in the stands.  Actually don’t try to look for me, just watch the game. The cameras never pan up that high anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


For the first home game this season OU celebrated one of it's favorite players on the ticket stub.  This is the second year that people have voted on their favorite players and the 6 chosen appear on the home game ticket stubs.  I never really think about these things much. I think it's a good idea, but I never really go to the OU website to vote.  It would be hard for me to find just a few players to nominate, much less vote on. They're all special in their own way. No matter the team or sport I'm sure most people have their favorites that never won a lot of post season awards or were recognized for what they did for the team.

Rocky was recruited out of Jenks high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1997. He played one season for John Blake's last team that went 5-6.  They played 3 ranked teams all season 15th ranked Colorado. (I believe this one was broadcast on ESPN in the days before 24/7 football coverage. Why, I have no idea.) 20th ranked Missouri and 7th ranked Texas A&M.  I don't remember the exact quote, but Rocky mentioned the crying in the locker room and the depression of being blanked by A&M 0-29 and the humiliation of giving up 41 points to OSU in a loss. Players like Rocky and Roy Williams confessed that they had a fleeting urge to transfer, but decided to stay with what they had started. 

At this point in his career nobody thought he or the team would do much.  Things looked bleak. The program was being surpassed by Nebraska, Kansas State, Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M. Heck, even OSU and Kansas was having more success in those days than OU.Colorado and Nebraska had both won National Championships recently and most of the teams in the new Big XII looked pretty tough.

Things started to pick up in 1999.  The team would finish with a 7-5 record in Bob Stoops first season.  The defense was stout against  13th ranked Texas A&M allowing 6 points in a lop-sided 51-6 win.  OU would hover around the bottom of the AP 25 that year and would lose in the Independence bowl to Mississippi State.  Most of the losses were because of the defense giving up leads in the fourth quarter. That could be a partly because of an offense that couldn't run out the clock and specials teams; not just the defensive deficiencies.  Still some work to go if you're the leader on defense. Nobody on defense wants to lose the game in the fourth quarter and defensive mistakes.

2000 would see the Sooners return to national prominence with an Orange Bowl win over Florida State. OU had the benefit of starting out the season ranked 20th and having three teams ranked above them: Texas, Kansas State and Nebraska were all conference foes that had enjoyed recent successes against OU and possibly took the Sooners too lightly. Beating those three ranked teams helped a lot in the rankings and gave the team immediate and concrete goals to look forward to each week.  In previous seasons the higher ranked opponent might intimidate the team, but not this particular group of guys. They were hungry to show what they could do and looked forward to the opportunity to see how they matched up to the competition.

Here's an bligatory Youtube clip.  This is of Rocky forcing a fumble and the subsequent score in the National Championship game.

Rocky would force the fumble that would lead to a touchdown by Quentin Griffin that effectively sealed the win for OU.  The offense hadn't done much in the red zone that night, but having the ball on the 15 yard line helped a lot.

This is the best screen shot I could find of the forced fumble.

Rocky finished his career as a National Champion, Big XII Conference champion, Butkus award finalist (2000) winner(2001) and a finalist for the Nagurski and Bednarik awards and a 3 time first team All-Big XII selection.  He did all this with a fractured bone in his leg and a broken thumb.

Guys like Rocky are the backbone of any team. The tough, smart guy who keeps his head up and keeps at it.  Unfortunately it doesn't always work out for a guy, but hopefully better things are in the horizon for some of these players. Rocky was drafted in the third round by the Tennessee Titans and finished his career in Indianapolis.

This particular card was sent over to me by Brian the Play at the Plate Dude. We've traded many times and this was a really nice card he sent over.  He sent over a lot more than this. Hopefully I'll get around to posting up those cards soon, but for now I wanted to give a special post to this card.

I still can't believe that somebody would see a card that they knew I would like and picked it up for me. I'm not so sure I would have done the same thing.

I don't know how the perseverance theme applies to me to personally as a card blogger, but in life I guess we all should be positive and keep at it.

Thanks for the cards, Brian.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Random college football observations

So I watched the OSU and Texas game tonight. This is kind of a weird game for me to watch because I don’t really like either team.  Texas is our main rival and OSU thinks that they are our main rival.

Normally I would route for a 0-0 tie, but I found myself enjoying the game. The lead changed several times and it turned out to be a pretty high scoring contest.  Every time I would yell at the TV; “don’t let them Longhorns score!! You idiots!” Then I would realize that it’s cool that for a moment OSU was losing. Around a minute and a half later OSU would score and I’d yell “don’t let them stupid hillbillies score!!” and then I would realize that it was cool because that would mean that Texas was losing (for a minute) Rinse and repeat and you have a final score of 41-36. Texas over Oklahoma State.

Texas scored with about 33 seconds left in the game. When I turned over to the game in the third quarter I was surprised to see that Texas was losing the rushing battle, because every time they had the ball they seemed to be running the ball well with two different backs Bergeron and Gray.  Occasionally they would do that stupid wild cat thing that seems to be all the rage.  OU looked to be doing a version of the wildcat in 2009, but Bradford got hurt, Offensive Co-Ordinator Kevin Wilson left to coach Illinois and we never saw the wildcat again. (thank goodness!)

The best news for OU is that we were off this week.  Our last game was a loss to KSU at home. Even when we are bad we could always say that we almost always win at home. Only 4 losses in 13 seasons, now make that 5 losses in 14 seasons and we’re only 3 games in.  OSU and Notre Dame both visit Norman later this year and they’re both better than we are right now.  For that matter Texas is better than we are too.  That’s a hard sentence to write.  The one thing I can say about Bob Stoops teams is that they usually get better as the season goes on.  Hopefully that will be true this year.  We really don't have far to go to get better, but whatever it is doesn't seem to be obvious to our coaching staff. Or at least they aren't telling us what's going on. 

I never thought I had seen a more crappier uniform than the ones worn by Nebraska tonight.

A few seconds later I noticed that Wisconsin was wearing basically the same thing.  Awful. Truly awful.  I don’t really like the Nike monopoly sometimes, but these Adidas unis look like the most mismatched horrible idea ever. Most of these newer uniforms are starting to look more like costumes rather that uniforms.  A costume is a ficticious element of replicating reality. (I must really be getting tired) Retro uniforms are usually pretty cool though. Bring back true uniforms!!The funny thing is; Nebraska and Wisconsin already wear retro style uniforms normally. Why bring out all the craziness!

Number 22 ranked Nebraska got a nice fumble recovery from Monte Ball with 1:11 left in the game to preserve the win.  The above screen shot is from the hand off that Monte didn't quite hold on to that led to the fumble. 

I'm officially done with this installment of the college football roundup. Not much of a roundup, just me complaining about a couple of games that I watched.  Next time I promise I will be writing about cards.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

well loved cards

Picking through the cards at yard sales. flea markets and dime boxes at the local card store will sometimes yield some really interesting cards. Not the typical type of card in that it's of a nice player or because the photo on the card is cool or funny looking. Like most of you I also run across those types of cards.

I'm mainly talking about the cards that no matter the subject matter have obviously shown some wear and tear and in my opinion lots of love.

I used to not think that way. I would see a card like the one pictured above and assume that the previous owner or owners hadn't really taken care of it.

I should have known better; when I was a kid I collected comics. I knew some people who would buy two copies of a comic; one for the bag and board to be protected and never enjoyed and the other copy to be read. I never did that. I kept most of them in the bag with a cardboard back to try and keep them new, but I knew that they wouldn't be worth as much to anybody as they were to me. I used to read those comics all the time. They're a little worse for wear these days, but I still have them to read. They didn't suffer much.

I'd like to think that these cards that I come across these days are from the same type of owner. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's a new positivity thing I'm doing these days. Trying to look on the brighter side of things and all that.

Maybe I'm wrong and the former owners of these cards were all Mets fans and were taking out their frustrations on the cards that were reminding them of a not so distant past in which the Mets got to the World Series and lost. Maybe the owner just hated the Mets.

I didn't really follow the 1973 World Series much though as it was played in October 1973. Since I was born in March of that year, I really didn't have much of an interest in the game.

So when I find these 1974 world series recap cards I always pick them up. It's a start of a new collection in which I try and get the championship highlight cards from the previous year.

These 1974 cards first caught my eye because of the patriotic colors and the action shots. I've run across more of these action shots from other sets that I hope to get around to writing about.

I'm not so sure how far I'll go with this type of collection, but I really, really want to eventually find the rest of these cards from 1974. I have 3 so far and all three have some sort of damage.

When I found the first one at the flea market I vowed to find all 10 of them and upgrade this particular card. Now I'm thinking that I'll just try to complete this "set" and if it turns out they are all in damaged condition or miss-cut all the better. I'm not going to be worried about condition to much these days.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trip to the Museum

Earlier this month I took a much needed vacation to one of my favorite places. I've only visited New York City once in my life and it was nice to get back there. I mention in an earlier post about going to a Mets game, today the focus is on going to some of the New York's art culture.

Don't worry, there is some card related photos at the end of this post.

I've Guggenheimed once before and it was a lot nicer last time. I recall it was a surrealist exhibit featuring the works of Salvador Dali among other artists. My mind is not sharp enough to remember the other artists sharing the exhibit with Dali.

This time around it was a little odd. I ran into a really nice, kind of cute docent, along with a really rude older docent. The exhibits weren't that good, and part of the museum was shut down.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was a lot nicer.

This was my first time visiting the Met. It's a huge, huge place. A lot larger than it looks on the outside.

I really don't remember all of the artists and time periods of the pieces that I saw.

I would like to sound smart and be able to speak intelligently about the artwork in these photos, but I'm afraid I would end up sounding like E. Buzz Miller:

Here's a link if you are so inclined. I realize that if anyone clicks on the link now, they'll never finish this blog post. So I just lost most of my 2 or 3 readers. Oh well.

"If you look closely you'll see a little Titian right there."

There was a no photography sign by the front desk, but nobody really paid much attention to it.

I held off as long as I could, but I wanted to get a few snap shots. I had my f1.4 lens so I didn't need a flash, but it has a really loud shutter so I thought I might get in trouble. I'm happy to report that nobody said anything about me taking a few shots.

I promised something card related so here it is:

I forgot which blogger mentioned that there was some cards from Jefferson Burdick's personal collection at the Met. I looked at the link and it seemed like it would be cool to check out. It was a pain to find that part of the museum. I finally found it about 15 minutes before they closed.

I was worried that I might not have enough time to look at all the cards.

I shouldn't have worried; there was only one wall with about 30 or so cards.

It wasn't an overview of his whole collection, just some of his cards relating to African Americans in baseball. A worthwhile exhibit, but I was just hoping for some tobacco era cards.

This is another guy taking photos of the cards. His friend (son?) didn't want his photo taken. He backed off when I was snapping these.

I was shocked that this was all there was in the exhibition. I yelled out "Is that it?!!" A little embarrassing, but nobody else was down there except the three of us. They were just as disappointed as I was.

Still some really nice cards.

I barely got through 1/3 of the museum before being ushered out the door. I don't know if there was more Burdick cards in the museum. It wouldn't have mattered as I wouldn't have been able to find them.

Making my way outside I noticed this street performer on the sidewalk in front of the museum.

He was playing a variety of songs from different countries on his clarinet and saxophone.

I tried taking his photo, but as you can see it was easier said than done. I'm used to getting photos of people in action, but I've never had an experience where someone tried to get as close to me as possible. He moved around pretty fast, but slowed down enough for me to get one shot.

I finally got one good shot.

Here is a shot of a girl trying to take his photo on her phone. As you can see he is too fast for her and her cellphone camera.

At least he got some tips for his effort.

This probably should have been three smaller posts, but I got carried away. I hope you all enjoyed looking through my boring vacation photos.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Consolation cards from My Cardboard Mistress

Recently I got a consolation prize in the mail. Funny thing is, I didn't lose a contest. At least not personally. Spankee was nice enough to send some OKC Thunder cards to me as a consolation for the Thunder losing in the NBA finals. I sent him some random set list wants that he was looking for and a trade was born.

Times like this I wish I had more to send a guy in return sometimes. I'm hoping that trade karma is working in my favor. In this case it definitely seems to be working out for me as he sent me a lot of cards that I didn't have. I don't buy a lot of basketball. Mostly it's baseball and football and the roundballers get over looked.

First off I need to mention the calling card shown at the top of the post. The Burdick mini card. It will go nicely in the other calling card and sketch card binder pages that I'm amassing. It's a little too big for a mini page, so it will go in the 9 card page.

First off Spankee had a nice idea for the NBA playoffs; he did a pack break before every play off game. He scored every pack and the Thunder did quite well. I have only bought a few basketball packs, but I rarely pull any Thunder cards.

I actually have a decent amount of 2009 Pannini, but I only pulled one. The cards themselves are okay. The D.J. White is the nicest one. It's like he's inflating himself to get to the basket. The two Clippers are relegated to standing by and watching.

Sefolosha and Collison are both nice bench players. I've been aware of Collison since his days at University of Kansas.

Desmond Mason has been retired a couple of seasons now and was a member of the Oklahoma State basketball team.

I didn't realize he was as old as he is. He was the first player in Supersonics history to win the slam dunk contest in 2000.

It's so funny that I'm actively collecting a former Texas Longhorn. As long as they he isn't in a burnt orange uniform I'm okay with it. Come to think of it I also like (and would like to collect) Cat Osterman. She's pretty cool. For some reason I like Earl Campbell. I don't know why exactly. I think it's because a few years ago I read that he was in ill health and that bothers me when older athletes show their age. If you search for Earl Campbell on Youtube I'm certain you'll find a video of him in the Cotton Bowl with 11 different OU players draped all over him as he runs over, around and through our entire team. Yikes! I don't want to see that again, but you can look for it, I'll wait. I'll have nightmares if I watch that video again.

I don't mind the Seattle Sonics logo though. I really like the gold and green color scheme. Very Green Bay Packersesque.

I kind of wish that we could have kept that color scheme with the move to OKC, but I understand the logic of creating a new color scheme with the new logo and name.

Thanks very much for the cards and thanks for reading.