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Road Warrior

The Greatest Rivalry

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Hard Work

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To The Point

King's Corner

The Draft

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NFL Bound

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NFL Spotlight

Boomer Bio

Lincoln Riley Q&A

Keys To Success

End of an Era

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Dominating Force

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California Connection

Red River Rejuvenation

To The Point

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Next Generation

Hiring Time

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Samaje Perine Q&A

Aaron Ripkowski Q&A

Mike Stoops Q&A

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All in the Family

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On Point

King's Corner

Sugar Bowl Review

Editorial

OU to meet Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Josh Heupel Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

Boomer Bio

The Closer

Sooner Success

Mike Stoops Q&A

Bill Bedenbaugh Q&A

Spring Football Review

Spring Football Review

To The Point

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Boomer Bio: Chuka Ndulue

Boomer Bio: Bronson Irwin

Jalen Saunders Q&A

Patience Rewarded

Boomer Bio: Sterling Shepard

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Tony Jefferson Q&A

Attention Getter

A Change of Plans

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Proud Heritage

Hot Commodity

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Cornerstone

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Strictly Striker

Javon Harris Q&A

Boomer Bio: Austin Haywood

Locked In & Loaded

Ben Habern Q&A

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The Classics

Top Ten Recruits

Bonus Prospects

Oklahoma Influences

Tight End Tough

Marquis On The Mark

Sooner Stars Set To Return

Jeremy Beal Q&A

Jamell Fleming Q&A

Boomer Bio: Trey Millard

Stacy McGee Q&A

Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

James Patton Q&A

Boomer Bio: Eric Mensik

Quarterback Race

Quarterback Race

Boomer Bio: Kenny Stills

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Getting His Kicks

Making The Right Moves In Recruiting

Bradford looks sharp in workout

No Doubt About It

Boomer Bio: Willie Martinez

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Norman Bound

Showdown In The Sun

Jay Norvell Q&A

Jay Norvell Q&A

Boomer Bio: Dejuan Miller

Adrian Taylor doing just fine

Joseph Ibiloye Q&A

The Real Deal

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Casey Walker Q&A

Best of The Red River Rivalry

Bradford To Start Against Baylor

Facebook & Football

Tackling Machine

Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

Josh Heupel Q&A

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Top Targets

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Tisdale and Griffin

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Sam Bradford Q&A

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Blake Griffin earns Naismith Award

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The Wait Is Over

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Staying Put

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Make Room For Sam

Lendy Holmes Q&A

Bradford Wins Heisman

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Boomer Bio: Frank Alexander

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Looking Ahead

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Bradford Named Starting QB

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Malcolm Over The Middle

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GET READY FOR THE RETURN OF SOONER SPECTATOR!

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Double Duty

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Quick Five With Nic Harris

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The Opposition

Defensive Backing

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Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

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Top Shelf: Austin Box

Rufus Revelations

Reaction to Capel Hiring

A.D. Unscripted

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OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

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Endowed Scholarships Announced

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A Pleasant Conversation

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Sooners Roll Past K-State

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The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

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Clint Ingram Q&A

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Letter from the Editor

Q and A

Ever Elusive

Sooner Selections

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OU's Weekly Sports Report

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OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title

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Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




Road Warrior
Spring football eases pain
Desert drive brings football hope

We were somewhere on the edge of the desert, east of Tucson, fleeing the McKale Center and a stinker of a hoops finale, when the realization began to take hold — now it was football season. Or, at least, spring football season. For as much as I like hoops, no matter how many phone calls the coaches make, I’m a football guy. Spring ball almost isn’t fair, though, because it just gives you a taste of what you crave, and then takes it away from you again for five more months.

The big spring question, although it won’t be answered in the spring, is the identity of the new QB. I’m no expert on the subject anyway, mind you, but even after watching the scrimmages this spring, I don’t know who’s going to take the first snap this fall. Whoever it is, hopefully that first snap will not be over his head, a sentiment you will understand if you have been out to watch the Sooners scrimmage at all over the past few weeks.

My sentimental favorite is Paul Thompson, just because this is his fourth year and he’s done everything that you could have asked for the team. He’s barely played in three years, and it’s his turn. Unfortunately, that doesn’t get him the job, because Tommy Grady and Rhett Bomar aren’t going to just let him have it. Ultimately, we have to trust that Coach Stoops and the staff will choose the right guy.

If not, of course, there are still a couple of damn good quarterbacks available.

On the defensive side, the return of Dusty D. has been something to see this spring. He’s been playing like a man with something to prove — which I suppose he is, which probably explains it right there. I can’t wait to see him back on the field in September, and I hope he has really cleaned his personal problems up and stays on the straight and narrow.

This season should be pretty interesting and exciting, since we get to see a lot of young guys with their chance to step to the front and make their marks on the program. We haven’t lost a regular-season game since 2002. No telling whether that streak continues or not. No telling about a lot of things, which makes everything that much more fun. It’s 20 weeks to the day from the spring game to kickoff against TCU. I imagine it’ll feel more like 20 years waiting for it.

That drive from Tucson when I started thinking about football wasn’t as bad as it might have been, considering what we have coming back next season, hoops-wise. With the guys we have coming in and everyone back but Johnnie Gilbert and Jaison Williams, we ought to be better than we were this season, and we were pretty good already.

Besides, it wasn’t like I expected us to come out of Tucson into the Sweet 16. I have been to Tucson four times to watch the Sooners play — three times for the NCAA hoops tourney and once for the Copper Bowl — and all were trips filled with doom and failure.

That whole Copper Bowl thing was a miasma of doom-struck misadventure, anyway. What was the point of going out to the desert and freezing our butts off only to get our heads bashed in by a gang of recalcitrant Mormons?

Almost as bad was watching the Sooner cagers get whooped by yet another gang of recalcitrant Mormons, this one led by a 7-foot tall Australian dork with a bad haircut, who was apparently listed as 9-feet tall in our scouting report, since that’s how we played against him.

Of course, if you can’t hit an unguarded 12-footer, you ain’t gonna get far anyway. But hoops are for next fall. It’s football until then.

Oh, and you probably have noticed that this column graces a new publication, Sooner Spectator. I’d like to say they lured me away with a big signing bonus, but that wasn’t the case. No, it was the chance to get back to writing a column for you folks after every game. After all, what rational person wouldn’t miss staying up until three in the morning after a night game pounding out something that will hopefully not be complete drivel between attacks of incipient narcolepsy while fighting a 7 a.m. Sunday morning deadline?

It was that, and the chance to write for what should quickly be recognized as the finest Sooner publication around, that brought me to Sooner Spectator. This column is on the back page, so unless you skipped over and read this first (which I know some of you did), you have already seen what I am talking about. So tell your friends, and buy a subscription, and all of that, so that I can continue to spend the wee hours of fall Sunday mornings writing columns.

(The Road Warrior is your typical OU fan in the stands. OK, maybe not so typical, since he's been in the stands at every Sooner football game, home and away, for 167 consecutive games, dating back to October 12, 1991. His views will appear in each issue of Sooner Spectator. You can reach the Road Warrior via e-mail at roadwarrior@soonerspectator.com.)