Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nice to see Oklahoma growing from afar

My apologies for my prolonged absence during the last 3/4 months. I appreciated everyone who occasionally read my blog, and especially those who occasionally commented. I promise I'll make up this drought by dropping more posts from time to time. Who would have thought switching to a more rigorous Architecture School and being a thousand miles away from OKC would have resulted in less free time to blog about Oklahoma?

However, not that even in the wintery land known as Canada can we escape Oklahoma's surging prominence, especially every time we turn on ESPN. The NBA ended up being just the shot in the arm that we needed (ok, maybe not). What a way for the Thunder to do something notable by vying for the highly-coveted title of Worst Franchise Ever! And if you don't think that's notable, which do people talk about more often: the Detroit Lions, or the Cincinnati Bengals. The record currently stands at 4-30; that is 4 wins, and 30 "moral victories" (we don't call them "losses" anymore, it's like it's the Special Olympics all-of-a-sudden). And I don't blame Scott Brooks at his Thunder post-game press conferences for wanting to change the subject to OU football. David Boren needs to issue a formal statement for his schoolapologizing for stealing the NBA's "thunder."

On the bright side, OU is at the same time highly underrated and on the verge of becoming the program of the decade. Of course it doesn't hurt that OU is probably the program of the year, with football being ranked #1, and at the same time basketball being ranked #4. OSU athletics, too, are showing signs of joining the big-leagues with all of their investment in athletic facilities. Even OSU football was once ranked #7, during a 3-week period that the State of Oklahoma had two teams ranked in the Top Ten. Sports columnists and announcers alike began to refer collectively to "the Oklahomas," although OU would very much beg to differ, as there's only one Oklahoma.

Plus, we can't forget all of the new sports facilities set to break ground. Such as the $100+ million renovations that the Ford Center is in the middle of getting, and the new Drillers Stadium in downtown Tulsa. Don't forget the rest of OSU's athletic village, which will likely bring the rest of Cowboys athletics up to par with the football, wrestling, and basketball programs there. OKC's Regatta Park has become the national mecca for rowing (just ask the New York Times), which used to be mainly an East Coast sport. I'm beginning to wonder how all of this compares to other states. There is no question that Oklahoma is a 21st-century player on the national sports scene, but when it's all done, and you consider NCAA and the pros and tournaments and all of that, how does Oklahoma compare?

Proud Okies, don't forget that a recent poll by The Sporting News ranked OKC 79th on its national list of Sports Cities. Norman, ranked seperately for some reason, was ranked 45th. Stillwater was ranked 71st, also ahead of the mother city, OKC. Many controversial problems abound with this ranking however: Even though by the time they did the ranking it had been concrete that the Sonics were moving to the Ford Center, this poll excluded them giving OKC 0 professional sports teams among its criteria. "Their ranking system is flawed," said even Mayor Mick. Had OKC and Norman been listed together, as they had been for every year of the poll until 2007, it probably would have resulted in a Top 30 ranking. Had they included the Thunder, who knows.

Perception is everything, and even still, that is by far Oklahoma's biggest problem. To quote a recent NBA team owner who toured our city before voting to approve the relocation of the Sonics: "You know, this Oklahoma

1 comment:

Keagan said...

The Tunder are on a verge of really making something happen. They have set a new record of 6-32! Maybe when those Ford Center renovations start kicking into high gear the team will too.