I have kept that perspective, how we might think we know sports’ importance around here but are only scratching the surface, over my 25-year Oklahoma sportswriting career. It resonates loudest now that I have joined selloutcrowd.com.
I have chronicled Stoopses, Gundys, Suttons and Griffins over a 25-year Oklahoma sportswriting career. I have quizzed Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, ridden my road bike in the Tulsa Tough and dabbled in Bixby Spartans and Booker T. Washington Hornets.
To understand the importance of selloutcrowd.com, and why I’m thrilled and honored to contribute to this monumental Oklahoma sports endeavor, is to rewind 22 years further, to the summer of 1976 when the Emigs moved to Tulsa.
One of the first things I did was join the youth soccer team that changed my life.
My dad coached us and named us the Whippets. Our core stuck together the next 10 years. We were Black and white, from north, south and east Tulsa, mostly urban but a little rural. We ran, bled and sang together. We celebrated championships together. We loved each other, genuinely, like brothers.
Most importantly, we learned from each other. We shared experiences and perspectives by listening and observing. We all became more informed and more dimensional that way.
That’s how I discovered that there was so much more to sports than the sweet spots, the games, victories and trophies. In Oklahoma, before a boy turned 10 years old, he could see the world clearer through his experience on his soccer team.
I have kept that perspective, how we might think we know sports’ importance around here but are only scratching the surface, in the 45 years since. I have applied it to my Oklahoma sportswriting career the past 25.
It resonates loudest now that I have joined selloutcrowd.com.
The idea here is to amplify voices, to give writers and podcasters latitude to express ourselves like we haven’t before. Free from deadlines, from the constraints of a newspaper sports section or a radio station programming clock, we can’t wait to fulfill that promise.
I can’t wait to use my voice to amplify others’.
Brent Venables, Mike Gundy, Danny Stutsman and Brennan Presley make a big difference in OU and OSU wins and losses. I won’t misplace that here. I’ll praise, critique and analyze accordingly.
I’ll listen and share when these coaches and players talk about their games, but also when they think outside their boxes. When they share their experiences and perspectives about something more important than a depth chart.
Conference realignment, the transfer portal and name, image and likeness are most obvious at the moment, but let’s not discard cultural, environmental or mental stressors that affect us all. Coaches and players are just like us. They consider these things, too.
We’ll cover sports a great deal here, but we will not always stick to them. That’s too restrictive for an enterprise as bold as selloutcrowd.com, too shortsighted at a time the outside world creeps further into locker rooms.
You’re in this just as deeply. I’ll listen when you respond to me or the people I encounter, to my columns, podcasts and newsletters. I’ll share that feedback. I’ll amplify your voice. That way we gain perspective and broaden our minds.
I want us all to laugh a lot, cry some and think always here.
I want us to use sports in our state to enjoy each other, since sports is our state’s most common passion, and I want us to use the Sooners, Cowboys and Thunder to learn from each other.
Every now and then they might even help us see things as clearly as the Whippets helped me.