Storming Boone Pickens and a Theta Pond goal-post swim: How OSU fans celebrated Bedlam

Storming Boone Pickens and a Theta Pond goal-post swim: How OSU fans celebrated Bedlam

The party in Boone Pickens Stadium was just getting started when OSU’s crowd stormed the field after Bedlam. “We live and die by this.”

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

| Nov 5, 2023, 9:15am CST

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

Nov 5, 2023, 9:15am CST

STILLWATER —The snapped-off yellow goal post that oversaw the last Bedlam from the east end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium was laid to rest in a watery grave on Saturday night.

Freshman Amaya Bradford couldn’t help but join the frenzy.

With thousands of OSU fans crowding around Theta Pond cheering her on, Bradford jumped into the cold water and swam next to the floating hunk of aluminum.

“It’s everything you could ever wish for,” Bradford said from the bank, sopping wet. “Now I can die happy.”

Bedlam’s death was a happy one for Cowboys fans. OSU won 27-24, recording just its 20th victory in 118 attempts.

Chaos ensued when OSU’s Alan Bowman took the final knee to clear the clock. Fans rushed the field, tore off the upper half of a goal post, marched it out of the stadium through a gate, paraded it down Hester Street and dumped it in the scenic pond three blocks southwest of the stadium.

“They said this is the last Bedlam right? So I think until the lord comes back is how long I’m going to hold onto this Bedlam win,” said James Haycraft, a 2020 OSU graduate.

Haycraft reflected on OSU’s win while standing on the 15-yard line of the east end zone. He’d been tailgating with his wife, Jada. When OSU got into victory formation, the couple ran to join the field storming.

“I’m going to cry,” Haycraft said. “It means everything. I told my wife this is the best day of my life if we win, other than my wedding day. It’s the second-best day of my life. I love it so much.”

OSU fan Jada Haycraft embraces her husband, James, on the field after OSU’s Bedlam win. (Sam Hutchens/Sellout Crowd)

Senior Julian Culson watched the game from a packed student section enlivened by a combination of unprintable chants, fireball shooters and, ultimately, unbridled joy.

“We live and die by this,” Culson said. “(Oklahoma) is our rival, truly our only rival. We’re losing it this year, we want to win this one more than any game in the world.”

Freshman Guy Lewins wore customized white overalls with a painted-on red heart and the message “I love Lincoln Riley” to his first (and only?) Bedlam game.

“I asked my OU fan friend what the most annoying thing I could put on overalls,” Lewins said.

A few brave souls cheered for OU from the OSU student section. Brinkley Campbell said she received some good-natured taunts. Mike Jones, who wore a red OU shirt, positioned himself in the thick of enemy territory to dish out smack talk.

“I’m sad Bedlam is going away,” Jones said. “Look at this. Me and (Culson) have been talking nonsense. Having a good time. It’s awesome, even through the hate, and we both want to win. We still have respect for each others’ teams. It’s great.”

With OSU’s win, Culson was dealt the trump card in the friendly banter battle.

“It’s our last Bedlam victory,” Culson said. “As a student here, we haven’t seen too many victories here if you go over the history of Oklahoma State. This beats everything.”

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Sam Hutchens covers Oklahoma State sport for Sellout Crowd. He interned for The Stillwater News Press in 2021 and The Guthrie News Leader in 2022, where he won a first-place OPA award for in-depth reporting. He has also covered sports in southwest Oklahoma for The Lawton Constitution. He strives to tell you the OSU sports stories that you want to tell your friends about. You can email him at [email protected] and connect on Twitter (X) @Sam_Hutchens_

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