Monday, April 13, 2009

Final Thunder Home Game, OU Spring Football and Easter Sunday

Today is the 6 month anniversary of my move to OKC. Hard to believe I have been out here for half of a year now. Time flies.

Watched the Thunder lose by 30 points tonight at Portland. I'm sure some of my Thunder hating friends were happy to see their "new" team beat their "old" team. I still think the Thunder have shown a lot of progress this season and look forward to seeing how much they improve next season.

Friday was our final home game of the season and the team was able to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 84-81. We had quite a bit of activity going on before the game as we shut off Reno Ave. at 2pm and turned the street into a carnival like atmosphere complete with plenty of things for people to do (inflatable toys, basketball sport court for free throw shooting, prize table, live music, etc). I've included some of the pictures. The guy on stilts is Chester and he usually is average height and makes balloon animals but took it up a notch with the legs and basketball hoop for the final game. The rock band is Metal Shop and when I took this picture at 5pm they were doing a cover of "Cherry Pie" by Warrant. The rest of the bands were of more mellow genres but these guys were fun to check out.

After the game many of us headed for one of our favorite post game establishments for a couple of drinks before heading up to the Skky Bar, a nightclub that reserved their VIP Room for the Thunder Staff. Probably about 75 of us showed up and hung out until close to 2am before 9 of us headed down the street for a final game meal at IHOP. Good times.

Saturday my co-worker Tyler and I headed down to Norman to watch the Oklahoma University Red and White football game. Almost every major college in the country has a spring intrasquad game that is open to the public but it is definitely a bigger deal in Oklahoma then at most other schools. Around 25,000 people showed up to check out the 2009 Sooners football team that is expected to be one of the best teams in the country again this year. Tickets for the game were $6.

We had a great time at the football outing. Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford ran onto the field right before the first play of the game and got a huge ovation which was fun. Bradford didn't play very much but when he did he looked really good (not exactly a surprise). They kept score but it was a strange scoring system as it was the offense against the defense. For instance the offense got so many points for a 1st down or a long play, the defense got points for forcing punts and turnovers. In the end the defense won the game 63-36 and as a whole looked better than the offense.

Halftime of the game was fun. The university decided to have a Heisman Trophy presentation for Bradford since it was the first time that he had been suited up at Owen Field since winning the award. It gave the crowd a chance to aplaud him for winning the trophy last year which is awarded to the best college football player in the nation. They also had all of the attending football alumni come onto the field at halftime, line up and introduce themselves with a microphone that was passed right down the line. Probably over 100 players. Some players definitely got bigger cheers than others (Brian Bosworth got the loudest cheers).

I ended up going for a walk around the stadium in the 2nd half and made my way down to the Sooner Schooner which goes out onto the field after every OU score. Washington Huskies fans remember the Sooner Schooner from the 1985 Orange Bowl when it cost Oklahoma a crucial field goal that helped the UW win one of its biggest games ever (4th quarter and score was tied 14-14, the Schooner trotted onto the field after a field goal however there was a penalty that nullified the kick and the referees gave a 15 yard penalty for unsportmanlike conduct to the Schooner taking the Sooners out of field goal range. UW went down on next possession and scored the go ahead touchdown and never looked back). Got to get my picture taken with the Schooner which was fun. Also managed to have my picture taken with the common man statue on the way back to the car.

Easter Sunday was a great day but I have to admit that I don't have any pictures to show for it. I met up at a great church with my friends the Taylors as well as my friend JB and his family that were visiting from out of town and took in a great Easter Service. I think the church had a couple thousand people inside and the special guest was Ben Utecht, a pro football player (Tight End that played for the Indianapolis Colts over the last few years but will be playing for the Cincinnati Bengals this year). He spoke of his faith and then talked about how he is also an aspiring Christian singer. He then mentioned that his good friend was in attendance and called her up to the stage. His friend was Sandy Patty who is a multi grammy winner and is considered one of the legends of Christian Gospel music. She moved to OKC back in January when her husband took a job with one of the large energy companies. Ben and Sandy sang a very nice duet together and the service was outstanding.

We then all headed over to the Taylors beautiful home for Easter lunch. There were about 20 people at the house and I was fortunate to have an outstanding meal with wonderful people. Went home afterward and ended up talking to both of my parents on the phone for an extended time. Easter was a great day and I thank everyone that was a part of it.


GW said...

It was great fun to follow the exploits of the Thunder this past season on your blog. If you can put up with another visitor this fall or early 2010 I am planning on a trip. Looking forward to seeing the "Thonics" in their new home.

stevew said...

You've got a place to stay when you get here. Let's talk in July after the NBA schedule comes out.