Local College Sports

An Open Letter to Oklahoma State Fans

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy arrives to speak to reporters during the Big 12 NCAA college football media day in Frisco, Texas, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
An Open Letter to Oklahoma State Fans

In my mind, there are two groups of Oklahoma State fans: rational and irrational.

Rational fans see OSU football for what it is: a program that, despite recruiting well and being flush with cash, has only one Big 12 championship and no national championships to show for it. Hell, the Cowboys have only beaten their rivals in Norman four times since the turn of the century.

This breed of fan doesn’t make excuses when the Cowboys inevitably lose to the Sooners and drop a game that they shouldn’t.

I love these fans because they’re the true die-hard. They expect the best from their team, and anything short of that is a disappointment. Being one of those fans, I can respect that.

This letter is not for them.

The irrational OSU fans — the kind that have been serving me plenty of hate lately for my views — are who this letter is addressed to. The ones that make excuses for the Cowboys’ under-achievement. The kind that make it their part-time job to defend nine-win seasons with no conference championship to show for their efforts.

Are you really happy with that?

Honestly, it’s less irritating to me than it is funny. Why am I the one getting hated for having high expectations? I’ve even been called a traitor because of my realistic takes on the Cowboys.

The fact that I gave literal blood and sweat for the university is only part of it. The fact that my entire family rides or dies with them is only part of it.

I have these expectations for the Cowboys because they raised them against themselves. The uniforms are flashy, the talent is there, and the brand is strong. The stadium and the ticket prices are top tier for the collegiate level. I think it’s fair to expect the results to be top tier too.

Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph warms up for the team’s Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game against Colorado, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

We all know that Stillwater is a different kind of place. I think that’s why I’ve been drawing so much hate lately. Maybe I view it such a businesslike way because coming to Stillwater was a business decision in the first place.

I chose Oklahoma State because I knew I would play early and against NFL caliber talent just about every Saturday. OSU wasn’t near the same stature then that it is now, and my expectations have changed accordingly.

Above all, I want to say that I love the sport of college football over any single team. It’s in my family. Being an All-American is in my blood. Given a choice, I’d cover it from a national perspective in a heartbeat.

OSU still means a hell of a lot to me, and I sacrificed a lot for them. The feeling goes both ways.

Which makes it all the more ridiculous that I’m drawing hate from Oklahoma State fans who try to excuse the Cowboys’ shortcomings.

I genuinely appreciate the rational brand of OSU fan and the nice folks who have kept up with my work since my Stillwater days.

But the irrational OSU fan? You’re the problem, not me.

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