Dean's Blog: An Invitation To Watch "Our State, Our Heisman"

Tuesday, August 21st 2018, 3:29 pm
By: Dean Blevins

One last chance to remind you of something I believe you will thoroughly enjoy. "Our State, Our Heisman" airs tonight at 8:00 on News9 and, in Tulsa, on News On 6.

In this prime-time special, we deliver lengthy feature stories about the six living Heisman winners from the state. And we did not neglect the late and great Billy Vessels, Oklahoma’s first Heisman winner.

Each exclusive interview for the special was done in-depth, and conducted by Griffin Communications broadcasters John Holcomb (from Detroit with Barry Sanders and in Arizona with Sam Bradford), Robin Marsh (with Jason White in his hometown of Tuttle), Kelly Ogle (with Steve Owens in Norman) and my interviews with Billy Sims, alongside and at the home of his coach, Barry Switzer, and Baker Mayfield, before a practice in Cleveland.

Each feature includes stories told by friends, coaches and teammates of the players. For example, I conducted lengthy interviews with Baker’s coaches, Lincoln Riley and Bob Stoops. We also spoke with Baker’s teammates and others to provide behind the scenes color and new information.

In our Billy Sims feature, we felt it appropriate to put Billy with his mentor/close friend/former coach, detailing old and entertaining stories that give you a fuller picture of Billy. One legendary story they detail was the time when Billy was the most sought-after high school recruit in Texas and nationally, by many. One Saturday afternoon while working at the only gas station in Hooks, Texas, Billy got a phone call from one of the many head coaches recruiting him. In what was a major factor in Billy’s decision to sign and star with OU, Coach Switzer was in the other end; actually making a recruiting sales pitch from the halftime OU locker room in Boulder, Colorado, where Switzer’s undefeated and defending national champion Sooners were rolling a good team of Buffs. I’ll let them tell the rest of the story.

Additionally, we felt a trip to that gas station in Hooks would enhance the story. And by hearing from people in in Hooks, along with close friends and high school teammates, the feature was indeed, strengthened. We also talked with Billy’s - and my - former OU teammates, including our pal & former QB Thomas Lott & All-American OT and future Detroit Lion teammate Karl Baldischwilder. Their insight was terrific.

John Holcomb’s story on the incomparable Barry Sanders is terrific. It includes colorful comments from Barry’s former OSU Head Coach Pat Jones - a guy who can spin a tale with the best of them.

I could go on forever, but I think you can understand why the people who contributed to tonight’s Heisman Special can’t wait for you to see the final product.

Check back with me afterwards if you are dissatisfied and want your money back. Oh wait. The only cost is the one-hour of your time.