I Can Hear it Now

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:29 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Nov 19, 2010 9:22 PM CDT

I can hear it now. If OU wins Saturday in Waco, Travis Wilson is asked what the key was to winning a critical road game: “We were wheels up at 6:53 p.m. Friday. We’ve always left around 5. But we got together. Made a few adjustments. Not tweaks to our zone blitz schemes. Tweaks to when we got on the bus bound for Texas. And it worked. Hot diggity dog. Knew wed get ‘er figured out!”

The Sooners games on team planes with OU teams off and off for 44 years. Unfortunately, that’s not a stretch. The itineraries rarely change.  Always on a schedule. You could set your watch to it. More regular than volunteers for laxative testing.

Itineraries are handed out to players and road trip travelers that detail everything from team meetings in the morning, walk-throughs in the afternoon to when to laod the buses. As an aside, some teams will allow a player to rob a Piggly Wiggly and still play, but if he’s one minute late for the bus he’s suspended half the season. Most coaches are meticulous when it comes to being on time.

OU has changed up several things this week as it tries to conquer the problems they’ve had playing on the road. If you are reading this you do not need any numbers or detail to explain that fact.

 Bob Stoops, a man supporters deem to be “determined” and critics deem to be “stubborn,” decided to change the routine this week as the Sooners play a do-or-die-game against Baylor that will either put them in winner-take-all game for the Big 12 South title next Saturday night or leave them bumfuzzled and staring a promising season that somehow fizzled into one with four losses.

We don’t know what all was changed during the work week. But we can testify with complete certainty the more important thing: When the team left OKC and arrived in their hotel rooms.

The itinerary for a trip like this now reads:
4:10-5-:25 p.m. All staff and guests drop off luggage
5:10-5:25 p.m. Staff and guests go through security screening (team would have done that earlier in day)
5:50 p.m. Depart from stadium, Bus 3.
7 p.m. Depart Will Rogers (per my note earlier about being “on time” the flight actually took off at 6:53 p.m.
8 p.m. Arrive Waco, TX
8:30 p.m. Arrive hotel-no specific mention on this paper work of when meetings and snack and lights out are but generally it’s lights out around 11.

Briefly, the Saturday itinerary is highlighted with about ten times these behemoths can eat, meet, and watch game tape. The key times are for buses to depart hotel for stadium at 5:05 p.m. There are specific times for kickers to first go out, right up until kickoff.

One thing is more “regular” than the laxative sampling. This one says, 7:00 p.m., OU, in very large print, versus Baylor, in regular font size, followed by: BEAT THE BEARS! I’ve seen game day itineraries for tons of schools and they all have the same thing, BEAT THE WHOEVERS!

We’ll see if the changes have an impact on the game. And if OU BEATS THE BEARS!, you’ll know the inside scoop. And Travis Lewis will tell the world. Gotta go. They need me to get off the plane and board the bus with all the peons on it. They say I’ve got seven seconds. My watch says I’ve got 4 minutes and nine seconds.  But I don’t want to be suspended for half of next season so I’ll shuffle the loafers as fast as a man with one fake hip and another one coming can shuffle. 

Check in Saturday morning for early game day chatter from Waco.  DB