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History & Tradition - Traditions

Sooner Schooner The Sooner Schooner was rated the third best Mascot in College Footbal by Fox Sports in 2008 saying, "The Sooner Schooner is the most creative and unique mascot in college football and a great tribute to Oklahoma's state history." The Sooner Schooner is a conestoga, or covered wagon,l used by pioneers who settled Oklahoma Territory during the Land Runs of the 1889-1893. It is pulled by two white ponies named Boomer and Sooner. During home games, the Schooner makes a run around the field after every OU score. Introduced in 1964, it became the official mascot in 1980. It is cared maintained and driven by The Ruf/Neks, OU's all-male spirit squad. Mick Cottom, a freshman Ruf/Nek member from Liberty Mounds, Okla., has the distinction of being the first person to pilot the Schooner across Owen Field in 1964. The Sooner Schooner and ponies are kept at the Bartlett Ranch in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Charley F. (Buzz) Bartlett and his brother, Dr. M. S. Bartlett, organized the Doc and Buzz foundation in 1964 for the purpose of presenting scholarships to deserving students. The most sentimental thrust of the foundation was the support of the OU mascot. The sight of the Sooner Schooner rolling across the field is one that Oklahoma fans, and most opponents, cherish as one of the best traditions in college athletics. The Schooner is also credited with a penalty in the 1985 Orange Bowl, dubbed the "Sooner Schooner Game" by OU fans, against Washington that was the start of an abysmal second half that led to OU losing the game and the 1984 National championship. Boomer & Sooner - Costumed Mascots  Boomer and Sooner represent the University and the OU Athletics Department. They are costumed horses that represent the two ponies that pull the Sonner Schooner on gamedays.  The mascots were introduced at the 2005 Big Red Rally right before the season started. The two mascots are a source of controversy with many students and fans that were unhappy with there overly cartoonish features and OU went back to using Top Daug, a costumed mascot dog that appeared in Basketball games in the mid 1980 until 2004. The OU Athletics Department and student groups created the costumed mascots to attend charity events and visit children's hospitals. With that in mind, student congress passed a resolution in favor of the development and implementation of a unified mascot. The Mascot Committee was formed and began work on what would become Boomer and Sooner, the process took nearly three years. Top Daug Top Daug was OU’s furry ambassador to the sporting world from the mid 1980’s until 2004, used almost exclusively for basketball games, he was replaced by Boomer & Sooner in 2005, leading to much dismay among Sooner fans. he made one cameo during the 2007 basketball season during the Texas A & M game.  While a dog doesnt seem to have much to do with OU tradition, there is no doubt his name recognized the attitude most fans have about their team that they are indeed top dogs.  Also, OU's First Mascot, was a Boston Terrier named Mex. Mex the Dog He died in 1928 and is buried in a small casket underneath the Galylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.  The University closed for his funeral on May 2.  Used Oklahoma football and baseball games from 1915 until his death, Mex the Dog wore a red sweater with a big red letter 'O' on the side. His main jobs was to keep stray dogs from roaming the field during a game in the days when the football field was more accessible to non-ticketholders.  Mex was initailly a helpless 'Stray' in Mexico. Then, a U.S. Army field hospital medic, Mott Keys, found him in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution. Mott Keys was stationed along the Mexican border near Laredo, Texas, and found the dog among a litter of abandoned pups one night on the Mexican side.  Mex was adopted by Keys' company, and when Keys finished his duty and moved to Hollis, Okla., he took Mex. He later attended OU and Mex followed him again.  At OU, Mex's experience as an Army medic company mascot landed him the job with the football team and a home in the Kappa Sigma fraternity house. He quickly became Oklahoma's most famous dog. 'A joyous staccato bark cheered Sooner touchdowns' at football games and a 'victory woof' punctuated home runs at baseball games. But Mex began to gain national attention in October of 1924 when the OU football headed north to play Drake. Mex did not board the train in Arkansas City, Kansas, as the OU football team and its boosters switched cars to head for Des Moines, Iowa, and the game. Missing their beloved mascot, the Sooners were shut out by Drake, 28-0. The headline from the Arkansas Daily Traveler on October 28, 1924 left no doubt as to the cause of the humiliating loss: "Crushing Defeat of Bennie Owen's Team is Charged to Loss of Their Mascot Here". Mex was eventually discovered in Arkansas City pacing the train station platform. OU grads J.D. Hull, Hughes B. Davis and J.C. Henley recovered Mex and the men drove him to the next Sooner game against Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater.  

J. Robert ByromWritten on Thursday, 01 January 2009 07:55 by J. Robert Byrom

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Bennie Owen is the grandfather of both the OU football and basketball programs and the football field is still named after him to this day, though the stadium is not. Owen was the first of four OU football...


Switzer played football at the University of Arkansas. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and after...


“We compete, not so much against an opponent, but against ourselves. The real test is this: Did I make my best effort on every play?” Years: 1947-1963
Place of Birth: Minneapolis, MN


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