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Oklahoma Sooners Football History

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Crimson and Cream

The official school colors of crimson and cream became official about a century ago and you can still see those colors worn proudly by Sooner athletes and fans alike on gamedays or when they want to show their love for the university.

In the fall of 1895, Miss May Overstreet, the only woman on the faculty, was asked to chair a committee to select the colors of the university. The committee decided the colors should be crimson and cream and an elaborate display of the colors wasOklahoma OU sooners football history draped above a platform before the student body. The student body approved with great enthusiasm and immediately pennants, banners, badges and decorations of every description appeared on the streets, in the windows, at chapel, in classrooms, and all public places; however, local merchants could not supply the demand.

Even though the school colors have evolved to red and white over the years, you can ask any self-respecting Sooner what the colors are and they will proudly announce “Crimson and Cream.”

On gamedays, a sea of crimson rolls through OU’s home arenas and all Sooners are urged to wear the official colors to show the rest of the country what school spirit and Sooner Pride is all about.

OU Mascot

The University of Oklahoma mascot has evolved through the years and the mascots involved just adds to the lore of Soonerdom. Though the different mascots were completely different from each other, make no mistake: They were all Sooners.

Mex ... OU’s First Mascot
During OU football and baseball games from 1915-1928, Mex the Dog wore a red sweater with a big red letter “O” on the side. One of 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. Before his career as a mascot, Mex was just a helpless “dog waif.” Then, a U.S. Army field hospital medic found him in Mexico in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution unrest. 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, Oklahoma, 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 after OU lost a game to Drake University 28-0. The Sooners also lost Mex.

Mex did not board the train heading home in Arkansas City, Kansas. Rumors spread across the Missouri Valley, the conference OU played in at the time, that Mex was returning to attack the Drake Bulldogs and avenge the loss. A 50-cent reward was offered, and Mex was found by upset OU graduates J.D. Hull, Hughes B. Davis and J.C. Henley. Mex was discovered pacing in the train station platform in Arkansas City. The men drove Mex to the next Saturday game at Stillwater. After Mex was once poisoned by non-Sooner fans, the dog learned to eat only from the hands of his caretakers. Mex died of old age on April 30, 1928 and he was so popular among students and faculty that the university closed for his funeral and procession on May 2, 1928. He was buried in a small casket somewhere under the existing stadium.

Little Red
On April 17, 1970, President Hollomon banished Little Red, the unofficial mascot who danced on the sidelines of Owen Field. Although he was never the official OU mascot, the Indian dancer had become a traditional part of the games since the 1940s.

Sooner Schooner
The Sooner Schooner is a Conestoga, or covered wagon, reminiscent of the mode of travel of the pioneers who settled in Oklahoma. The Schooner is powered by matching white ponies named Boomer and Sooner and ventures onto Owen Field as a triumphant victory ride after OU scores. Although the Schooner was introduced in 1964, it did not become the official mascot until 1980. Besides being a constant part of gamedays, the Schooner is well-recognized by college football fans across the country and it also makes regular appearances at university functions.

What is a "Sooner"?
College sports fans are hard-pressed to find a nickname that is as unique and as tied-in to a state's history as a Sooner. The University of Oklahoma is the only school known as Sooners and those who claim that they are Sooners say it with pride.

The Oklahoma territory opened with the Land Run of 1889. Settlers from across the globe, seeking free land, made their way to the prairies of the plains to stake their claim to a new life. One of the few rules to claiming a lot of land was that all participants were to start at the same time, on the boom of a cannon. All settlers who started then were labeled as "Boomers" and the ones who went too soon were called "Sooners."

OU athletic teams were called either Rough Riders or Boomers for 10 years before the current Sooner nickname emerged in 1908. The university actually derived their name from a pep club called “The Sooner Rooters.”

The success of University of Oklahoma athletic teams over the years have made the nickname synonymous with winning.

Fight Song "Boomer Sooner"

It is clear to see that the last line of the yell was used to make the first verse of “Boomer Sooner,” and is one of the most recognizable college fight songs in the country. It is performed by The Pride of Oklahoma (the OU marching band) at most Sooner athletic events and immediately evokes enthusiasm from OU fans and sends chills down the spines of those who dare to oppose them.

In 1905, Arthur M. Alden, a student in history and physiology whose father was a Norman jeweler, wrote the lyrics to the fight song, borrowing the tune from Yale University’s “Boola Boola” but improvising the words. A year later, an addition was made to it from North Carolina’s “I’m a Tarheel Born” and the two combined from the university’s fight song today.

Though the tune was first made known by Yale, the everlasting success of Sooner squads have taken the melody of “Boomer Sooner” to national popularity.

Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner
Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner
Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner
Boomer Sooner, OK U!
Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Oklahoma, OK U!
I’m a Sooner-born and Sooner-bred
and when I die, I’ll be Sooner-dead
Rah Oklahoma, Rah Oklahoma
Rah Oklahoma, OK U!

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