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Sooner Sports TV Opens the Vault
August 01, 2014

From the “Bradford Flip” to “Superman” & “The Kick”, memories of Sooner Magic are sprinkled throughout history. Some moments you’ve lived, others you’ve only heard about. But now, thanks to Sooner Sports TV powered by FOX Sports, Sooner fans everywhere can begin reliving those famous classics with a special series of Crimson Classics episodes.

Debuting this week, “Flashback Fridays” will showcase exclusive one-night airings of classic content every Friday night on FOX Sports Oklahoma. Boasting thousands of films dating back to 1929, SoonerVision’s archive contains footage that hasn’t been seen in decades. This series of Crimson Classics brings Oklahoma fans closer to the Sooner tradition and a chance to witness a generation of moments only a lucky few have seen before. Sooner fans can watch ‘Silver Shoes’ Joe Washington fielding punts, witness Wayman Tisdale’s rim-rocking dunks, and remind yourself of Courtney Paris’ dominance. Crimson Classics on Sooner Sports TV is your tour down memory lane, with different perspectives each Friday night.

Coverage begins August 1 at 11:00 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Oklahoma. Throughout the month, SoonerVision will feature original coach’s shows from Oklahoma’s famous football minds, showcasing some of the squads that established the fine tradition that lives on today.

August 1st @ 11pm CT – “Sports for the Family”
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Created in the 1960’s, this show was a unique production that showcased various sporting disciplines, with Coach Wilkinson inviting guest stars of the time onto the program to explain the ins & outs of sports such as hockey, golf, basketball & bowling.

August 8th @ 11pm CT – “Inside Football with Bud Wilkinson”
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Famously credited with creating the first “coaches show” in the country, Oklahoma head coach Bud Wilkinson was far ahead of his time. With a calm demeanor and charming presence, Coach Wilkinson’s show broke down the complicated game of football each week that featured the iconic, “Wilkinson Little Men”.

August 15th @ 11pm CT – “Sooner Football with Chuck Fairbanks”
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Underappreciated even today, Coach Fairbanks remains as the last Sooner coach to leave Oklahoma for a different head coaching position (1972). During his stay in Oklahoma, Coach Fairbanks continued Coach Wilkinson’s television rituals with a show of his own, showcasing the football knowledge that would earn him Sporting News College Football Coach of the Year honors in 1971.

August 22nd @ 11pm CT – “Sooner Football with Barry Switzer”
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As comfortable on camera as he was on the field, Coach Switzer’s charisma lit up the set for “The Barry Switzer Show.” Never afraid of the spotlight, Switzer’s personality and honest answers made his show a ‘must watch’ program each week. Understanding the importance that his show played in reaching out to fans and recruits, Coach Switzer welcomed camera crews into the locker room regularly, and even tipped photographers off to certain plays to ensure that they got the shot.

August 29th @ 11pm – “Sooner Football with Bob Stoops”
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The legend amongst us, Coach Stoops’ tenure with the Oklahoma football program began just before the turn of the millennium. Gone were the days of 16mm film, with digital tape paving the way for Coach Stoops’ first show in 1999. Now 15 years later, Coach Stoops carries on the tradition began by Coach Wilkinson in high definition every Sunday from SoonerVision’s studios at the Gaylord Family -Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Flashback Friday Schedule

August ‘14 – “Opening the Vault”
September ‘14 – “Bringing Back the Memories”
October ‘14 – “Wilkinson’s Winning Ways”
November ‘14 – “Stoops’ Signature Wins”
December ‘14 – “Wins of Winter”
January ’15 – “Billy Ball”
February ’15 – “Sampson’s Sooners”
March ’15 – “Big 12 Memorable Moments”
April ’15 – “Coale’s Classics”
May ’15 – “Championship Month”
June ’15 – “2000 – The Start of Something Great”
July ’15 – “2000 – Catching the Eye of the Nation”
August ’15 – “2000 – Bringing the Trophy Home”

Finding the Footage

In the early 1990’s, SoonerVision’s archive was sent to the east coast to be transferred to VHS tapes, thought surely to be a solid conservation media for the quickly disintegrating film. Hundreds of films were transferred to these tapes and shipped to Norman, but the original film rolls never made it back home.

Years passed and the vintage footage was nearly forgotten about until the mid-2000’s, when newly hired Executive Director of Video Production Brandon Meier began the hunt to find the originals. The search led to a garage in Pennsylvania, where thousands of feet of precious vintage footage laid stored in pizza boxes. Entrenched with a classic vinegar smell of rotting film, the rolls were returned to Norman where they were attentively logged and inventoried.

Today, the film collection remains stored in the heart of Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Over the past four years, these reels of film have been sent one-by-one to New York City, where the films are carefully cleaned, restored and digitally scanned frame-by-frame in high-definition. These films provided the base for the “History of Oklahoma Football” documentary series, showcasing classic Sooner history for generations to come.

As more footage continues to be restored, Sooner Sports TV is making this content available to Sooner fans worldwide. Episodes appearing in the “Flashback Friday” series and more are available anytime on-demand at SoonerSports.tv/Classics for premium subscribers. With content added daily, SoonerSports.tv is the exclusive video vault of Oklahoma athletics.

Do you have a favorite Sooner memory or game that you’d like to see from the SoonerVision archives? Contact us via Twitter @SoonerSportsTV.

SOONERSPORTS POWERED BY FOX SPORTS

Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest and FOX College Sports. Additionally, the partnership between the University of Oklahoma and FOX Sports includes a comprehensive digital component featuring extensive "all-access" content not televised on FOX Sports networks including live streaming, archived games and exclusive materials.

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