Mossman Prophecies No. 017
July 2, 2007
Bob Stoops does a lot of nice things that you don’t know about.
The Oklahoma head coach doesn’t want the genuineness
of his or his program’s gestures to be fogged
by the lights of publicity. He wants to show kindness
simply because he wants to show kindness.
Stoops balks at wearing a microphone for television
networks during practice because he thinks it sounds “fake.” If
anything can be remotely construed as contrived, he
runs the other direction.
The other reason most of these acts have to stay under
the radar is that there is no way the coach and team
can possibly respond to all of the requests for time. It
is better to do things quietly than to risk hurting
So Bob, I know you don’t want the attention and
I appreciate your reasons, but allow me just this one,
Last Saturday night after the Oklahoma-Middle Tennessee
game, five children, part of the Special Spectators
program, came into the locker room to share in the
All five are battling cancer.
For one of the kids, Turner Swink, it was a special
day times two. It also was his 10th birthday.
Near the end of the team huddle, Coach Stoops hoisted
the frail youngster, outfitted in a Sooner jersey,
above the group and announced that it was his birthday. Spontaneously,
the team broke into song ... “Happy Birthday.”
It was a powerful moment. The same college players
this child has idolized and cheered were now doing
the same for him.
Dry eyes were hard to find.
You can argue all day about the enormity of sport. Many
of us who work in the profession often marvel at the
magnitude of it all.
But the one thing you cannot argue is the wonderful
platform it provides its participants. The truly
great coaches and players grasp the responsibility
that comes with the big stage.
Thank goodness the Oklahoma program is filled with
people of that quality, and rest assured it is even
though you rarely hear about it.
Mossman Prophecies Archive
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Kenny Mossman, Associate Athletics Director for
Communications, provides his perspective on Oklahoma
Athletics in his regular column on SoonerSports.com.