Mossman Prophecies No. 024
July 2, 2007
Jason Matheson, our director of internet services,
relayed to me a story this week that merits a lot of
attention in this space.
Shortly after the Fiesta Bowl loss, Matheson was among
the OU personnel and players that were exiting the
playing field through an opening surrounded mostly
by Boise State fans.
You can imagine the taunting.
Taunting is one part of sports that will forever elude
me. It’s not enough for us to simply win. No,
the victory must be sweetened by also heaping shame
on the opponent. Sure, we can exalt our own team,
but by all means let’s make sure we twist the
knife in the other. Let’s trash talk.
There is a vilification in sports that is unhealthy. Just
because someone wears a different color jersey does
not somehow mean they are any less a human being. Heck,
we all know that. Seriously, we do.
Even the most ardent of shame-heapers would, in a solitary
moment like this, agree with all of the wholesome aspects
of competition and shun the negative actions of those
caught up in emotion and revelry.
But I digress.
As the OU team left the field, one moron in particular
(and let’s be clear, every school has a moron
fan or two; this is no indictment of Boise State) was
apparently laying it on pretty thick. Among the
Sooner players in the line of fire was running back
Jacob Gutierrez, a young man long known for his classy
behavior and concern for others.
In the heat of the moment, Gutierrez could have been
forgiven for reacting outside the bounds of his normal
decorum. Few would have blamed him for shaking
his fist or offering a one-finger salute.
And to be sure, “Gute” did raise his arm
... to shake the hand of the fan that was pouring down
“This one guy was yelling at us every time we
went through the tunnel and he was there at the end
of the game too,” Gutierrez recounted. “I
just went over and shook his hand and congratulated
“(Boise State) played a great game and I wanted
to show him what Oklahoma was all about. He was
pretty quiet after that.”
But that’s not the end of the story. Other
Boise State fans witnessed Gutierrez’s gesture
and began reaching down to slap hands and pat backs,
the hands and backs of an opposing team.
One person and one simple gesture lit the fuse on combustible
sportsmanship and brought a small group of people back
to the center of human decency.
That’s typical of Jacob Gutierrez. How cool
would it be, whether on the playing field or the freeway,
if it became typical of all of us?
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.