Opinion from OU Associate Athletics Director for Communications Kenny Mossman.
Jonathan Horton, we hardly knew you.
We love you a lot now, but we must confess that
we hardly knew you. At least that's what the empty
seats at the Lloyd Noble Center tell us.
Horton won the hearts of Oklahomans, not to mention
Americans, with his performance in the team portion
of the men's gymnastics competition at the current
Olympic Games. He stuck landing after landing, and
emerged as a leader for the U.S. team, and a favorite
of the cameras.
How cool would it be to see Jonathan again in a
Sooner uniform? Real cool, but it won't happen. He
completed his eligibility at the end of the 2008 season ... as
a three-time national champion. The fact that we won't
see him again in that capacity is our loss, just as
it was our loss that we didn't take advantage of watching
him while he was here. And, yes, I count myself among
those with that lost opportunity.
It's probable that I saw Jonathan compete more than
most, but I wasn't there all of the time either.
For those that took a pass on seeing Horton in person,
the sad truth is that he performed here 16 times over
the past four years.
And the general public ticket price for men's gymnastics?
Uh, that would be a whopping $7 per meet. Groups of
10 or more could have purchased $3 tickets.
Horton represents the extreme, of course. Still,
high-caliber athletes are somewhat the norm in Norman.
It's tough to predict just when they will land on the
Olympic stage, but history tells us that it's far from
Horton's exploits are a good reminder of
the fact that Oklahoma fields 21 sports, most of which
are competitive on a national level. It's also a kick
in the pants that we're missing the boat by missing
so many games, meets and matches.
It is right that we thump our Sooner chests over
people like Jonathan Horton. At the same time, it's
probably correct that we feel just a bit sheepish that
we missed out on the opportunity to see him perform
in person more often, or at all. It's something of
a shame that the first time most people saw him, even
those within a few miles of the OU campus, he was performing
on the other side of the world.
We have an opportunity to correct that gaff in the
future for the Horton's that will most assuredly follow
(does the name Steven Legendre mean anything to you?).
Then, we can not only say that, "Hey that athlete
is ours," but, "Hey, that athlete is ours,
and I saw that athlete compete in Crimson ... and
All of that said, Boomer Sooner, Jonathan. From
near or far, you made us nothing but proud.
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Mossman Prophecies | Archive
Read an inside perspective from the OU Athletics Department
on the latest Sooner sports topics. Associate Athletics
Director for Communications Kenny Mossman provides
his thoughts in his online column at SoonerSports.com.