Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State have been playing each other since 1904, but

The First Game of the Series Was Truly Bedlam!

 

 

From Sooner Magazine

October 1957

 

 

No one suspected the fourth play would turn into a watery riot. All in all, it was

 

The Funniest Game

 

 

FOOTBALL SEASONS come and go, and each produces a number of memorable events. Remember the fellow who ran the wrong way for a touchdown? He achieved immortality of a sort ; nobody who likes sports is going to forget him. Nor is anyone likely to forget the player who blocked his frustration by jumping up off the bench, running onto the field and tackling an opponent who was free-until that moment-of the defense and heading for paydirt.

 

Wherever football fans convene, these fellows are remembered, discussed and chuckled about. But Oklahoma fans laugh loudest, longest about one of their own games. It's history now, for it came in 1904. Scene of the game was Guthrie, old capital of the Territory, and the opposing teams were those of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma A&M.

 

The day was November 5, and that's a date to remember: it marked the first game between the two schools.

 

Monument at Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Perhaps the crowd took note of the ominous weather that day and felt that something unusual was about to happen. The weather was very cold. Cottonwood Creek, which ran past the playing field, was flooding and half ice. Football weather?

 

According to Harold Keith, sports publicity director for O.U., the result of the game was suspected long before the actual performance of it. The Stillwater squad was coached by a music professor, and several of the top players were not in this game.

 

As things turned out, the University won 75-0, every O.U. man scoring a touchdown, but the score wasn't what the fans remembered. They were unable to forget the incredible fourth play.

 

This play was the fourth down for A&M. O.U. had kicked off and in three successive plays pushed the Aggies' backs right against their goal line. Desperate, the Aggies dropped back into punt formation. Oklahoma has a famed wind which comes sweeping down the plains and sometimes plays havoc with the gridiron. It did that day.

 

The Aggie who kicked-a man named B.O. Callahan, from Hennessey-had to make it a high, fast one. His own team was being forced right against him, and it was all he could do to get the ball up over their heads . Then the wind caught the ball. The kick turned out to be a long one, but it traveled in the wrong direction. The breeze carried it back, back, back behind the kicker, and far out of the field. This was obviously a loose ball, and in those days it meant something. The rules specified that if the kicking team recovered it, then it was a touchback. If the other team got to it first, a touchdown would be scored for it.

 

Both players and crowd went wild. Both scampered off the field, following the ball. When the ball landed, it didn't stop. Down an incline it went, and right into the waters of Cottonwood Creek. The temperature was below zero that afternoon, and the water looked mighty cold. Still, a touchdown was at stake, and members of both teams did just what you would expect.

 

First man to reach the water's edge was an Aggie. He grabbed a stick and tried to reach the ball with it. A Sooner, charged with momentum, came crashing into the Aggie's backside and knocked the man into the water. Then he dived in after him, and both were desperately treading water toward the floating ball when it occurred

to the Sooner to duck the Aggie. The Aggie, waterlogged, headed for shore then. The Sooner kept after the ball;

they say he couldn't swim a stroke. The delighted spectators stood on shore cheering and laughing.

 

The aquacade increased in size. Three other players came running into the water. Finally, Ed Cook of O.U. got hold of the ball, struck out for the bank and touched it down there.

 

The next 25 minutes of play was no laughing matter. Wearing a wet uniform on a wintry day can be painful. At half's end, those in such a predicament gratefully took the uniforms of substitutes, who slipped into their street clothes.

 

Somehow, the remainder of the game seemed dull.

 

The watery scene as depicted in Guthrie monument.

 

OU's Bob Harrison tackles OSU's Sonny Randle in 1957 Bedlam Game.

 

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