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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Boomer Sooner

OU Football Stadium

Coming on the heels of their second College Football Playoff appearance in the last three seasons, expectations remain high for the Oklahoma Sooners football team. The Sooners fell a game short of the National Championship last season after a classic Rose Bowl game against Georgia. With second year head coach Lincoln Riley at the helm, OU has the fourth best odds at making the college football playoff again this year and are once again heavy favorites to win the Big 12 Championship which would be their twelfth in less than two decades.

Former starting QB Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy Winner, was selected #1 overall in this year’s NFL draft. Mayfield’s exit has created an opportunity for another first round draft pick, Kyler Murray. Murray was chosen with the 9th pick in this year’s MLB draft and in an incredibly rare situation, he will play out this year for OU football then begin his MLB career next spring. Murray was a highly coveted recruit coming in and has an incredibly athletic skillset that could create fireworks on the field with Coach Riley. Riley is considered one of the hottest young coach in the country, and a number of NFL teams have sought his advice on his prolific-offensive schemes this offseason.

Beyond Riley and Murray, Oklahoma is bringing in another top-10 recruiting class that includes 15 4-star recruits. Other than incoming recruits, OU also has returning talent that are poised for breakout years. Rodney Anderson was the nation’s most effective running back throughout the second half of the season and running behind what could be the nation’s top offensive line isn’t a bad pairing. Grant Calcaterra was backup behind NFL draftee Mark Andrews last year, but he’s already stepping out of the shadows being nominated to the preseason All-Big 12 team at tight end.

The Sooners open up an entertaining schedule with Florida Atlantic coached by Lane Kiffin on September 1st; other intriguing home games include UCLA (Sept. 8th), Army (Sept. 22nd), and Kansas State (Oct. 27th).

college, football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Ride ‘em Cowboys

Under the leadership of head coach Mike Gundy, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have become a staple in the top-25 rankings. According to the odds makers, the Cowboys have 8/1 odds at making the college football playoff this season, good for 15th best in the nation. All-American running back Justice Hill is returning for another season and it’s sure to be an explosive one behind an eager offensive line that includes preseason All-Big 12 lineman Marcus Keyes.

OSU lost Mason Rudolph, the  winningest Cowboys QB in school history, to the NFL and his departure also opens up a good old fashioned battle for the starting job this season. Two elite QB recruits, Spencer Sanders and Hawaii transfer Dru Brown, are the favorites to fillRudolph’s footsteps. But you better keep an eye on dark-horse candidate Taylor Cornelius due to his veteran status on the team as a senior. Under Coach Gundy’s tenure, the Cowboys have  always delivered on the offensive front.

The Cowboys struggled last year on the defensive front, a common theme from many Big 12 teams over the last several years. In an effort to turn things around and bring balance to the team, OSU announced earlier this year that there would be a big change with the addition of a new defensive coordinator from Duke, Jim Knowles. If the Poke’s defense can lend a hand to its offense, the Cowboys are in line to once again make some noise in the Big 12 and be a dark horse for the college football playoff scenario.

In exciting fan news, new renovations to Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium will give spectators a revamped experience this fall. The plaza level of the west end zone now features a food court that includes both local and national eating options. A 6,160 sq.-ft. ft. video screen towards the east end zone has been highly anticipated and is sure to provide for improved fan engagement. Perhaps the biggest change to the stadium, however, is the recent announcement that alcohol will be sold throughout the stadium. Beforehand, alcohol was only available in restricted areas in the stadium.

The OSU Cowboys open up their schedule against Missouri State (Aug. 30th); other notable home games include Boise State (Sept. 15th), Texas (Oct. 27th), and West Virginia (Nov. 17th).

college, football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Boomer Sooner, Orange Power

OU Football

Bleed Crimson. Orange Power. Boomer Sooner. Pistols firing. Ask any Oklahoman who their favorite college football team is, and there’s a 97% chance one of these phrases will be the response. We’ve been accused of taking college football too seriously before, but if you ever head to Norman or Stillwater on gameday, you’ll see what all the fuss is about. Before you make that drive, though, here are five things to know about college football in Oklahoma to prepare you for the gameday fanfare.

  1. The Oklahoma Sooners have the 4th winningest college football program of all-time, behind only Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State in terms of winning percentage.
  2. Boone Pickens Stadium at Oklahoma State University is the oldest in the Big 12 Conference, with football being played there since 1913.
  3. Oklahoma was named the 2nd best state for college football.
  4. OU and OSU are both ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press’ 2017 preseason poll.
  5. OSU’s first game is Aug. 31 against the University of Tulsa and OU’s first game is Sept. 2 against UTEP.
college, football, Norman, Stillwater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Four Small Oklahoma Colleges with Big Time Football

UCO Football

OU and OSU aren’t the only universities in Oklahoma where college football is popular. Programs at a number of smaller colleges are great places to find gridiron action. Here’s just a few:

  1. University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos - The Bronchos have been playing football since 1902 and are currently a NCAA Division II athletic program. UCO has won two national titles (1962, 1982) and has had several players play in the NFL.
  2. Southern Nazarene University Crimson Storm - The Crimson Storm is one of the newest programs in the state, playing its first game in 2000. The team has posted 11 winning seasons in its brief history. SNU is located in Bethany.
  3. Langston University Lions - Located in Langston, the Lions have a strong football history, including producing NFL Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl Champion Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson.
  4. Oklahoma Baptist University Bison - Playing in Shawnee, OBU has fielded a football team for more than 100 years and went 8-3 last season.
Bethany, college, Edmond, football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Oklahoma Football Starts at Home

Football

When it comes to the popularity of football in Oklahoma, the buck doesn’t stop with college. For many, that’s not even where it starts. Oklahoman’s love for football begins a little closer to home with individual town’s high school football teams. Oklahoma high schools have produced more than 400 NFL players and are consistently popular places for college football recruiters to discover fresh talent.

In many places throughout the state, gathering under the Friday night lights is a community ritual. It’s a time for communities to come together and have fun cheering on their favorite teams that strikes close to home. Check out a high school game near you to get involved with the community and see future gridiron stars in the making.

football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The sporting life

You don’t have to live in Oklahoma City long to realize people here love their sports. Be it Thunder, Cowboys, Sooners, Energy, Dodgers or anything in between the people here are fanatic about their favorite teams. The Sporting Life section of our website gives you a great snapshot of athletics in the 4-0-5. Team sports not your bag? We (really Oklahoma City) have you covered. On the page you can also find info on golf courses, lakes, the Oklahoma River, running, cycling and more. Do you see something we missed? Be sure to let us know and we will get it added.

cycling, Dodgers, football, golf, live sporting events, OKC Energy, outdoor recreation, running, Thunder, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Down South

OU Campus in Norman

There is nothing like a college town, especially in the fall. Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma, makes a great day getaway from Oklahoma City. The state’s third-largest city channels both the bustle of a big city as well as the quaint charm of a college town. Be sure to check out the University of Oklahoma’s campus and catch a football game with 85,000 close friends.   

Looking to cool off from the hot Oklahoma heat? Continue your journey south to the one and only Lake Murray. Located inside the state park, Lake Murray has some of the clearest blue waters around. You can enjoy the day boating, fishing, swimming or stay the night in one of Lake Murray’s quaint cabins.

college, fishing, football, Norman, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Flag football

Flag Football Game

It’s fall in Oklahoma, and you know what that means: it’s time to pumpkin spice anything and everything possible. It also means that it’s time for football. If watching football has reawakened that yearning to run deep post patterns, check out a flag football league. There are a few leagues around the city worth checking out. For example, Game Plan Sports has a league with registration closing September 10, so hurry. The City parks and rec department also offers a flag football league for adults. No need to wait five Mississippis—get signed up today.

adult sports, football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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High school football on Fridays

Stout Football Field

If you’re paying any attention, you’re probably aware that college football in Oklahoma is quite popular. If you are having trouble finding tickets, or you just want your live sports with perhaps a little less video board, consider attending a local high school football game. Oklahoma high schools have produced more than 400 NFL players, and in many places, Friday night lights are a community ritual. Join the masses--check out a high school game and see possible future gridiron stars in the making.

family-friendly, football, school
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What are we thankful for? Sports

OKC Energy Player [Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

[Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

Crimson and Cream, Orange and Black, Blue and “Sunset” … no matter what color you pledge alliance to, it has been a year to be thankful for in the Sooner State (or Cowboy Nation). The football teams are making national waves, the Thunder just tipped off an exciting year and our local pro baseball and soccer teams got a taste of deep post-season runs. Check out some recent blog posts if you need a quick refresher on the joy (and sometimes agony) our local teams provide.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder- Injuries derailed an exciting Thunder team last season but a new coach and healthy team (knocking on all the wood in the world) has this looking like a year we won’t soon forget.
  • Oklahoma City Dodgers- The Dodgers wrapped up their inaugural season in OKC with a division title.
  • Oklahoma City Energy- In just two short years OKC’s soccer team has already developed a rabid fan base. The fan base was rewarded with a great season as the Energy advanced to the Western Conference finals.
  • Oklahoma City Blue- The Blue are starting their second season in Oklahoma City and the games are a great place to get a preview of future NBA talent.
  • Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners have one of the most storied football programs in the country and are looking to add to their impressive trophy case this season. The basketball team is also nationally ranked to start the season.
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys- The Cowboys are in the winningest era in the program’s history. OSU will play OU this weekend with a potential conference championship on the line.
  • Small-College Football- The Sooners and Cowboys are not the only local colleges who play big-time football.
Thunder, baseball, basketball, college, Dodgers, football, OKC Energy, soccer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Putting the Sooner in Sooner State

OU Football Game

It is that time of year again. The kids are hurrying back to school, and fall is right around the corner. In Oklahoma to many sports fans that means one thing: football. You don’t have to live here long to see the passion for football in the Sooner state and no program embodies that passion like the Oklahoma Sooners.

Simply put the Sooners are one of the most storied programs in college football history. OU won its first national football title in 1950 and has seven total, the most recent coming in 2000. In fact, since 1945 the Sooners have won more football games than any other college program. They have also claimed 44 conference titles.

In all honesty, we don’t have space here to list all of OU’s records and accomplishments. They’ve have the most 10+ win seasons, fewest losing seasons, been ranked No. 1 more than anyone else, etc., etc, … yada yada yada. We could do this all day. You get the point. OU has a pretty stinking good program. The OU Football Wikipedia page may rival many community phone books in the sheer number of words (if phone books were still a thing).

The Heisman Trophy is one of the most prestigious individual honors in all of sports. Each year it is awarded to the most outstanding college football player. OU players have taken the prize home five times (only Notre Dame, Ohio State and the University of Southern California have had more). Out of the five OU winners, four were born in the state of Oklahoma (just to give you a little more Oklahoma pride).

OU plays its home games at Gaylord Family- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, which holds 82,112 fans. Even though it is the 15th largest college stadium, you probably need to make friends with a Sooner season ticket holder because tickets are in high demand every year. Learning the words to Boomer Sooner might help your cause.

football, live sporting events, Norman
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Ride ‘Em Cowboys

OSU Football Game

The Cowboys of Oklahoma State are the state’s other BCS-level football team. While the Cowboys might not have the tradition of in-state rival Oklahoma, they do sport plenty to brag about and are currently in the midst of one of the winningest eras in program history.

The Cowboys have claimed 10 conference titles with the most recent coming in 2011. That year OSU finished 12-1 and No. 3 in the country, the best season in school history. OSU has been to 25 bowls, winning 16, giving them one of the highest bowl-winning percentages in the country.

Individually, Barry Sanders broke more than 30 records in the 1988 season for the Cowboys on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. That season is regarded by some as the greatest individual season in college football history.

The current head coach of Oklahoma State is Mike Gundy. Gundy is an Oklahoma native who actually was a record-setting QB for the Cowboys in the late ’80s. He has won more games than any coach in the school’s history and has guided OSU to nine-straight bowl games (a school record).

The Cowboys play their games at Boone Pickens Stadium, which underwent a $286 million renovation five years ago. So practice waving your wheat, to mention a longstanding OSU tradition of waving hands like wheat after a touchdown, and head to Stillwater for a game this season.

football, live sporting events, Stillwater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Small College, Big Football

UCO Football

[Photo Credit: University of Central Oklahoma Athletics]

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State universities aren’t the only places to find college football in the region. Programs at a handful of smaller colleges are also great places to find gridiron action. Here is a brief rundown:

football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Friday Night Lights

Sam Bradford

College football is not the only game in town for the football-obsessed. Each Friday night, thousands across the state support their local high schools as they play rivals from the region (because in high school everyone is a rival).

Oklahoma high schools have produced some of the best football players around. Don’t take our word for it, one study showed that Oklahoma ranks No. 10 (per capita) for producing college football players. Heck, more than 400 players who graduated from Oklahoma high school have gone on to play in the NFL including Heisman trophy winners and No. 1 draft picks.

What is our point? If you need your football fix, head to your local high school on Friday nights to show some school spirit and cheer on the good guys. You might even watch a future superstar in the making. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boomer Sooner, Ride ‘Em

In the fall, one event makes everything take a back seat in our state. It is not the start of a new school year or the leaves falling off trees, it is the kickoff of another college football season. We’ve been accused of taking our college football too seriously here but take a short drive on a fall Saturday to Norman or Stillwater and you will quickly see what all the fuss is about. Some of the best college football in America is played right here in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Sooners are one most of the most successful programs across any sport in college athletics. With seven national titles and five Heisman winners very few college programs can go toe-to-toe with the Sooners on a prestige level. The Sooners have won 43 conference titles, including eight since 2000. The Sooners play at the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, just 22 miles south of downtown OKC.

Located an hour north of downtown is Stillwater, home of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys play at Boone Pickens Stadium, which recently underwent more than $200 million in renovations. The Cowboys have been on a roll the last decade with trips to bowl games 10 out of the last 11 years. They also took home the conference title in 2011. They finished the 2011 season ranked third in the country.

The closest college-football action can be found at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. An NCAA Division II school, the Bronchos play at Wantland Stadium, which recently underwent $16 million in renovations that increased seating capacity to 10,000.

[Boone Pickens Stadium photo courtesy of Phil Shockley/OSU University Marketing]

Edmond, football, live sporting events, Norman, Stillwater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Down, Set, Hut

We know, we know: you miss your glory days on the high school football (or powder puff) team. And as fall inches closer, your football withdrawals are likely getting worse and worse. Lucky for you, the Oklahoma City Parks Department has a way for you to relive every touchdown and tackle during its flag football season starting July 28. Players must be 18 or older and out of high school to compete in these co-ed or all-male leagues, so gather your game-winning team and register by July 20.

football, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Drumroll, Please

This Saturday, Oct. 27, the University of Oklahoma Sooners football team will take to the gridiron as they tackle a storied opponent, the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. While you might not be able to make it to Norman for this historic match-up, we’ve got another opportunity for you to check out the Irish. On Friday evening at 5:30 p.m., the Band of the Fighting Irish (aka Notre Dame’s Marching Band) will be on the stage of the Grand Lawn at the Myriad Botanical Gardens at 5:30 p.m. for a free performance. You don’t want to miss this. And while you’re in the Gardens, be sure to check out Pumpkinville. We told you all about it a couple weeks ago!

family-friendly, football, music
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don’t Miss a Single Touchdown

Fans cheering. Whistles blowing. Cleats sprinting down the turf. Crimson. Orange. Aw, the sweet sights and sounds of October. Oklahoma is filled to the brim with football fanatics, and the same can be said for the folks here in OKC. Whether you have a favorite team you love to root for or just enjoy watching some classic pigskin match-ups, there are plenty of spots throughout Greater OKC that are top-notch when it comes to watching the big game.

Here are just a few suggestions if you’re looking for a place to catch the game.

809 Sports Grill
(located at the Hilton Garden Inn)
2809 NW Expressway

Buffalo Wild Wings
(multiple locations across the metro)
4130 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City
2601 I-35 Frontage Rd., Moore
5500 Tinker Diagonal St., Del City
6910 SW 3rd St., Oklahoma City
1333 N Santa Fe Ave., Edmond

Coach’s Bricktown Restaurant
20 S. Mickey Mantle Drive

Dave & Busters
5501 N May Ave.

Louie’s on the Lake
9401 Lake Hefner Parkway

Republic Gastropub
5830 N. Classen Blvd.

TapWerks
121 E Sheridan Ave

Obviously there are more than seven (11 if you count the five different Buffalo Wild Wings locations we’ve got on the list) places in Greater OKC where you can go to watch a game. But we here at The Better Life aren’t here to give an extensive listing of any and every place you might find a TV for your game-watching pleasure. Our goal is to give you a sampling of your options and hope that you enjoy these while also discovering many others. And then we hope that you’ll tell us about the great places you find so we can pass that info along to our faithful readers (aka, folks just like you)! So go out, explore and report back! And if you check out our list and don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, we suggest you check out the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s Membership Directory for other great options.

food, football, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kicking Things Off

Oklahoma City is kind of a sports haven. We've got Olympic-caliber rowing, the Oklahoma City Thunder and so many other opportunities for sports enthusiasts to be, well, enthusiastic. Here in OKC, and really Oklahoma as a whole, we go crazy (yes, crazy) over college football. Tailgating borders on extreme. You will see college team paraphernalia everywhere:on cars, people, homes, pets – basically if it has two square inches of open space, it's fair game.

Greater Oklahoma City is home to two of the big dogs in all of college football – the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU). Both schools kick off their seasons this weekend. At 6 p.m., Oklahoma State University will tackle (get it?) Savannah State in Stillwater. Later that evening (at 9:30 p.m. to be exact), the University of Oklahoma will be south of the Red River as they take on the University of Texas at El Paso. Both games will be on TV so call up your friends, neighbors, anyone and yell your heart out for four exciting quarters of college football.

If you're not already planning on it, we suggest you make plans this season to head to either Norman or Stillwater (or both!) and experience game day for yourselves. Both college towns have atmospheres that are the envy of universities across the nation.

football, live sporting events, Norman, Oklahoma River, Stillwater, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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