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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Why I Miss Mack Brown

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The Red River Shootout was more fun when Mack was involved

Texas v Oklahoma Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

OU-Texas is always going to be fun. The partying, the fair food and the smack-talking will always be present during that weekend and will forever have a place in my heart and soul. However, have you noticed that something is missing over the last few years? Sure, Texas has been struggling since their title run in 2009, but animosity has always been high in this series, even in the 90s when both programs were down. The Horns just don’t boil my blood like they have throughout the rest of my young life, and I think I know what’s missing.

Mack Brown.

Remember the beginning of the rivalry between Bob and Mack? How much did you hate Mack Brown? The fact that he coached at Texas was only part of it, too. Yeah, he comes off as a class act in 2016, but don’t let that folksy charm fool you. Mack was cocky and condescending in the early 2000s. Also, the recruiting battles between the he and Bob started to resemble the ones from the 70s and 80s, and Mack was a force to be reckoned with on the trail.

Losing to Mack was a terrible feeling. He was always especially smug during the postgame pressers. He’d say things like, “We’re Texas”, which seems innocent enough, but it makes the skin of every Oklahoman crawl. Mack Brown was basically every Texas alum in a nutshell, having a huge sense of superiority that is largely unjustified. Yeah, Texas is a great academic institution with a great football tradition, but their alums try to give you the impression that they have the academic reputation of Harvard coupled with the football tradition of Alabama or Notre Dame (or Oklahoma). I don’t like dealing with those people after a loss, and Mack Brown was essentially one of those people. He seemed like the ultimate foil to Bob Stoops’ working-class persona, justified or not.

In turn, beating him gave OU fans an unmatched feeling of euphoria.

“Let me answer that for Chris.”

Try telling me that wasn’t one of your favorite moments as an OU fan. I nearly pooped my pants when I heard that after a 35-24 win in 2002. His Golden Boy quarterback was being asked a simple question, but thank God Mack Brown was there to protect him from those evil media members who were out to get him.

As an OU fan, what’s your favorite sound byte from Charlie Strong? Oh, you can’t think of one? Yeah, neither can I! It’s as if Strong isn’t even part of this rivalry, even though his team upset OU a year ago in Dallas. His main rivals are the Texas boosters, and that’s been the case since shortly after he arrived. He doesn’t have time to make backhanded comments about OU, which makes things a lot less fun. Texas will have a new coach next year (Tom Herman), and although he may be a great coach that leads them to a lot of success, I don’t think he’ll be able to draw the ire from OU fans that Mack was able to evoke. But we’ll see.