Happy Friday, friends and fans!
2018 is winding down, which means it’s a good time to star reflecting on some of the greatest sports stars of the year. Fortunately for fans of the Oklahoma Sooners, two of the year’s best and brightest sported the Crimson & Cream. SB Nation highlighted the athletes, coaches, and one very peculiar mascot who defined this year in stellar fashion. That’s right, we’ve got stars for stars.
Heisman Trophy winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray have their own constellations in this awesome tribute called Athletica Major. The significance of just how incredible of a run Oklahoma is on with back-to-back quarterbacks of this caliber is virtually unprecedented. In time, I expect most of us will realize just how special this past year has been for the state of Sooner football.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! ESPN MegaCast is coming back, Buddy Hield is 26 (not 25), Chris Paul is out indefinitely and more.
- For all the responsibilities on Lincoln Riley’s plate, he still manages to make time for those who deserve it most. Oklahoma couldn’t not have chosen a better man for this job. Great stuff.
He's getting ready for the @OrangeBowl, but our friend @LincolnRiley found time today to play catch with Jeremiah and meet a few other patients. A special coach, but an even better man! Thanks for sharing Christmas joy with us. Go get the Natty! @OU_Football #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/DgakPESafZ— The Childrens Center (@tccokc) December 21, 2018
- Here are some more captured moments from Riley’s trip to The Children’s Center in Oklahoma City. Priceless.
- I know many Sooner fans will love this. ESPN is bringing back the MegaCast for the College Football Playoff, which means you’ll be able to watch the Orange Bowl while listening to a synced-up Toby Rowland call the game for one of the castings.
Bam! It’s official. You’ll be able to hear the Sooner Radio broadcast synced with the ESPN TV broadcast again this year on the ESPN MegaCast. @OUontheAir @OU_Football #OrangeBowl https://t.co/JA3hroi98Z— Toby Rowland (@TRowOU) December 20, 2018
- The Sooners are bringing in a trio of star-studded receiving threats in Theo Wease Jr., Trejan Bridges and Austin Stogner (although it seems likely to become a quartet). Those three have all grown up around each other, playing on the same football and basketball teams through the years. When they arrive on campus, they’ll share a unique bond from the get go.
- Lon Kruger and the Oklahoma Sooners have played one of the most formidable non-conference schedules in the Big 12, if not the entire country. Being one of the most experienced teams has helped make the slate a little more navigable.
- Oklahoma guard Miles Reynolds has been one of the many bright spots for the Sooners through 11 games into the season, and when he plays against Northwestern tonight, the Chicago native will have the support of a large number of high-profile family and friends in attendance.
- Now this is sort of strange. Former Sooner hoops star Buddy Hield recently celebrated his birthday, but for some reason, the Sacramento Kings, the NBA and the national media thought he was 25 when he is actually 26. Somewhere along the way there must have been a mix up of information, and it apparently wasn’t OU who made the error.
- ‘Tis the season of Baker Mayfield! The Cleveland Browns star is everywhere, and for his latest move, he and his fiancé Emily Wilkinson teamed up with the local PD to play the role of Secret Santa for a family in Newburgh Heights.
- Make sure you check out Allen’s overview of Oklahoma’s defensive recruiting during this latest cycle. For a while, the Sooners simply weren’t bringing in the level of talent needed to compete against the best of the best, but ever since Lincoln Riley showed up, the talent has started to shift considerably.
Around the Sports World
- Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul was unable to finish the game against the Miami Heat Thursday night after suffering what appeared to be a hamstring injury. The severity is still unknown, but this is another tough setback for an All-Star who has dealt with lower body injuries throughout his career.
Uh oh. Chris Paul leaves the game with a hamstring injury. pic.twitter.com/FncgQwFjzG— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) December 21, 2018
- This is totally serious. Apparently, Urban Meyer, who will soon retire following the Rose Bowl, will take up teaching at The Ohio State University. The course he will be co-instructing is called ‘Leadership and Character’. I’ll say no more.
- Another totally serious thing that’s happening is Academy Award winning actor Matthew McConaughey will be the “Minister of Culture” for the Texas Longhorns’ new basketball arena. Here’s how the press conference of this monumental announcement went down, or rather, how it would go down. Alright, alright, alright!
- Charlie Strong and the South Florida Bulls couldn’t have had a more hot and cold season. After starting the season 7-0, USF went on to lose its next six games, including the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl against Marshall Thursday night. Yikes.
- Check out this powerful message following a championship win from Newton HS (Texas) head coach W.T. Johnston. After being given only months to live, he was present to see his guys capture a moment that’ll last them a lifetime.
In August, Newton head coach W.T. Johnston told his team he might not make it through the season.— ESPN (@espn) December 21, 2018
Thursday, he delivered one of the most powerful postgame speeches you'll ever see after his team won the Texas High School State Championship. pic.twitter.com/YK3ksrMZKi
Stick to Sports!
- Happy Winter Solstice! Today is the shortest day of the year, or at least, the day with the least amount of daylight. This year’s version is especially unique because it will be followed by a full moon, also known as a Cold Moon.
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