Happy Friday, friends and fans! The Oklahoma Sooners begin their title defense tonight as the NCAA Softball Tournament gets underway! Patty Gasso and the Sooner squad welcome Boston University to Marita Hynes Field in the Norman Regional as Oklahoma is looking as stellar as ever coming into the postseason. You can catch all the action at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
Now what’s particularly interesting about tonight’s matchup with Boston U is that the Terriers are actually responsible for one of Oklahoma’s three losses on the season, so a little revenge could be on the minds of the Sooners. Still, Coach Gasso has this team focused on what’s most important, which is simply playing their game and controlling what they can control. Stick with that formula and good things should follow.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Baker Mayfield thanks a fan who bought his jersey in a super cool way, Trae Young is at the NBA Combine but is not participating in the on-court workouts, Steph Curry wants to host his own PGA Tour event and more!
- Softball head coach Patty Gasso talked about why she doesn’t tell the freshmen on her team anything different leading into postseason play and what she thinks about the way teams are grouped in the regional round.
- If college football rivalries were diagrammed on a pie chart, what would they look like? These are all purely for comedic purposes, but behind every joke there is some truth. Two of Oklahoma’s rivalries were turned into pie charts, although I never really considered West Virginia a rival, but the hilarity of that pie chart convinces me otherwise.
- I love how these trips to Haiti have become a tradition for not just football players, but student athletes across all Oklahoma sports. It’s both a humbling and rewarding experience for the players, and the people they help are extremely thankful. Keep up the great work, OU.
- Baker Mayfield sent a thank-you video message to a fan who purchased his Cleveland Browns jersey. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Mayfield. Stand-up guy.
- Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown spent some time to work out with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. For as nice of a year Brown had in 2017, I think he could easily top that this season.
- Speaking of Oklahoma receivers, John Shinn from Diehards mentions two receivers who could have breakout seasons this fall. One is a first-year guy, and the other has already been around for a few seasons.
- Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon predicts OU will have a top three offense in 2018. Another interesting note from his list is that two of the Sooners’ opponents are also ranked in the top 10, but only one of them is a Big 12 member.
- If you haven’t seen them already, here are my grades on each of the position groups on the Sooners’ football team. I also assessed how much each unit could improve from this point moving forward.
- Arizona Diamondback pitcher and honorary Sooner (former QB commit) Archie Bradley had some fun with his teammates as they dressed up as popular SNL characters. Bradley is portraying a character played by Justin Timberlake and, well... he has the box, which is quite essential for the look. Hilarious stuff right there.
I never realized until now how much I needed John Ryan Murphy & Archie Bradley dressing as Andy Samberg & JT's Dick in a Box characters pic.twitter.com/cfPPVLZAEL— Andrew Mearns (@MearnsPSA) May 17, 2018
- The NBA Combine is being held this week in Chicago, and Trae Young will follow through with the measurement portion as well as the team interview process, but Young will not participate in the on-court drills.
- Gail Box, the mother of Austin Box, spoke to the Bixby High School football team about her son’s tragic death, and her message served as both a warning of the risks prescription drug abuse as well as assurance that it’s okay to seek help if you need it.
Around the Sports World
- The NBA awards finalists have officially been announced. James Harden probably has the MVP locked up, but what about the other awards that are a little closer to call?
- Stephen Curry is working towards hosting his own PGA Tour event. Curry is a known golf fan as well as a participant. The hope for Curry and his group is that the event can be hosted by fall of 2019.
- Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa reveals that he had plans on transferring away from the Crimson Tide if he didn’t play in the national championship game against Georgia. Seems a little entitled to me, but fortunately for everybody in Tuscaloosa he was asked to step in after the half and eventually lead them to victory.
- The New York Yankees’ flight was delayed due to a storm, so the team had to sleep in the terminal at Dulles Airport in Washington D.C. It’s okay though, because they’re millionaires. They’ll be fine.
- The League of YES is a New York organization that allows all people who want to play baseball, regardless of ability, the chance to do just that, and this is a perfect example of why inclusion is so important. Now imagine if players in the major leagues celebrated like this. That’s how you have some fun. Great stuff.
Stick to Sports!
- This is Scott. Scott can balance just about anything on his head because he is smart and talented. I want to be like Scott when I grow up. Now I don’t fancy that Texas jersey he’s wearing, but I’ll allow it because I’m sure he didn’t pick it out himself. Scott is better than that.
Good afternoon,— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) May 17, 2018
This is a dog named Scott. He balances things on his head on IG and it is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.
Idk anything about anything but this dog deserves to be famous https://t.co/JH1i9J9MVz pic.twitter.com/AIvp5cxgJ6
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