Happy Friday, friends and fans!
We’ve all seen how much the fans love OU softball. The home game tickets are constantly selling out in a matter of minutes, and the team feeds off the crowd’s energy. This program deserves to play and train in an elite facility, and OU is currently raising the funds to make that possible.
By no means is the increased level of interest limited to the confines of Marita Hynes Field. Although the Oklahoma Sooners came up just shy of winning it all this season, the sport of college softball as a whole slides into the offseason a major winner. Viewership of the WCWS saw significant increases across the nation and among plenty of demographics. I’m ready for 2020!
Per ESPN, the Women’s College World Series saw viewership increase in these demos.— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) June 6, 2019
• Men 18-34: up 45%
• Women 18-34: up 41%
• Men 12-17: up 75%
• Women 12-17: up 36%#Sooners
If Oklahoma wasn’t a football school, I could listen to an argument that it’s a softball school. Really though, there are so many programs in the athletic department that are competing at the highest level on an annual basis, it’d be nearly impossible to pick one championship program over another. In any case, these are some great times for Sooners everywhere.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Bob Stoops is getting the band back together in Dallas, Jack Mayfield goes yard for the first time in the bigs, the Pats receive their iced-out rings and more!
- First round pick Marquise Brown has officially signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens. I couldn’t be happier for Hollywood. The guy has worked his tail off, and now he’s living the dream.
- The veterans in the Arizona Cardinals’ locker room are sold on Kyler Murray, including future first ballot Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. The 11-time Pro Bowl receiver is especially impressed with how well the No. 1 pick already understands the offense. Hey football season, what’s taking you so long to get here?
- OU Insider’s Collin Kennedy relays that Bob Stoops could be reuniting with former Sooners Landry Jones and Aaron Ripkowski at XFL Dallas. I’m sure the fans in Texas would love to see all that OUDNA in their backyard. I hope this happens, and while they’re at it, call up a few more of the fellas.
- Right-handed pitcher Ben Abram was named a Freshman All-American by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. This honor gives Oklahoma six in the last six seasons. Well done, young man!
Congrats to @ben_abram on being named a Freshman All-American!— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) June 6, 2019
He is OU's sixth Freshman All-American in the last six seasons and 18th since 1997.
➡️ https://t.co/MffSt1S8wC#Sooners pic.twitter.com/CfDbQGrcjt
- OU senior pole vaulter Meagan Gray and redshirt junior shot put thrower Meia Gordon earned All-American honors after two days of competition at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Austin, Texas.
- Former Sooner infielder (and pitcher!) Jack Mayfield cranked out his first major league home run as his Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners, 8-7. That’s some great stuff right there from the former undrafted free agent.
- In case you missed it, Oklahoma received a pair of verbal commitments from some class of 2020 studs. Four-star running back Seth McGowan and three-star athlete Brian Darby both hail from the Lone Star State but see the opportunity to continue their development in Norman. This sure is a great way to start the summer recruiting period!
- Also, you definitely want to check out Allen’s latest Blatant Homerism Podcast where he discusses the dime defense with special guest Cody Alexander, a high school defensive backs coach. For any football junkie, this is the content you’re looking for.
Around the Sports World
- The New England Patriots received their Super Bowl LIII championship rings on Thursday, and now I’m blind from all the shine.
- Carson Wentz has agreed to a four-year, $128 million contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles that has young QB locked in through 2024. That’s a whole lot of cheddar.
- Chip Kelly struggled mightily in his first season at UCLA, and unfortunately for Bruins fans, Bill Connelly expects there to be a bit more growing pains in 2019.
- Rafael Nadal swept long-time court rival Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals on Friday.
Stick to Sports!
- English actor Tom Holland, most notable for playing Sony’s current adaptation of Spider-Man, is set to play a young Nathan Drake in an upcoming Uncharted film. For you non-gamers out there, Drake is the protagonist in a popular action-adventure video game franchise. Now video game movies have been notoriously awful over the years, but there may be hope yet. Still, it’ll all come down to the writing and directing choices, no matter how well Holland portrays his character.
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