Happy Monday, friends and fans!
Over the course of his 18 years as the Oklahoma Sooners’ head coach, Bob Stoops impacted countless players and coaches around him and his program. During the Dallas Renegades’ final practice before the XFL season kick-off, a handful of those he’s influenced expressed their gratitude towards the winningest front man in OU history. Check out some of the warm wishes for a successful season back on the sideline from the likes of Lincoln Riley, Mike Leach, Adrian Peterson and more.
Yesterday, we surprised @CoachBobStoops with a little video from some of the biggest names from his legendary career wishing him luck, including Lincoln Riley, Mack Brown, Mike Leach, Kevin Sumlin, Adrian Peterson, and more! #ForTheLoveOfFootball @xfl2020 pic.twitter.com/J7ooyEajPV— Dallas Renegades (@XFLRenegades) February 9, 2020
Even though this series of video tributes dedicated to Stoops is but a fraction of the lives he’s made an impact on during his time as a coach, it really puts into perspective how much the game of football runs through Oklahoma and subsequently Bob. His reaction to seeing a former assistant like Kevin Sumlin or a former player like Tommie Harris sending him good luck looks like that’s what makes it all worth it for the future CFB hall of famer.
It doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly three years since he announced his retirement from college football, but here we are. The best part of how the story has unfolded up to this point is that both Stoops and the Oklahoma program he resurrected and loves so dearly are both in a good place with every opportunity to be great.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Patty Gasso’s softballers are off to a hot start, former Sooner hoopsters etch their names in the record books, Bojan buries Houston with an improbable buzzer beater and more!
- Former Sooner WR Jordan Smallwood hauled in an 11-yard touchdown reception for his Los Angeles Wildcats on Saturday. That ties his career total while he was at OU, so he can only move up from here. Boomer!
- After dealing with a knee issue sustained weeks ago in training camp, former Oklahoma and backup Pittsburgh Steelers QB Landry Jones was available to play but was ultimately kept out during the Dallas season opener. Here he is on the sideline of Sunday’s game talking about being back in a football uniform after trying his hand in the construction field for a spell. Only in the XFL, amirite?
Landry Jones on his health status and newfound career in construction.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) February 9, 2020
"I don't know if I learned anything in construction that correlates over to football."
"But it was really fun ripping up drywall and replacing tubs and doing all that stuff."
#OUDNA | #RaisingHell pic.twitter.com/U4d8mUtrNM
- Kyler Murray — the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner — took some time out of his schedule to check out the XFL buzz and his former head coach’s team. I’m sure the Arizona Cardinals aren’t worried about him switching football leagues, but how about those Texas Rangers? I’m kidding, y’all. Calm yourselves.
A certain Heisman Trophy winner made the trip to Arlington for Bob Stoops’ debut pic.twitter.com/h2Ra5bTTiW— Vic Reynolds (@vicareynolds) February 9, 2020
- The Renegades dropped the season opener to the St. Louis BattleHawks, 15-9. Former Sooner DE Frank Alexander spoke briefly about the outcome and where the team will go from here. Keep attacking, Big Frank!
- In case you missed it, the complete list of invitees to the 2020 NFL Combine was released on Friday. Oklahoma will be represented by four total players in DT Neville Gallimore, QB Jalen Hurts, WR CeeDee Lamb and LB Kenneth Murray. The annual pre-draft event begins on Feb. 24 and will last until Mar. 1.
- OU Softball went 4-0 over the weekend in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico to open the 2020 season. The next set of challenges will come in double-header fashion this Friday, Feb. 14 in Tucson, Arizona during the Hillenbrand Invitational.
- Trae Young has caught fire fast in his short time as a pro. His latest feat puts him in the company of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, and they are collectively the only three players to record at least 10 40+ scoring games before turning 22 years old. The Atlanta Hawks PG won’t be 22 until September, so he’ll have a lot more chances to add to that mark.
- In case you missed it, Buddy Hield is breaking new ground in the NBA for himself as well. Recently, he reached the 800 three-pointers-made milestone sooner than anybody else has in league history. Talk about getting buckets in bunches. The Sacramento Kings are all about that Buddy Love.
BUDDY BUCKETS— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 9, 2020
800 career 3-pointers in 296 career games.
He’s the quickest to 800 3s in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/PVbAyyehKe
Around the Sports World
- The Utah Jazz stunned the Houston Rockets at the buzzer with this unreal three from Bojan Bogdanovic. Still, I don’t know what’s more entertaining, this shot, or that call from the radio announcer.
- Retired NBA PG Darren Collison says he’s staying retired after some thought he may have been in the process of returning to the court with the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Matthew A. Cherry, a former Akron football player who later journeyed around the NFL for a brief time, won an Academy Award on Sunday night for Best Animated Short for his production of ‘Hair Love’. If more former pro athletes are going to continue entering the film industry, I am definitely here for it.
Congrats to Matthew Cherry and the ‘Hair Love’ Team on winning an Oscar for ‘Best Animated Short Film’ pic.twitter.com/SRJbBayVcg— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) February 10, 2020
- Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell is staying at UC in 2020 following speculation that he would take the open Michigan State Spartans job. He’s proving himself as a big time coach, so it’s likely only a matter of time before he takes over a serious Power Five program.
- Veteran Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee announced that he’s not hanging up the pads in 2020. The question of where he’ll be playing remains to be answered, but for now it appears likely that he’ll remain where he’s at.
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