- ABOUT US
Steffie Corcoran, Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
She Got Spirit, Yes She Do
By Steffie Corcoran
August 13, 2012
We always feel like kids waiting for Santa when we cluster around the box of advance copies of the next issue. When the first September/October issues arrived a few minutes ago, Colleen McIntyre, our production manager, had to take over box-cutting duties from production assistant Bethany Scott, who just wasn’t getting the job done. Then we all dove in and grabbed a magazine and commenced to turning pages, each of us having an individual conversation of sorts, aloud, about our favorite and least favorite pages and spreads, departments and ads.
In this issue, we devoted the entire feature well, and the cover, to an Oklahoma institution: sports. Or maybe I should say SPORTS!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!! Gimme an S! Gimme a P!
You get the idea.
Subscribers will begin receiving our September/October issue this week. It will be available on newsstands everywhere no later than August 31. To order a copy, call 1-800-777-1793.
Oklahomans are sports-crazy individuals, loco amigos y amigas. And is there any better time than fall for sports in Oklahoma? High school football is just weeks away—and our cover feature package, “Friday Night Fights,” delves into five of the state’s most combative rivalries—Stoops and Gundy are blowing whistles at two-a-days in Norman and Stillwater, and three Oklahoma City Thunder players will return to Oklahoma in a few weeks with gold medals from a 107-100 win over Spain in the 2012 Olympics. WOO HOO!
I caught only snippets of the Summer Games but was surprised by tears when Missy Franklin won her first gold (of four) in the 100-meter backstroke, beamed with Gabrielle Douglas when she took the gymnastics all-around (only fools would gripe about that girl’s hair at such a historic moment), and yelled “BAM!” when Carmelita Jeter crossed the finish line of the 4x100 relay in world record time, pointing the baton at the scoreboard with a little “take THAT.” With 29 of Team USA’s 46 gold medals, the American girls killed in this Olympics.
I am an American girl introduced to the world of sports like so many others, by my dad. He was and is a huge sports fan, and I learned young that if I wanted his undivided attention—and I did—I would need to get on board with the notion of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
Thus I plopped into a chair in the living room when he was watching college football and basketball, pro golf and baseball on our lone TV. In no time, I was asking him to explain birdies, bogeys, and bunts, and we worked our way up to lines of scrimmage, clipping (what an illegal block was called back in the day), and what exactly constituted a fumble.
Dad was a coach at heart—and eventually, for my Piedmont Wildcats softball team—and I think he enjoyed the teaching aspect of all those tutorials in front of the family TV. The lone male in a house full of females, he also, I think, enjoyed having someone to discuss sports with in live time. There were no DVRs back then, and you watched sports when they happened or not at all. Honestly, I think it was more pure that way.
But lest you think I was a mere daddy’s-girl acolyte, my inner rebel always showed up, hard-headed, for each contest. Dad loved the Boston Red Sox, so I went with a team he despised, the most hated team in baseball, the Oakland A’s. I loved Rollie Fingers’ mustachioed magnificence, and Joe Rudi was my favorite player. And Reggie Jackson? Mr. October was simply the best, no matter how much my dad hated his guts.
Dad revered a golfer who was easy to love, and the greatest of all time: Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear. It only seemed fair that I loudly rooted against Jack, preferring the tall and wily Tom Weiskopf and the short and dreamy Ben Crenshaw. I would have run away from home for a date with Gentle Ben, but alas, he never knew I existed.
At fourteen, I tried to get Crenshaw’s attention at the 1977 U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Tulsa but had to settle for a few words with Nicklaus’s very famous caddy, Angelo (he was really nice), and watching Weiskopf pitch in out of a monster sand trap on, I think, 16, for either a par or a birdie. All we could see from under the hole was the top of his head, and the dude holed it out. Actually, that was worth a lot.
I have known many women who pooh-pooh sports, considering them a tiresome endeavor exclusive to the menfolk. When pressed, many members of the double X chromosome crowd admit they don’t understand—or care to understand—the rules of many of these competitive events. Years ago, one of the smartest women I have ever known said she couldn’t bring herself to respect anything about an industry built around the repeated use of what she considered a nonword, “athleticism.”
I don’t have a spark of understanding about electricity. Not coincidentally, I’m not very interested in it, either. I accept it as a modern convenience—one I consider magical, so profound is my ignorance—and move on.
I’m here to tell you, ladies, sports are way more fun than electricity. I have my dad to thank for that.