COMMENT: 10 Things to think about while driving to Oklahoma State

Friday, October 16, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 12:22 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 16, 2009

COLUMBIA — This week the Tigers are off to Stillwater, Okla., aka the city that T. Boone Pickens built.

Pickens, who visited MU to give a talk last year, is the oil tycoon who has donated more money to Oklahoma State's athletic program than anyone has ever donated to any athletic program.

We've thought about whether or not Pickens was fair game for this installment of the 10 Things, but ultimately we decided that we're fairly interested in retaining our right to work in this town (read: hemisphere) ever again.

Luckily, there are plenty of other things to know before making the six-hour drive to Oklahoma State, and we're more than happy to help out.

So here you go, 10 things to think about while driving to Stillwater:

10. Pistol Pete, the actual version, is the ultimate bada** Frank Eaton, who was 8 years old when his family moved to Twin Mounds, Kan. His father was a vigilante who was killed by six former Confederates shortly upon arriving in Kansas. Eaton spent the next 10 years mastering the arts of marksmanship and pistol drawing, and by age 17, he claims to have killed the five people responsible for his father's death that were still alive. This guy makes Charles Bronson's character in "Death Wish" look like Ghandi.

9. Before Oklahoma State became the Cowboys, they went by plenty of other names but none quite as unique as the "Cowpunchers." Thankfully, those PETA people are around, and stuff like that wouldn't stand anymore. A man's got to have principles. Cows cry, ya know!

8. The newest fight song of Oklahoma State athletics has been met with mixed reviews. The song entitled "Cowboys Forever" is by some guy named John Martin, and it is the background music for the team's new intro video for home games. We can't say we blame them. Nothing gets a stadium of people pumped like "prairie wind touching our skin." What does that even mean?

7. Oklahoma State legend Thurman Thomas is originally from Missouri City, Texas. C'mon. Really? Oklahoma City? OK. Kansas City? Questionable, but close enough. Missouri City? That's just a new level of lazy.

6. Pistol Pete, the mascot version, is super creepy. The Cowboy mascot is supposed to be a likeness to Frank Eaton, the real-life cowboy known as Pistol Pete. There's just one problem. When it comes to mascots you got to go full-on caricature or not go at all. Okie St. ended up with a regular-sized guy, a super gigantic head and way too realistic facial features. It makes for a terrifying combination. There's a lot of pain behind those enormous eyes.

5. Stillwater is only an hour away from Tulsa! Yeah, we're not sure why the people who wrote Oklahoma State's media guide are so excited about that either. Either way it seems to be one of their selling points for attending the university, even going so far as to cite Tulsa's "cosmopolitan flavor" as a major draw. Sure. Because when we think Tulsa, we think cosmopolitan flavor.

4. Actor Gary Busey attended Oklahoma State. Busey has an extensive filmography that begins in 1971 and continues through the present day. But saying that Busey is famous for his acting isn't exactly accurate. Busey is famous for, well, being Busey. He's played himself on shows like "Entourage," Comedy Central's "I'm with Busey," and "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." Originally, Busey signed on to be part of the mentoring team that Dr. Drew Pinsky uses on the show, where he attempts to treat celebrities with substance abuse problems. It was quickly determined, however, that Busey should be part of the group meetings with the other participants. It's a good thing too. That would've brought a new definition to the inmates running the asylum.

3. An eight-foot-tall, half-ton wooden statue of Thurman Thomas that resided in front of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y., was stolen and subsequently found in Canada earlier this week. While the motive behind such a prank is obviously intriguing, it's certainly not the most pertinent question. We want to know how anything associated with the Buffalo Bills offense went anywhere.

2. Country singer Garth Brooks graduated from Oklahoma State in 1984 and was actually a member of the school's track team, where he threw the javelin. Yes, Brooks is the best-selling solo act of all time, and he ranks behind only the Beatles in number of albums sold in the U.S., but we'll never be able to get over the whole Chris Gaines thing. That little soul patch and '90s goth hair make for the only thing about Oklahoma State that's creepier than Pistol Pete.

1. Mike Gundy is a man. Too easy? Probably. Still awesome? Absolutely. The Oklahoma State head coach's outburst at a press conference two seasons ago has been called many things: irrational, out of line. We like to call it something else: timeless. It's a viable candidate for the Mt. Rushmore of coaching outbursts along with Dennis Green crowning Bear behinds, Jim Mora Sr.'s thoughts on the postseason and Hal McRae going kung-fu on his office. We're not sure if it beats out those legends, but we are sure that the world would be a better place with a few more Mike Gundy's around.

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Andy Carpenter October 17, 2009 | 10:51 a.m.

Charles Bronson is nobody's Ghandi.


(Report Comment)
Amber Hanneken October 17, 2009 | 11:12 a.m.

Add on there some of the most over priced tickets in the NCAA for what you get. Don't forget they gotta match a lot of that money Mr. Pickens so generously gave them.

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