Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione is seeking to restore the mutual respect and goodwill that existed for so long between Oklahoma and Nebraska. A big step in that direction will be when OU honors the players, coaches, and athletic staff from both teams involved in the “Game of the Century” played between the two teams in 1971.
Yes, it’s easier to be magnanimous when things are going your way. Husker fans have taken pride in the tradition of applauding the opponent. But that tradition wouldn’t have survived if Nebraska hadn’t experienced years upon years of winning 80-90% of our home games. Likewise, the Sooners probably view the Huskers a bit more fondly these days since NU has declined while OU ascended. Husker fans know the feeling. We went from fearing the Sooners in the 1970’s and mid 1980’s to pitying them in the 1990’s.
But it’s still not something you have to do. When was the last time we’ve seen a team honor an opponent that beat them? The closest thing I can recall might have been the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retirement tour in 1989 where he was honored throughout the league.
Regardless of how you look at it, it’s a class move by Castiglione and OU. For a lot of reasons, NU fans may not have been looking forward to Nebraska’s trip to Norman. But now there’s a reason to.