The teak-colored woman in the red blouse with the large buttons and the expansive red belt was the television man's on-the-spot celebrity guest, and despite her size and the babel around the stadium locker-room door she was a model of conscientious neatness and calm. As the mother of some 18 feet and 737 pounds of Oklahoma defense she was being pressed for revelations by the television man.
Yes, said Mrs. Lucious (Jessie) Selmon Sr., she was very proud of her baby boys, Lucious, Dewey and LeRoy. Yes, she knew they were respected and respectable, the pride and joy of Eufaula, Okla. (pop. 2,500) where they had grown up in the lap of poverty, on a sharecropper's farm, and taught "to be polite and treat everybody nice," to "take the world as they find it," and "not let anything excite them."
Did she get excited herself, watching the boys trammel opponents week after week? The television man asked.
"Yes," said Mrs. Selmon. "Very."
"We had a camera on you during the game and you didn't look excited," said the television man.
"Pictures can't see into the heart," said Jessie Selmon, placing a calloused hand on her Oklahoma-red blouse.
That particular scene occurred a couple of weeks ago, but it is no less accurate today to say that if the world was taken as it was found by Lucious, Dewey and LeRoy Selmon it is not likely to be left that way. Pictures will show, for example, that the world of Iowa State's football team was dumped on its axis last week by the Selmons and some other talented members of what used to be a justifiably unheralded Oklahoma defense.
Oklahoma won as expected, 34-17, after trailing 17-7, a temporary, albeit regular, malady the unbeaten Sooners seem to go through until the Selmons "establish a good body relationship" with the opposition, as Rod Shoate, their All-America linebacker, puts it. Or until Lucious "declares war," as Coach Barry Switzer puts it. Iowa State made one first down and a net 47 yards in the second half, and a freshman quarterback named Buddy Hardeman, who survived that stretch of purgatory, was heard to offer a now-familiar lament: "Every time I looked up I saw one of the Selmons."
Which, of course, is not nearly as bad as being hit by one.
The Selmons are not hard to see, being the logistic middle of the Oklahoma line. Before a play they stand there, three abreast, looking, with their mother's benevolent, impassive, slightly Oriental expression, like an alliance of shoguns on the wall of a besieged (but impregnable) city. Brother Lucious, the 5'11", 236-pound middle guard, is flanked by 6'1", 249-pound Brother Dewey on the left and 6'2", 252-pound Brother LeRoy on the right. Lucious is a senior, Dewey and LeRoy sophomores. The brothers Selmon are three equally lovable Smokey the Bears, says the Oklahoma defensive coach, Larry Lacewell.