The " Boy Scout Stretcher Team" is also applauded this day, though the dreary encounter on the field excites no one to collapse and the stretcher-bearers' role is superfluous. There is also an announcement on the public-address system that the Oklahoma basketball team will play " Yugoslavia" later in the week. Will the Serbo-Croats fare better than the Cornhuskers? The Yugoslavia Reds?
After the game, what seems to be the vast majority of the 60,000 fans assembles at O'Connell's Irish Pub for pitchers of 3.2 beer. The red-jacketed, red-eyed crowd spills out of the roomy pub into the parking lot. Inside, the d�cor is singularly un-Gaelic. Elk, moose and buffalo trophies stare morosely out from the walls. In one room, films of old Floyd Patterson fights are shown. Floyd Patterson? Can that brooding old pugilist mean anything to this generation? And yet there he is, a lithe, quick figure, the face all apology as he bangs the setups comatose. Students and young alumni watch the combat listlessly.
O'Connell's is crowded, but, like the stadium before it, strangely silent. "We are the best football team in the country," says Larry Killebrew, a young radiologist from Oklahoma City. "But we can't prove it."
It is a sage observation, explaining all. Each Oklahoma victory is a measure of revenge on those who passed judgment on the school, but since winning leads nowhere, it is essentially meaningless. This will be a year of waiting until next year.
"Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow...."
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES 10
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES 10
In the distance, as the motley procession advances on the stadium through the cold mist, you can hear THE SONG:
"Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conquering heroes,
Hail! Hail! to Michigan...."
It will be played endlessly, for this is the 75th anniversary of its composition, a fight song to end all fight songs, composed in the flush of victory on a train ride back from Chicago.
"Hail! Hail! to Michigan...."