At Oklahoma State,
they're feeling luckier than a fat man locked inside a Hostess factory. That's
because the World's Biggest Booster-T. Boone Pickens-wrote them the sweetest
check in the history of the NCAA: $165 million.
It will go mostly
for the two biggest sports in Stillwater: football and football practicing. OSU
can finally spruce up Boone Pickens Stadium (it's been almost two years since
Pickens paid for the last improvements) and redo the outdoor practice field and
build a $50 million practice bubble. The rest will go to some other piddly
stuff to keep the liberal-arts majors happy-tennis, baseball, track, field,
equestrian and soccer.
(Like Pickens is
ever going to a soccer game. He'd vote for Hillary first.)
All told, since it
was built, Oklahoma State will have spent almost half a billion bones on its
stadium, which is about what it would cost to build the Taj Mahal, which, if
I'm understanding this right, doesn't even have bleachers.
Of course, you
might be saying to yourself, With all the suffering in the world, doesn't
Pickens have better things to do with his cash than give it to a football
To which any OSU
fan might say: Well, we went 4-7 last season. Isn't that suffering?
point out that Pickens doesn't have to look much beyond Stillwater to find
needs greater than a new massage table for the locker room. Oklahoma ranks in
the bottom third of all states in infant death, child health insurance coverage
and child neglect. And one out of seven Oklahomans is at risk of going
But if you want to
talk hungry, how about this: Oklahoma State has had only one Big Eight or Big
12 football title in the last 50 years. A little winning might just hit the
to go to that BCS championship game one day," vows Pickens (OSU '51).
"And we're goin' to keep on goin'."
It's a very bad
idea to bet against Pickens. When he was born in Holdenville, Okla., he was the
first C-section performed in the town's history. Just try to keep him out of
something. When he's asked why he gave all that money to football, he says,
"'Cause I want to. That's the blood, guts and feathers of it."