Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Bedlam Benefit "Wager"

The end of the college football regular season is upon us, and with it come the great rivalry games. Among these great rivalries is the Oklahoma State/Oklahoma matchup, also known as "Bedlam". For those who are not in the know, here's a little history, courtesy of Wikipedia:

In 1900, in Oklahoma Territory, Oklahoma A&M (later Oklahoma State) veterinary medicine professor Dr. L.L. Lewis assembled a group of A&M students to participate in the first territorial Track and Field Meet. Held on May 4, 1900, the event included Alva Normal College, Central Normal of Edmond, Kingfisher College and the University of Oklahoma, along with OAMC. The prize of the tournament was a silver cup donated by a local jeweler named Douglas. Surprisingly, A&M won the meet and returned to Stillwater with the traveling trophy.

In 1901, A&M won again, and a third consecutive win would mean permanent retirement of the Douglas Cup in Stillwater. The meet was held on May 23, 1902, with the Aggies amassing the most points. Oklahoma filed a protest based on the pole vault competition not having been completed due to darkness, however, Oklahoma A&M claimed the Douglas cup.

The next day the Sooners held their own vault competition and declared themselves the victor. Several weeks later, the Douglas Cup was missing from its place in a glass case at the Oklahoma A&M chemistry lab. Suspecting that OU students had stolen the Cup, a group of A&M students retrieved the Cup from Norman, supposedly burying it under Old Central for safekeeping.

Ten years later, when excavation was being done for A&M's Gundersen Hall, the trophy was found. Today it resides in OSU's Heritage Hall. [...]

While the football and basketball Bedlam games stand today as the marquee events in the series, the term 'Bedlam', as it refers to this rivalry, has its roots based in the rivalry between the schools' prestigious wrestling programs. Originally named after the atmosphere during a heated wrestling duel between the two schools (a newspaper writer emerged from Gallagher Hall exclaiming "It's bedlam in there!"), [...] The first Bedlam [football] game was held at Island Park in Guthrie, Oklahoma. It was a cold, and very windy day with the temperatures well below the freezing mark. At one moment in the game when the Oklahoma A&M Aggies were punting, the wind carried the ball backwards behind the kicker. If the Oklahoma A&M squad recovered the ball it would be a touchback and if the University of Oklahoma squad recovered it, it would be a touchdown. The ball kept going backwards and rolled down a hill into the half-frozen creek. Since a touchdown was at stake, members of both teams dove into the icy waters to recover the ball. A member of the OU team came out with the ball and downed it for a touchdown, eventually winning the game 75-0. Thus was the beginning of Bedlam (

Even though the series is one-sided (Oklahoma leads the series 79-16-7), it is considered one of the storied rivalries in college sports.

Now that you have had your history lesson, it's time to explain the "wager":
  • You will be picking the winner of the Bedlam football game, which will be this weekend.
  • If you accept the wager and you are known to be a fan of Oklahoma, you will automatically be picking them. Same goes if you are a fan of Oklahoma State. If you "ride the fence" or are not a fan of either school, you are welcome to pick either school.
  • If Oklahoma State wins, all people who pick Oklahoma will pay $5 and receive a "Pray For Aidan" bracelet. The catch is that you will not have your pick of color; it will be in orange.
  • If Oklahoma wins, all those who pick Oklahoma State will pay $5 and receive a brand new "Pray For Aidan" bracelet ... in red.
  • The losers will be required to wear this bracelet for a week and show that you are wearing it. Post a photo a day on Facebook or Twitter and it will be satisfactory. What you do with it after that is entirely up to you.
Now, some of you are wondering where I come into play. Of course, I am picking Oklahoma State. If Oklahoma wins, I will not only wear a red bracelet for a week, I will also post a YouTube video of me singing the University of Oklahoma fight song correctly and in its entirety. I may even wear red for the occasion. I'd offer to wear an OU shirt, but you can't find those here in NC and I don't think anyone could/want to get one shipped here fast enough.

If you are interested in participating, send an email to prayforaidan at gmail dot com with "Bedlam Wager" as the subject line. Simply tell me how many wagers you are placing and for which team. Also include your mailing address so I can mail your bracelet to you. If you are on Facebook or Twitter, you can also send me a message that way (on Twitter, make the message look like this and send it as a DM: OU (or OSU) #BedlamWager).

I will accept entries until 11AM Eastern Time on Saturday. Good luck!

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