Press Pass: Sooner State satire
TULSA, Okla., -- Hey fans, DJ Johnson here with this week’s version of "Press Pass." This past week, we took the road down to the Sooner State, where we faced a formidable foe in Tulsa. It was an interesting game, where we fell just short of an incredible comeback as we turned the ball over in the waning seconds of the game.
It was a game where we encountered a lot of injuries, a quarterback change, and showed perseverance and fight in what was almost to be a great come-from-behind victory. Let’s see what the field had in store for us this past week against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane …
As I’ve mentioned several times before, trying to predict a location to shoot from during the game is challenging and unpredictable. In the first quarter of the game, Wyoming quarterback Sean Chambers jaunted up the middle for a 33-yard touchdown run, giving the Cowboys an early 7-0 lead. With luck on my side, I had ventured from a sideline position to an offset end zone position, a move that allowed me to capture this picture of Chambers crossing the goal line. From the inset picture, captured off of the television broadcast, you can see where I was position when I snapped the picture …the picture on the left was taken a split second prior to him raising the ball in the air, shown in the inset.
I salute you, Tulsa University! During the urgency and focus of photographing a NCAA football game, one often gets tunnel vision and overlooks the external environmental items that exist within a stadium. I did not see this dedication during the time I spent shooting the game. However, as I left the stadium, in complete darkness, with no crowds or fan-fare, I came across this. A single seat, dedicated to so many. After I documented this fine gesture, I literally sat down on the ground next to it and spent five minutes, as a football fan, lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit next to my many comrades in arms, who are unaccounted for. Class act, TU, class act! Gone, but never forgotten.
Not good, not good at all. After a 152-yard effort the previous week against Idaho, this was the scene as Trey Smith headed to the locker room, shortly to return with the same crutches, but wearing street clothes. Smith has been omitted from this weeks depth chart against UNLV, and we’re likely to see a true freshman suit up and be placed into the mix. From reports, it looks like Smith is out 6-8 weeks with a high-ankle sprain. Here’s to a speedy recovery and getting you back on the field this season …we’ve got bowling to do later this season!
Airborn! No, not the 82nd Airborne assault infantry division of the U.S. Army who specializes in parachute assault operations into denied areas, but more of the assault tackling style of Wyoming safety, Alijah Halliburton. For the second time this year, Halliburton tallied 17 total tackles against an opponent, and here he completely upended Tulsa running back Corey Taylor II. Perhaps, Halliburton should earn the call sign, “Airborne," to signify the assault style tackling that he’s been exhibiting this year.
One thing to keep an eye out for when roaming the sidelines of any Wyoming game, regardless of location, is former players who come out to support the Pokes. Tulsa didn’t disappoint, as former Cowboy players Chase Appleby (from left), Blair Burns and Lucas Wacha all showed up to watch the Cowboys take on the Golden Hurricane. Good to see ya fellas, and thanks for coming out!
Alright, I’m not knocking mascots … actually, yes I am. So, Tulsa University are called the "Golden Hurricane," and their mascot is referred to as "Captain Cane." My first question when I saw it was …what the hell is it? Well, from a little research and chatting with some of the Tulsa faithful at the game, it’s supposedly a human superhero with the power to summon weather. What? I also learned that in 2008, Fox Sports voted the mascot as the second worst mascot in the country … and I can see why. Anyway, for all you Pokes fans out there, be proud of our man Pistol Pete and thankful we don’t have an atrocity such as "Captain Cane" running around our sidelines trying to summons weather. Not to mention we don't need any help in that category.
They call them "Ball-Boys" no matter what the age. I couldn’t help myself, and had to snap a photo of this "young man" as he entertained himself on the sidelines during the game. His lone job is to run the sidelines, tossing the zebras a pigskin when needed. So, exactly what was he doing you ask …to be honest, I’m not real sure.
Tell you what, how about all of you readers tell
me what he was doing, and we’ll go with that:
A) Adjusting the air pressure between balls, utilizing the Bos Taurus osmosis procedure.
B) Standing in front of the Tulsa Spirit Squad trying to impress the ladies with his balancing skills.
C) Attempting to overtake "Captain Cane" and become the new Tulsa mascot, by summoning the weather using dual football phenomenology.
D) Being a ball-boy, regardless of age, and doing what anyone would do if given the opportunity to balance two footballs on one another, simply for self-satisfaction.
Once again, the Wyoming faithful traveled well to the state of Oklahoma. Craig Bohl even mentioned the contingency during his weekly press conference Monday in Laramie. There were brown and gold shirts speckled throughout the stadium, with the majority of the fan base sitting directly behind the Cowboys bench. The Tulsa student section was less than impressive and I’m proud to look in our home stands and see the plethora of students that show up to support our boys on home turf. Not only did this gentleman support with his attire, he even brought accouterments to help cheer on the team. Shout out to all the fans who traveled to Tulsa to cheer on our Cowboys!
Here’s a sight that one ever wants to see, but unfortunately it’s a reality of the game. I’m not sure how much of the sequence was televised, but here is a snapshot that captures what I believe to embody the term “One Wyoming." In the picture, you can see the trio of UW medical staff, TU medical staff, and local first responders attending to injured Cowboy Logan Harris, while Coach Bohl (yellow shirt below goalpost) looks on, with concern. Gathered on the field, is the remainder of the Cowboy football team and coaching staff, all anxiously awaiting for a sign that Harris is okay. Harris would be taken by ambulance to a local hospital, checked out with negative results, and would make it to the airport in time to take the flight back home with his teammates to Laramie.
Tulsa had nice accommodations for its media staff. Although the photographers work room was collocated with the full media/press staff, it was relatively easy to get from field level up to the press box. The picture on the left is pre-game, while Tulsa’s marching band was performing, and the one on the right is my token selfie, as you can see darkness had fallen on the stadium while the media gurus continue to pound out stories on their keyboards, updating the sports world on the highlights of the game.
Enjoy the week my friends, and I’ll catch up with you next week from "The War," where your Wyoming Cowboys will begin Mountain West Conference play against the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.