COLUMN: NFL Draft will be respite from rough year
This has been a rough sports year for the Sooners.
We started the year with a painful football season. The men’s basketball season was a disappointing time period to transition from the fall semester to the spring semester. And the scandalous and mass-exodus men’s basketball offseason was just the face-palm we really needed to jump into the spring season.
Other than the women’s basketball team making the Final Four and the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams continuing to be national powerhouses, this was a year we all would like to dismiss and forget.
But this is a week where both OU Athletics and Sooner Nation members who endured all of the pain and suffering will be rewarded for their patience. And for those of you who have stuck with the program, you know the reward Thursday’s National Football League draft will provide is well deserved.
Heisman-winner Sam Bradford is about to be taken No. 1 by the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. He has been on many of the shows on ESPN showing his charisma and football savvy (just see his segment on Jon Gruden’s “QB Camp”).
All-American defensive tackle should be drafted in the top five, most likely third by Tampa Bay, and two other former OU standouts, tight end Jermaine Gresham and offensive tackle Trent Williams, are also projected to be drafted during Thursday’s first round.
I don’t think there has been non-game television event connected with the Sooners that I’ve been this excited for since the Heisman Trophy presentation in December 2008. It was a proud time to be a Sooner that night, and that same pride will flare up when Bradford’s name is announced to start the evening and the rest of the gang will take the stage posing for pictures with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and team jerseys with a No. 1 on them.
And that’s just the beginning of things to come.
For the next few months we’ll be seeing on ESPN and other sports media outlets talking about how well these guys are progressing heading into the start of the season. So, this should just be a fun journey for everyone who pays attention.
This week’s draft is just what anyone who associates themselves with the Sooners need following this past long year, and hopefully it will kick off a sports year that will make us forget about this past year’s hell.