Mar 18, 2013

Steve Davis, former Oklahoma Sooner great, died in a plane crash last night.

And, oddly enough, the private plane he was in crashed in to a row of homes in South Bend, Indiana, the home of Notre Dame University.  On Saint Patrick's Day.

Davis played for the Sooners from 1972 to 1976, running the Wishbone Option as quarterback for Barry Switzer as coach.  As a starter Davis compiled a record of thirty two wins against only one loss and one tie.  Davis was the winningest quarterback in the Sooners' proud football history until last year when Landry Jones broke his record.  Davis won two National Titles with the Sooners in 1974 and 1975, and was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player in the 1976 Orange Bowl which sealed the deal on his second National Title.

Those mid-Seventies Sooners teams were some of the greatest in College Football History, as Davis played alongside such legends as the Selmon brothers, Joe Washington, Tinker Owens, Elvis Peacock, and Jimbo Elrod.

Davis later became a college football broadcaster for CBS Sports in the Eighties.

Davis was born in Sallisaw, Oklahoma and lived in Tulsa.  He was sixty years old.  He was also a man of devout Christian faith, testifying wherever and whenever he was called upon.


(I watched this game in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Grandma and Gramps.  I was not yet eight years old.)


My favorite Davis/Switzer story is the "Molecules in the Universe" story:

I was standing beside Steve Davis late in the game, and we heard the boos starting.
Here was a kid who had quarterbacked at Oklahoma for three years and had never been beaten in twenty-nine games, and now some of the home fans were booing him.
The clock was ticking down and it was inevitable that we were going to lose the ball game by twenty damn points, and nobody in the world hurt worse than Steve did.  It was hard to believe that our fans would boo the whole bunch of us, who had had such success.
I put my arm around Steve on the sideline and told him, "These people we hear are really insignificant.  We can't let them influence us or anything we have to do. These people are just molecules in the universe."


And, here are my thoughts on Steve Davis, the Sooners thrilling 1975 Title run, and the sad state of Big Time College Football today; published in this space in November 2011.


RIP, brother, and amen!


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