Check back Thursday to read what Sooner legend Barry Switzer has to say about the season
Jim Ross is one of the biggest names in Pro Wrestling. The Oklahoman is a WWE Hall of Famer who has more than 1 million followers on Twitter (@JrsBBQ) and his Ross Report podcast is one of the most popular downloads on iTunes.
Ross also tours, doing a one-man show where he mixes comedy, story telling and some questions and answers with the audience.
Ross is also one of the biggest Oklahoma football fans. He spends his fall on the sidelines with the Sooners during games — home and away.
Here’s a bit of what Ross has to say about the Sooners, life, Twitter and more:
Q: Obviously, people know you are a huge OU football fan. Are you still excited about last season’s Sugar Bowl win?
A: I’m still excited about the Sugar Bowl experience. That invigorated me to get me through the spring. I don’t have the Sugar Bowl hangover, but I have amazing memories of what the team accomplished. Because I’m so close to the program, it’s great to see them so happy and the coaching staff so happy.
Really, though, those last three wins were so big. Sometimes we get so Sugar Bowl focused that we forget that we won in Stillwater on a bitterly cold day and before that we went to Manhattan and that’s not an easy place to win. That’s another cold, blustery win. The three last games were absolutely amazing momentum builders.
I’ve done pro wrestling in the Superdome, so that was an amazing experience for me being there and seeing OU win.The bottom line is, running the table in that last three games was a tremendous accomplishment.
Q: Where would you rank that Sooner win over Alabama?
A: It’s got to be in the top five. I’ve been a fan for more than 50 years. There have been a lot of great ones, but in the (Bob) Stoops era, the national championship win (2000 season) has to be No. 1. That’s what you play for. After that, you can get into some interesting debates. The Alabama win, it’s probably No. 2 or No. 3 after the national title game.
Q: I bet you had a lot of people all over the world saying you were crazy for thinking OU would win that game.
A: Social media, cable TV, so much has changed. Twitter. I got 1.2 million twitter followers, in 140 characters you can’t say much, but you can say it to a lot of people. And what I heard was that it isn’t a matter of if Alabama was going to win, but how much they were going to win by. I felt a lot better than the national media did about OU’s chances. I think people thought that the Alabama loss to Utah was a wake-up call and (Nick) Saban wouldn’t allow it to happen again. I think people didn’t factor in the heart and the will of the Sooners. Whether people agree or not, Bob put together a hell of a gameplan.
Q: Do you like Twitter?
A: Most of the time. I love that I discovered the "block" button. I will block more during football season because I’m loyal to the OU football team. "Boomer Sooner" used to be my theme song when I was introduced to the crowd, including in Austin or any rival city. I was always proud to use that as my theme song. I like Twitter because I’m a creature of the short-attention span theater. I can get a lot of sports opinions and other things and Twitter tells me what time it is, but not how to make the watch. When I need quick info, Twitter tells me.
Q: Who’s your favorite OU player?
A: The classiest, most-gentle, and we bonded in 2000 during the National Championship game, was Lee Roy Selmon. I was a rookie official when Lee Roy and Dewey played in high school. We laughed about that together and we bonded as Northeast Oklahoma guys. When I would go to Tampa when I was with WWE, I would give him a call and we’d have lunch or dinner about every time I came to town. He was almost too good to be true. I only wish when I’m gone they look at me half-as-revernently as they do him.
Q: One word answer. What comes to mind when I say …
Q: If the Oklahoma football team was a pro wrestling character, would it be a good guy or bad guy?
A: Anywhere outside of Clevleand County, OU would be a bad guy. The reason is not because they play dirty or they were the old incarnation of the U back in the day. They are the villains because they win excessively. No one likes when someone comes to your house and beats you.
Q: Is this your favorite time of the year?
A: Yes. I do my podcasts each week on Tuesdays so it doesn’t interfere with any football or travel or anything that gets in the way with the season.
Q: What’s your prediction for this season?
A: It’s hard to predict for someone to run the table. I’m not putting a lot on the sauce on my ribs or in the preseason rankings. Should we go to the bank with that? I’m not so sure. If the team can avoid the distractions and stay injury free, this team has a chance to have a special year. They will play great defense and exceptional special teams, and we have a lot of big-time athletes. The key to the team is keeping Trevor Knight healthy. If he can continue to improve, and I don’t think that game in New Orleans is an aberration, he’s going to be an excellent player. His personality of being a good kid, rubs off. It’s infectious. Add that to other guys and it gives me faith the offense will be better than people think.
I’ll say 11 wins with my brain, but 12 with my heart.
Q: You hit the road a lot with OU, do you get along with opposing fans?
A: I’ll always be indebted to Bob and Joe Castiglione for taking care of me. And I try to be a good ambassador for Oklahoma. I’ll sign autographs for anyone who wants one, I’ll go to the tailgate parties for people from other teams, and you’ll be surprised how rewarding that is. It’s an experience for me and I try to represent as positively as I can. We’ve only got so much energy in our bodies, and if you want to use some of it for hate, if you choose to exert it negatively, I feel for you. I choose to not hate any team. I use whatever is in my tank for good. When I was younger, I didn’t have those feelings. I don’t hate anyone, especially any college football team.
Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK
You can find the The Ross Report at podcastone.com and on iTunes.