NORMAN – Football was a popular subject during Monday’s bipartisan panel discussion on presidential campaigns, as it was brought up four times during the hourlong event. It was expected with the University of Oklahoma, a Big 12 football powerhouse, hosting the session that included politicians from conference rivals Texas and Nebraska.
OU President David Boren started the football comments by apologizing during his opening remarks that U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., was listed originally as being from Iowa.
The senator rose from his seat and joked, “I’m leaving.”
Later, before commenting on an issue, Hagel said, “I’m actually here looking for linebackers.”
Former Texas Gov. Mark White said when he was called by Boren nt about attending the session he reminded the former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator that he went to Baylor University, which has been a doormat in Big 12 conference football play.
“We’ve never done a thing to hurt OU,” White said. “We don’t come to Norman looking for linebackers; Baylor University comes to Norman looking for mercy.”
New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg noted OU never tried to schedule a football game with St. John’s University, Fordham University, New York University or Columbia University.
“Maybe the New York teams are just too tough,” he said, as laughter turned to groans.
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau