Alva Review-Courier -

There was bedlam after the game, too


December 1, 2021

It happens once a year in the state, the Bedlam football game between OU and OSU. This year both teams had an outside shot at a berth in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma State had already clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game, but a loss would end the Cowboys' national title hopes. Oklahoma has won six straight Big 12 titles, but would be out of the conference title game with a loss to Oklahoma State and a Baylor win over Texas Tech (Baylor won).

This year Bedlam was at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. My daughter Marisa was lamenting the loss of a chance to attend. She and husband Darrel had two tickets to the game. Darrel is a big OSU fan, and Marisa who works at OSU is also a Cowboys fan.

Marisa had to miss the game because my youngest granddaughter Addie recently had surgery. It was scheduled for September but was delayed due to Covid. This meant Marisa had to stay home to care for her. Darrel took his dad to the game. Darrel's brother is a big OU fan, but their dad doesn't seem to take sides.

Saturday night as we finished the Sunday Alva Review-Courier, a couple of employees were following the game on their cellphones. When I left, OU was in the lead. At home, I turned on the TV in time to see about the last ten minutes of the fourth quarter. The game turned when Oklahoma's Eric Gray muffed a punt, and OSU recovered at the OU five. Jaylen Warren punched it in from the one to give OSU a 37-33 lead with 8:54 remaining.

OU got the ball one last time at its 20-yard line with 54 seconds remaining and no timeouts. Caleb Williams scrambled and ran 56 yards to put the Sooners in scoring range. OSU's Collin Oliver sacked Williams on fourth down at the OSU 32 with eight seconds remaining, setting off a wild celebration. Fans clad in orange and black poured onto the field to celebrate as the sound system blared songs like "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks and "All I Do is Win" by DJ Khaled.

The last time OSU beat OU in the bedlam game was in 2014, and Cowboys fans were due a celebration. The win moved OSU up two spots to No. 5 nationally in the Associated Press poll while the Sooners fell to No. 13.

Marisa attempted to call Darrel after the game to get his reaction, but the call didn't go through. That's because Darrel was getting another call, this one from his daughter Jessica. A senior at OSU, she was among the fans who headed to the football field to celebrate. There was an obstacle in the way, a 6 foot retaining wall. Among others, Jessica jumped from the wall, but she landed badly and broke her right ankle. One fan broke both legs.

Darrel and his dad caught up with her as she received triage by paramedicas in the tunnels beneath the stadium. She was one of many fans injured in their rush to the field. It was even worse at the Stillwater emergency room. Jessica, her father and grandfather sat in the hallway waiting for five hours with no painkillers or other treatment. There was an earlier more urgent medical emergency that added to the delay, and the place was congested with injured football fans. At home in Ponca City, Marisa also didn't sleep much as she kept checking for updates.

Sunday morning, Marisa and Darrel took turns making runs to get prescriptions filled and to find crutches. They couldn't find any crutches quite tall enough for Jessica, but at least she was able to hobble to the bathroom. Darrel learned he needed her driver's license to fill one prescription so that added another trip.

I arrived around lunchtime Sunday to find Jessica camped out in the living room, and Addie resting in her bedroom. Jessica currently has an apartment in Stillwater, but it is up a flight of stairs. She also can't drive because it's her right ankle that's broken.

After a thrown-together lunch of leftover pizza and pie, Darrel drove to Stillwater where another daughter gathered clothes from Jessica's apartment. Darrel also had to retrieve Jessica's car from the stadium.

Meanwhile, Marisa has made a medication schedule. There's a chart for Addie and one for Jessica. Some pills are every four hours, some once a day, etc. She's also set up alarms on her cellphone.

While we chatted, Marisa and I put together a shower chair. Addie was ordered not to shower for a week after surgery so she's eager for that privilege. Jessica wants a shower, too. Marisa is trying to figure out the logistics.

Triage beneath the stadium stabilised Jessica's ankle before her father took her to the ER.

Marisa got online to contact OSU about Jesscia's injury and absence from classes. They will also have to get Jessica to a local doctor for a referral to an orthopedist and probable surgery.

Luckily, Marisa is on FMLA leave from her job. However, she's to start back working from home soon. Now she's wondering if she'll need to try for an additional FMLA leave because of Jessica's likely surgery.

Meanwhile, OSU is scheduled for a playoff against No. 9 Baylor in the Big 12 title game. For extra information and discussion about OSU sports, my daughter pointed me to the Pistols Firing blog and the Pistols Firing Facebook page. OU fans may wish to avoid those.

OSU and OU are finished with Bedlam for this year, and fans wonder how many more there will be with OU planning to join the SEC.

The Bedlam football game may be over, but bedlam continues in my daughter's household.


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