Bedlam Feelings Stirred Again

There was no word on the starting quarterback out of the Oklahoma State camp on Monday, although the suspicion is it will be Al Pena over Bobby Reid after last Saturday's performance by Pena. It is a new week and the opponent is Oklahoma and that means Bedlam.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is a Bedlam veteran - four times as a starting quarterback for the Cowboys, 10 times as an assistant coach at OSU, and now his first as a head coach. Asked if he hates Oklahoma, Gundy said no. He added that he reads his Bible. It was pointed out that a lot of people read the Bible but don't follow it and Gundy laughed and said, "I guess you're right."

Gundy seems to have a healthy attitude about playing OU. The Cowboys' ecent success, winning five of the last 10 games in the series, probably helps.

"I don't think this game has lost any luster because it is still a big game in this state," said Gundy. "The people enjoy it. It's a fun week at the office for everybody. Our routine doesn't change, but it is a fun week for our players to prepare and go play in the Bedlam game."

What's really different is Bedlam is a family affair with the Gundys as it truly pits brother against brother. Mike's younger brother Cale, a former OU quarterback, is the Sooner running backs coach.

"We don't talk much about this game, even as an assistant coach," Gundy said of his Bedlam relationship with his brother Cale. "He has a job to do and I have a job to do. We do not like playing against each other. I don't know how he feels but that is the way I feel. I don't like competing against him. This is our job and this is what we do, and I know I'm excited and I'm sure he's excited about getting a team ready to play in Bedlam. It's a big game for everybody."

Being involved in it also changes holiday plans, although Gundy said he likes the game on the Thanksgiving Day weekend and thinks it may soon be permanently placed there again by the Big 12.

"The unfortunate part of this profession is there is no bird hunting, no watching pro football or other people play," added Gundy.

Gundy said the game is tough on his parents and family because it does pit the two brothers, and their schools, against each other. It causes a few rules to be set down before the turkey is put out.

"It's a difficult week for (my parents) because they love both sons and want to see both schools do well," said Gundy. "I know this, when we are all there for Thanksgiving it is not allowed to be brought up at the table. Things that can interfere with the relationships in our family don't get talked about much at the table."

As opposed to Gundy, his players are a little more open about their Bedlam feelings. Even a player from Florida really gets it by the time his senior season rolls around. Actually Jamie Thompson got it pretty quick upon arriving in Stillwater.

"State bragging rights, everytime you go out there against Oklahoma it is supposed to be exciting," said Thompson. "To go out there and say you beat Oklahoma is great for Oklahoma State. You just go out there and have fun. Bragging rights is what it is all about."

Thompson doesn't expect there to be a hangover from the Baylor game just as Oklahoma has to get over its close, controversial loss to Texas Tech.

"Things happen in your life, but you can't quit," said Thompson. "It's a blessing to go out there and play another game. I'm healthy and I'm ready to do what I've got to do to help us win."

Now if you are looking for brutal honesty then check out senior linebacker Paul Duren. He grew up in Del City, in the heart of the state. He admits that this game is special above all others and means a little bit more.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't," said Duren. "Coming down here I bleed orange and white, and I hate them as much as anybody else does."

Now there's some Bedlam emotions for you.

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