Captain, My Captain

Permission to come aboard: OSU captains ready for game against Sooners Saturday. Aye, Aye matey.

Bedlam is defined as a place or scene of wild, mad uproar.
But those who wrote the dictionary never saw Bedlam — Oklahoma style.

According to the three Oklahoma State football captains, Bedlam holds a much deeper meaning.

Junior kicker Luke Phillips, a Tulsa native and special teams captain, said Bedlam has been part of his life since he was young.

"I've grown up a Cowboys fan," Phillips said. "I've got some uncles and cousins that are big OU fans and both my parents came from OSU, so it's just been a rivalry between my family."

Senior offensive lineman Jason Russell, a native of Oklahoma City and offensive captain, said growing up around Bedlam, he knew how important the rivalry was.

"I just knew it was a big, big rivalry game," Russell said. "And I knew that somehow I wanted to be a part of that. I knew the kind of tradition it had, and it gets the state in an uproar.

"It's Bedlam. There's OU fans and there's OSU fans. I just knew the kind of attitude that people had toward that."
But not all the players are native to Oklahoma.

Senior linebacker Terrence Robinson, defensive captain from Tyler, Texas, said he knew of Bedlam but didn't realize how big it was until he got here.

"It is a huge game, being here for five years," Robinson said. "When I first came here, not being from Oklahoma, I did not understand what Bedlam was. It is my last game of the regular season and it is my last game being a senior.

"You can tell from the guys that aren't from here — from Texas, Arkansas and other places — it's just as huge a game as it is for those guys who are from Oklahoma. The intensity is just unbelievable."

As it has for Robinson — playing for OSU, not just watching as a spectator — the Bedlam game has added meaning to the game for other players.

"I have such respect for (OU)," Phillips said. "I know that they've got some great athletes and great coaching, but at the same time, I think I'm never going to doubt our team and doubt what we can do. I look at it as a game we can win.

"I respect them, but it's Bedlam. You throw out all stats, throw out all records, you throw out the past — it's Bedlam."
Russell said now being a part of the rivalry, he can truly appreciate the game.

"I just know what it's like now," Russell said. "I know people watch all over the state, and I know people are going to be counting on you to win."

And recently the OSU/OU rivalry has created some memorable moments that will stick with players throughout their lives.

All three captains referred to the 16-13 OSU win in 2001.
Phillips said last year's upset was his greatest memory. Phillips had three field goals — one for 26 yards and two 52-yarders — that put the Cowboys in position to score the game-winning touchdown.

"Last year, definitely," Phillips said. "I don't really see my kicks ‘til I watch them on film. The thing that's most memorable is after the game.

"I came out of the locker room, all the fans were gone, everything was gone. I went out to the 42 yard line, right hash and the 42 yard line, left hash — which were my two 52-yard field goals. I just kind of stood there and stared at them and tried to get a mental picture of it, and tried to remember it for all my life."

Russell said being such big underdogs and coming from behind will stick with him.

"Goin' down there being 20-plus point underdogs and nobody really thinking we could do it," Russell said of his best memory. "We went down there and proved everybody wrong."
But there is one thing that is much different between the 2001 and 2002 Bedlam game — OSU's season will most likely not end with OU.

"There's a lot to play for," Robinson said. "We as a team, we try to take it one game at a time and that's what we're doing. With this OU win, it would put us in a better position to play in a better bowl.

"On top of that, it's a huge pride thing. They're a great team. They're the No. 3 team in the country, so it feels great to go out and play against the best when you're playing real good at the end of the season. So as a team, we want to go out and play our toughest game."

Phillips echoed the same sentiments about this year's game.
"It's a big challenge," Phillips said. "We're bowl-bound whether we win or lose this game. I think we could definitely help our chances at being in a warmer place if we beat OU."
Robinson said he thinks the setting for Saturday's matchup will be loud and crazy — in other words, Bedlam.

"I think it'll be a game that'll be pumped up from play one ‘til the last play," Robinson said. "The fans will be into this game. It will be one of those games that you just dream about, being a college football player."

Phillips said he plays the game for the fans, and that's what the game is meant to be played for.

"It's about the fans," Phillips said. "One of the most important reasons I play is to help out and kind of really play for the fans.

"That's who we're really playing for. If the fans didn't come, obviously I don't think there would be much of a football program here. So to win in front of your home crowd is always a spectacular thing to do."


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