Amber Buechele, the last Sooner in a family full of them, is already stress-planning what she’ll wear and where she’ll sit for the Red River Shootout now that her younger brother by 18 months - Shane - is suddenly the biggest thing at rival Texas since Bobby Layne.
“That’s going to be quite the situation,” said Amber, a junior health and exercise science major at OU. “Before Sunday, there’s no way I’d ever wear anything Texas.”
In fact, the only orange she and sister Jordan, who graduated from OU in May, had on for Sunday night’s Texas-Notre Dame game was earrings, a necklace and a bracelet.
“But then Shane goes out on the field for warmups and I’m freaking out,” Amber said. “I had to tell the woman next to me, ‘Forgive me if I randomly grab onto your arm during the game, my brother is playing in his first game.’”
The woman then said, “Is your brother Shane Buechele?”
Surprised by the guess, Amber smiled and said,“Yes” - drawing an excited reaction. It was the first of what promises to be many new Longhorn friends for the diehard Sooner.
What in the name of the Red River was going on?!?! Her mind was playing tricks on her.
THE PRICE OF FAME
Shane Buechele is the youngest of five children born to Nancy and former Texas Rangers infielder and current Rangers bench coach Steve Buechele.
And thanks to a story last month by The Dallas Morning News that made its way into Jimmy Fallon’s monologue on Tuesday, everyone now knows Shane’s first QB sneak was being conceived six months after his dad had a vasectomy.
“I didn’t expect that to get out like that,” Shane said. “It’s crazy. I’m not embarrassed about it. My dad might be. I don’t know.”
With everyone calling it his first quarterback sneak, Shane smiles and says, “I don’t know what you’d call that. But I’m just excited to be here.”
CALMED BY THE LARGEST CROWD IN TEXAS HISTORY
Excited. That was the Buechele family inside DKR Sunday night, knowing Shane was going to be the starting quarterback for the Longhorns against Notre Dame in arguably the biggest non-conference home game since Ohio State in 2006. The attendance for last Sunday night's game - 102,315 - was the largest in Texas history.
“I was freaking out before the game,” Amber said. “But he did not seem nervous at all. I don’t know how he does that. He said after the game he was nervous until he went down the tunnel and saw the 100,000 people in the stadium. Then he was like, ‘Cool, game time.’ I wish I had that, where I get calm in front of 100,000 people starving for you to do well.”
The funny thing is, Amber said, Shane didn’t used to be calm.
As a young boy, Shane’s brothers Garrett, 26; and Tanner, 25; and sisters Jordan, 22, and Amber, 20, used to stir Shane up by calling him “Baby Ga Ga.”
“When he was little, Shane was like the opposite of calm,” Amber said. “Of course we picked on him non-stop because he was the youngest.
“We would call him ‘Baby Ga Ga,’ and he would get all red-faced and then storm up to his room,” Amber said. “We’d be like, ‘Wait for it.’ And then he’d slam his door. When no one would react, Like 10 minutes later, he’d come out of his room like nothing happened.
“It’s like he got all that out of his system.”
Amber said by the time Shane was 10, he was so competitive, he wouldn’t rest until he could beat everyone in his family at everything - from ping pong and pool to beating his mom, Nancy, in tennis.
“Shane lost to my mom in tennis when he was 10 and asked for a rematch the next day,” Amber said. “He stayed out there hitting balls against the backboard for hours, and he beat my mom the next day, and she had played tennis for a while.”
The Buecheles have a ping pong table in their vacation home in La Quinta, Calif.
“And Shane was always ready to take on all comers,” Amber said. “He was like that in everything - on the pool table, video games, you name it.”
And that story Charlie Strong told about Shane and Texas freshman WR Collin Johnson throwing footballs in the bubble late night this summer left out one important element, Amber said.
“They climbed the fence to get into the practice facility, and the campus police ended up coming,” Amber said. “So Shane and Collin had to call Coach Strong to have him explain to the police that Shane and Collin were, in fact, football players.”
A FAMILY FULL OF SOONER SIBLINGS
Garrett Buechele attended Oklahoma on a baseball scholarship.
“With Garrett there, we just got comfortable going to the OU campus as a family, so Jordan and I decided to go there, too,” Amber said.
While being recruited out of Arlington Lamar, Shane considered Oklahoma, and Jordan and Amber were pumped at the thought of their younger brother joining them in Norman.
“We were like, ‘You’ll like it,’” Amber said. “But then Jordan and I got a group text from Shane saying, ‘You’re going to have to start liking the burnt orange.’”
For the Notre Dame game on Sunday, Jordan wore gray, and Amber wore off-white - with the only burnt orange visible on their earrings, necklace and bracelets.
“I could never rep Texas gear in Norman,” Amber said, laughing. “I’d get the dirtiest looks and get run off campus. I should just do it one day and film people’s reaction and send it to Shane and say, ‘This is what I’m enduring for you.’”
But when it comes to the Red River Shootout in Dallas on Oct. 8, the junior at OU might have a plan.
“I’m thinking about a 50-50 shirt,” Amber said. “Half OU. Half Texas. And I’ll sit on the 50-yard-line and just lean to the side of the team doing well.”
Her younger brother not only became the first freshman QB at Texas to start a season opener since Bobby Layne in 1944, he made play after play (280 yards passing, including TD passes of 39 and 72 yards as well as 33 yards rushing and one TD on the ground).
The bottom line is Shane is messing with Amber’s Red River contempt for Texas.
“I did the tiniest Horns Up in front of my face so no one could see it,” Amber said. “But I looked over at my OU graduate sister (Jordan), and she had her Horns up high.
“I mean we have to cheer for Shane-Shane!”
With her Sooners losing to Houston in Week 1 and Texas knocking off No. 10 Notre Dame, Amber is already mentally preparing for the possibility her brother could lead Texas over her school.
“Nothing he does surprises me anymore,” Amber said. “If walking out to 100,000 people against Notre Dame makes him calm, I can only imagine what walking into the Cotton Bowl is going to do for him.”