Super Bowl Sunday!
It's finally here: the Super Bowl. Enjoy it. Here is a printable list of all the prop bets Vegas is offering on the game. It makes a good addition to any Super Bowl party.
Expansion Team Names Ideas
If our 10-year reunion/draft party goes as planned, I expect to get inquiries about how to join the OIL. If we get enough, we can expand to another conference. If that happens, we'll need 14 more unique franchise names and logos. I've started compiling ideas here: www.okiraqi.org/expansion
Let me know if you have any ideas.
NFC and Overall OIL Champion Chris Trovillo has received the Harrington Trophy and Tenequer Memorial Trophy. And AFC Champion Jimmy Venable should receive the Killman Memorial Trophy this week. Additionally, each manager should receive his championship jersey in the next two weeks. We'll post updates when they arrive.
Enjoy the big game!
Compiled and edited by Justin C. Cliburn
This is the first installment in our ongoing oral history project. You can read later chapters here.
To understand the OklahomIraqis League ("the OIL"), one must know who its members are and what brought them together. The league began at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006. It was resurrected in 2007 and kept alive each successive season. It's the way they keep in touch and share news with the men they served with in Iraq. Sometimes it's the only way because, although the men of the OIL are incredible friends, they may have never known each other without the Army National Guard. They came from different backgrounds and followed different career paths, but they served together as soldiers. Their bond would never be what it is without the experiences they shared one year in Iraq.
Their story is important, even if only to them, because when historians chronicle the Iraq War, they will focus on the usual fare: the battles; the successes and the failures; the bombings and the civil war . . . and the presidents and generals who managed them.
But it will be up to the everyday Joes, the boots on the ground, to tell their stories . . . because no one else will. Who were these men? Why did they join the military? What did they do over there? How are they now? And what has kept them close since they first went to war together? These questions may be important only to those who already know the answers, but they need to be shared just the same.
What follows is an oral history of the OIL, as told by the men who lived it, beginning with the combat mission that inspired it. It is by no means an exhaustive history of that combat mission in 2005-2006; such a history would fill a book of its own. But it is a decent overview of the year that preceded the formation of the OIL: where they were; what they'd experienced; how they felt. 152 Oklahoma soldiers served on that mission, but just a fraction of them are represented here. Each soldier below speaks for himself as an individual. Collectively, their memories form a history best expressed through the oral tradition of storytelling through conversation.
Soldiers are traditionally a guarded bunch, reluctant to show emotion or share their feelings, so the following is a rare look into the collective memory of one group of soldiers in Iraq almost a decade ago.
There are tons of Super Bowl stories making the media rounds, but I couldn't care less for most of them. We've spent an entire season discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each team.
Instead, I like to read stories that delve into a little NFL history or discuss issues that the talking heads are not covering. I found a few of those stories, focusing mostly on Seattle and wanted to share them.
Apparently, the original Seattle NFL expansion bid was to be named the "Kings." Over at SportsLogos.net, there is a great story about that ill-fated expansion bid. It also takes a stab at guessing what the Kings logo would have evolved into after rebranding in the 1980s and 2000s.
And, even after being awarded a franchise after all, Seattle almost lost that franchise in the 1990s. The Seattle Times wrote a lengthy article on that issue back in October. It is also worth checking out.
I hope SportsLogos.net or some other site publishes an extensive history of the 1993 expansion that gave us the Panthers and Jaguars. Baltimore, Memphis, and St. Louis were the other candidates that year. While looking up information about that expansion era, I found a great site for archiving NFL expansion candidates for each state.
I highly recommend checking out that site and following SportsLogos.net if you're into the history and evolution of sports uniforms and logos.