An Autumn Remembered: Bud Wilkinson's Legendary '56 Sooners by Gary T. King

By Gary T. King

In 1956, a bunch of younger men—sons of the nice Depression—were now pupil athletes in each feel of the word. Their younger trainer was once at the verge of an exceptional successful streak, and Bud Wilkinson’s ’56 Sooners shaped the touchstone of the collage of Oklahoma’s soccer dynasty. This workforce was once the guts and soul of OU’s list 47-straight victories. An Autumn Remembered strains the main points of the outstanding ’56 season and follows the workforce into the current via revealing interviews with the imperative avid gamers. during this stirring account, Gary T. King brings to lifestyles a trip packed with thoughts, triumph, and glory—an autumn actually to be remembered, and an event to not be missed. 

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Wilkinson’s influence on the state of Oklahoma extended far beyond the gridiron. When he came to the University of Oklahoma in 1946, all was not well in the Sooner State. The 1930s were Dust Bowl and Great Depression days in Oklahoma. There had been a tremendous out-migration from the state because farmers could not make a living. John Steinbeck had Bud Wilkinson King / Final Pages 3/21/06 4:10 PM / 7 King / Final Pages 3/21/06 4:10 PM Page 8 written of this exodus in The Grapes of Wrath. In 1946, Oklahoma was still struggling to shake off this “Grapes of Wrath,” “Okie” image.

Football is not a fun game in practice, but if the athletes have the will to go out and try to improve as much as they can at that moment then they have the will to prepare. The will to prepare immediately translates into the ability to win and is a forerunner to it. “The misunderstood thing about football is that the only people who really enjoy practice are the people who throw, catch, or kick the ball. The other players practice because it is required, which is why football is such a wonderful game, because it requires so much dedication on the part of people who don’t get their share of the credit.

The analogy of pro basketball is probably the best example here. Let’s say Clendon Thomas is your best right halfback. There’s a point where Clendon’s fatigue becomes a reality. At that point a fresh man may be better than Clendon for four or five plays until Clendon gets it back again. The pro basketball coaches I’ve talked to say the whole secret of coaching pro basketball, because all the Bud Wilkinson King / Final Pages 3/21/06 4:10 PM / 21 King / Final Pages 3/21/06 4:10 PM Page 22 guys are super, super, athletes, is to analyze how long each guy can go before he needs a blow, that’s the whole thing.

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