(Editor's note: In an exclusive interview with BH's Ray Dozier, Santa Claus reveals his one true love in college football.)
Ray Dozier: So, you are a Sooner fan?
Santa Claus: I’m wearing red and white, ain’t I?
RD: That’s not really crimson.
SC: The wife’s a Nebraska fan, so I have to kinda be neutral with the red thing.
RD: Really? She pulls for the 'Huskers?
SC: Yeah, that’s been tough. When OU beats those pesky 'Huskers, she doesn’t speak to me for about a week. She’s a sore loser.
RD: How long have you been a Sooner fan?
SC: It came about in 1915, when Bennie Owen's team beat Texas, 14-13. I was really impressed with Spot Geyer. Man that cat could really zing the football. He tossed the winning pass to Hap Johnson with less than three minutes to go. That team had the Hott Brothers (Willis and Oliver) on the front line. That was cool seeing two brothers playing in the line together, kinda like the Selmons in the ’70s.
RD: You’ve been following them a long time then. So you have any favorite games?
SC: Only the ones that OU wins.
RD: Do you get upset when the Sooners lose?
SC: I handle it pretty well; except for a few times I would get so upset that I nearly kicked the reindeer.
RD: A few times?
SC: Well, there’s the 1947 Texas game. Texas was given a touchdown after the halfback touched his knee on the ground. There were some other rulings that didn’t go OU’s way and fans pelted the field with pop bottles and cushions. Just about anything they could get their hands on. They had to get a police car to midfield to get the refs out of there.
RD: Any other games that you got upset about?
SC: Oh yeah. Losing to Notre Dame in 1957 in the game that broke the 47-game streak. Losing to Miami in the 1988 Orange Bowl. Nebraska in 1971. That was a heckuva a game—could’ve gone either way. We should have won the BCS title games against LSU and Florida.
We got screwed in that tie with Texas in that downpour in 1984. Keith Stanberry had that darned interception and that ref said he was out of bounds.
Oh, that game against Texas Tech in 2005. That guy was down on the one-yard line but they gave him a touchdown anyway. And then there’s that mess in Oregon a year later. Allen Patrick came up with that onside kick.
RD: Do you get a lot of requests for glasses from referees?
SC: Oh yes. Ho-ho-ho! But those guys got lumps of coal.
RD: Some folks think you’re really Mark Mangino.
RD: Are you?
SC: Next question.
RD: Have you been to any OU games?
SC: Oh, yeah, I have season tickets. I make most of them, but I usually miss the ones after Thanksgiving—busy time of the year for me; delivering presents and doing those Chevy commercials.
RD: Do you go to any bowl games?
SC: I’ve made a few. Try to make the bowl games if I’m not too whipped from Christmas. The New Year’s Day bowls and after that I try to go. I didn’t make it to the Fiesta Bowl in 1976, obviously, since that was on Christmas Day. The 1993 Sun Bowl was on Christmas Eve and the ’81 Sun Bowl was the day after; wasn’t able to make those. I plan on going to the Cotton Bowl and watching us clean up with the Aggies.
RD: So, why haven’t we noticed you at the games?
SC: Oh, I go incognito.
SC: Yeah, I shave my beard so it’s not obvious.
RD: So, how do you grow your beard back so quickly, or is it fake?
SC: Oh, it’s not fake. Magic—kinda like Sooner Magic. Ho-ho-ho!
Happy holidays from the staff at BH.