Thursday, May 31, 2012

What a Dick! The Joe Don Looney Edition

When planning out the Oklahoma week of our Big 12 Orientation course, we decided that it might be fun to outsource some of the material to a UT fan because, well, UT fans hate OU and hatred makes for good readin'.  We handed the assignment for the OU week "What a Dick!" post to a burnt orange-wearing friend of Spit Blood named Pumpkinass, and what we got from him is less hateful than it is just an interesting look at an asshole of somewhat admirable proportions that links the power triumvirate of the new Big 12- Texas, TCU and Oklahoma.  So, enough from me, here is what Pumpkin ass had to say:

OU has produced 152 All-Americans, and just as many world-class sons of bitches.  Their most visible candidates for #1 are cartoonish:  Switzer is Milton's Lucifer and Bozworth is a white Clubber Lang, but the top spot for me goes to Joe Don Looney.

Like Billy Clyde Puckett, the literary creation of Dan Jenkins, Looney played football at Fort Worth's Paschal High School, attended TCU, and was drafted by the New York Giants.  Unlike Puckett, Looney had previously enrolled at Texas, where he failed every class but psychology and supposedly beat asses all over the 40 acres without having ever darkened DKR's office doorstep.

His stint at TCU was just as brief.  He never buckled his chinstrap, but was runoff after KO'ing a heavyweight novice in a VFW boxing match.

He briefly stopped over at a junior college before suiting up for the Sooners in 1962.  With two minutes left and OU losing their opening game against Syracuse 3-0, Looney, who was third-string at the time, told head coach Bud Wilkinson "Put me in the game, I'll win this SOB," which was interestingly also the original lyrics to John Fogerty's "Centerfield."  Wilkinson obliged him and one play and 60 yards later, Oklahoma had won and a star was born.

Looney took All-American honors that year and had high hopes for '63, but didn't play past the Texas game, similar to Marcus Dupree--whose OU career would end mid-season against Texas 20 years later.  Dupree's exit was because of an injury and self-initiated; Looney was said to have punched an assistant coach and sent packing.  Other players have said this was just an excuse to make an example of the rebellious running back, but Joe Don was out, just like Terry Allen's "Great Joe Bob".

His NFL career never got going and he played for 5 teams in 5 years.  Detroit coach Harry Gilmer found out how difficult he was to instruct when he asked his backup halfback to run in a play in a game against the 49ers.  "If you want a messenger boy," Joe Don told him, "call Western Union."

With eccentric parallels to Ricky Williams, Joe Don Looney would later bathe elephants and study with gurus in India and live in an octagonal house in Big Bend.  State Troopers found him dead near his wrecked motorcycle outside of Study Butte, Texas on September 24, 1988.  The brakes had not been used.

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." -Hunter S. Thompson.

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