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Bedlam rivals to wear matching decals bringing awareness to state’s opioid crisis

With apologies to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Bedlam football game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is the biggest annual event on the state of Oklahoma’s sporting calendar. And this year’s will be even bigger than most. The visiting Sooners are ranked No. 8 in the AP poll, and the Cowboys are ranked No. 11. College GameDay will be on hand in Stillwater to export in even more hype.

And with that in mind, both schools have decided Saturday will be the perfect time to bring awareness to something that has nothing to do with sports: opioids.

This summer, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen drugmakers accusing them of deceptive marketing in order to hook Oklahomans on the addictive drugs. From the AP:

Since 2009, Hunter said, more Oklahoma residents have died from opioid-related deaths than in vehicle crashes in the state. The lawsuit states that Oklahoma is one of the leading states in prescription painkiller sales per capita, with 128 painkiller prescriptions dispensed per 100 people in 2012.

“We just can’t let companies dehumanize the population,” Hunter said. “You almost feel like these deaths are just statistics on a spread sheet.”

Assuming those are the actual decals each side will wear on Saturday, it makes one wonder if Oklahoma will wear its white alternate helmets since a crimson-on-crimson decal would be harder to spot and the entire point of the movement, obviously, is to raise awareness.