Never fear, Oklahoma fans, the Sooner Schooner is back and ready to take the field again. Provided there is a season, of course.
During the second quarter of what would become a decisive Oklahoma win over West Virginia last October, the beloved Sooner Schooner, as is custom, came onto the field to celebrate an OU touchdown, this one a two-yard run by Jalen Hurts. Unfortunately, the two-horsepower wagon showed once again that its turn radius at top speed is nearly nil as it toppled over around the 15-yard line, sending the drivers crashing to the turf and the horses running untethered from human restraints toward the tunnel.
Shortly thereafter, presumably after wading through all of the insurance red tape, OU announced that the Sooner Schooner would be shut down for the remainder of the 2019 campaign. Not long after, the school confirmed that a new and improved vehicular mascot was in the works.
Eight months later, the university this week unveiled Sooner Schooner IV, which it describes as being “back and better than ever.” In a nod to the cause of the accident that led to a new horse-driven machine, the school also detailed its new specs:
Featuring heavier running gear, wider wheelbase, hydraulic brakes, lowered driver seat and more space, every aspect of the new Schooner was constructed with increased stability in mind. …
The new Schooner is wider (70 inches), shorter (82 inches) and heavier (1,020 pounds) than the old.
In the photo* below, the new Schooner can be seen on the left, the old one on the right.
Oklahoma is set to open the 2020 season against Missouri State in Norman. Here’s to thinking the new Sooner Schooner will get a significant workout with an FCS foe on the other side of the field.