Twenty years as a quantitative measurement could be a blip on the radar or an eternity depending on the context. For instance, 20 years is a long time in regards to marriage, the shelf life of ramen noodles and a cat's longevity if he keeps walking on your car's hood.
On the other hand, 20 years is nothing when discussing evolution (of dance of course), road construction in Tulsa and Wilt Chamberlain's scoring streak (off the court of course).
The 20 year benchmark seems absolutely perfect for the Urban Tulsa Weekly. So without further ado here is a look back at impactful or interesting sports stories from each of the past 20 years.
•1991 -- The University of Tulsa kicks off the party with a resounding home victory over nationally ranked Texas A&M. "The Freedom Bowl was a big deal back in '91 but I still think beating 13th ranked at the time Texas A&M at home was a lot bigger," said offensive lineman Jerry Ostroski. Who can argue with a 300-pound behemoth?
•1992 -- The Central Hockey League rose from the ashes. The Tulsa Oilers were a founding member and oh by the way captured the Ray Miron President's Cup by defeating the Oklahoma City Blazers in the finals. Honorable mention goes to TU for being placed on three-year probation because their track team broke rules. Very BCS-school like.
•1993 -- Have you ever heard of Cardtoons L.C. of Tulsa, Okla. Treasury Bonds, Ken Spiffy Jr. and Chili Dog Davis were just a few of the MLB spoof characters that never saw the public market. Major League Baseball showing its humorless side took the Cardtoons company to court after a 1993 advertisement and Ozzie Myth never saw the light of day.
•1994 -- The Nolan Richardson captured an NCAA title at Arkansas. The Golden Hurricane turned heads advancing to the Sweet Sixteen by defeating perennial powerhouses UCLA and OSU in the Big Dance. The Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards was held for the first time.
•1995 -- Tubby Smith steered a TU team to a Sweet Sixteen appearance and moved on to bigger opportunities. Non-sports related: The Oklahoma City Bombing grabbed the nation's attention.
•1996 -- TU joins the Western Athletic Conference. Legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross turns heel announcer during a WWE broadcast. TU great Shea Seals led a collegiate All-Star squad to a halftime lead against the Dream Team.
•1997 -- TU makes the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive year. I'm sure "we" took it for granted at the time. The University of Tulsa hires Bill Self away from ORU.
•1998 -- Barry Switzer "resigned" from the Dallas Cowboys after a disappointing 6-10 season.
This adds more Red River Rivalry heat to the already stoked fire.
•1999 -- TU Hires Keith Burns. Let's move on quickly.
•2000 -- No Y2K disaster and the Tulsa Talons are born. TU advances to Elite Eight. Bill Self parlays success to Illinois job. TU fills the gap with Buzz Peterson.
•2001 -- Retief Goosen captures the US Open in a playoff at Southern Hills. The Oklahoma State family suffers as one of the basketball team's planes goes down.
•2002 -- The Texas Rangers send highly touted draft pick Mark Teixeira to the Drillers for some game seasoning. He is the most successful major leaguer to suit up for the Drillers at any point in his career.
•2003 -- John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts took over the title sponsorship of the LPGA tournament in Tulsa. Elite level golfers are now marking the Tulsa stop on their calendar. Yes, we still miss the tournament.
•2004 -- Barry Sanders is inducted into the NFL's Hall of Fame. Annika Sorenstam wins the Tulsa LPGA event adding serious credibility to the tournament. TU's Ashlan Davis makes NCAA history by returning a kickoff for touchdown in three straight games. Honorable mention goes to TU for hiring Shawn Griswold as the strength and condition coach.
•2005 -- High School Sports the Magazine launches their first issue. They have since rebranded to VYPE and have 12 franchises nationwide.
•2006 -- Chuck Lamson purchased majority ownership of the Drillers from Went Hubbard. Oral Roberts baseball squad advances to Super Regional. Eddie Sutton takes a medical leave following his DUI accident. Charles Barkley proclaims Oklahoma is no place for black people.
•2007 -- Drillers assistant coach Mike Coolbaugh is killed when a line drive strikes his neck while he was standing in the first base coach's box. The NFL Network chose Union vs. Jenks as one of the rivalries to feature in their "Greatest High School Football Rivalries" series. The game lived up to the hype.
TU's football savior Steve Kragthorpe jettisons T-Town for Louisville. Mike Gundy becomes the most popular sounds bite with his "I'm a Man, I'm 40" rant. An innocent Tiger Woods wins the PGA Championship at Southern Hills. His wife having recently given birth surprises him behind the 18th green on Sunday. Simpler times.
•2008 -- The BOK Center opened. The inaugural sporting event is a preseason basketball game between an awful Oklahoma City Thunder team and the Houston Rockets. Billy Sims rocks the "Boomer Sooner" chant much to Sam Bradford and the Heisman stiffs dismay. Sean Sutton resigns as OSU basketball coach under immense pressure.
•2009 -- OU, Oklahoma and jazz fans across the country mourn the loss of Wayman Tisdale. Honorable mention goes to "Cowboy" Bill Watts as he is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
•2010 -- ONEOK Field opens to near capacity crowds. Sean Sutton is arrested for possession of controlled substances. He is hired by ORU later in the same year.
•2011 -- NCAA March Madness reignites Tulsa's passion for sports. The Urban Tulsa remains free in both print and online versions. Very sporty.
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