So here we sit on the cusp of Bedlam and from my viewpoint as a blogger who wants to write his first nonfiction sports book it couldn’t be any better for me.
Why would I want to write a book titled Mullet King: The Mike Gundy-Boone Pickens Story?
Several reasons. I’m obviously a college football fanatic who lives in a state which is dominated by college football. But it goes beyond just that because I’ve thought the potential story of the Boone Pickens-Mike Gundy relationship was unique and could be an interesting story if presented properly.
One of my best friends used to cover Mike Gundy and the O State beat. Another one of my best friends and the best man at my wedding was a Midwest City Bomber and knew Mike Gundy growing up in high school. My middle nephew played high school football with Gundy’s oldest son…and btw my nephew made All-District 6A2 his senior season playing for the Stillwater Pioneers.
My brother ran the Panera Bread just down the street from Boone’s stadium and I sat next to Gundy once and struck up a conversation about his son and my nephew after a controversial ending in one of their football games vs the Lawton Wolverines where by sheer luck I had found myself sitting next to Mike Gundy’s wife and father-in-law at Cameron Stadium in Lawton at that very game.
Then there’s my son who’s an oil and gas hedge fund expert who started with Devon and then worked his way to being one of the most respected people in his field working for the second largest natural gas company in the U.S. I love my son and I wanted to be able to talk to him intelligently about what he does for a living…so I read two of Boone’s books.
That connection made me even more interested in Boone as the years passed. Like any father I wanted to know more about what my son was actually doing in his profession. Even before I thought about this Gundy-Boone relationship–I was always fascinated by Boone even before he purchased the Oklahoma State Cowboys football franchise and in essence ownership of a Power 5 football franchise.
The whole dynamic fascinated me from the college football to the big boy world of the oil and natural gas business.
Then there’s the Dan Jenkins connection to me from his two novels…Semi Tough and Dead Solid Perfect which pull at my heart still as a John Marshall Bear. In those two sports novels about the TCU Horn Frogs there’s this fictional characater named Big Ed Bookman who was the biggest oil and gas stud in Texas and the alpha donor for TCU back in the day in Fort Worth.
From the moment I witnessed Boone in Stillwater he connected with me as a real life Big Ed Bookman.
I loved Boone’s audacity. His passion for his alma mater. Sometimes, like all of his, he had his moments when got carried away. But in the end…I liked him.
And there was ‘finally’ the part of Mike Gundy which tugged at my heart. The Mike Gundy who lost his mother last year and from my prism that loss in a way maybe refocused him and made him a more serious/ compelling character than just being The Mullet King. It made Mike Gundy even more human to me as I thought about how I’ve had to deal with the loss of one of my parents.
If you’re an O State fan…you should be glad Mike Gundy is there right now regardless of how this football game goes this Saturday. Because Boone, Mike Holder, Burns Hargis, and Eddie Sutton are all gone. And to be brutally candid the other Big 12 schools should be glad Mike Gundy is still in Stillwater to make the conference look viable beyond the departure of OU to the SEC.
So that’s why I find the story compelling beyond just touchdowns and tackles.
Now…My Top 12 Poll.
2 Ohio State
4 Oklahoma State
7 Notre Dame
1`0 Ole Miss
On my bubble