The Sooner Schooner is the official mascot of the sports teams of the University of Oklahoma Sooners. Pulled by two white ponies named Boomer and Sooner, it is a scaled-down replica of the Conestoga wagon used by settlers of the Oklahoma Territory around the time of the Land Run of 1889. Its name comes from the common term for such wagons ("prairie schooners") and the name for settlers who sneaked into the Territory before it was officially opened for settlement ("Sooners").
The Schooner is maintained and driven by members of the RUF/NEKS, the university's all-male spirit organization. At home football games and bowl games, the Sooner Schooner is driven onto the field in an arc that almost reaches the 50-yard line after every score. The RUF/NEK Queen sits next to the driver, and a young member of the RUF/NEKS usually hangs by his legs off the back, waving the university's flag. Until the late 1980s, it was customary for the schooner's driver to stand up while driving the ponies onto the field after scores, and duck down only an instant before reaching the stadium tunnel parking spot, barely clearing the tunnel ceiling—a practice eventually ended for safety reasons. The Schooner made its debut at Owen Field in 1964, and it became the University's official mascot in 1980.
Until 2011, when not in use, the Schooner was housed at the Bartlett Ranch outside Sapulpa, Oklahoma, along with Boomer and Sooner. Boomer and Sooner now have a lovely new home.
Read more about Sooner Schooner: The 1985 Orange Bowl, The "Sooner Schooner Mooner", See Also
Famous quotes containing the words sooner and/or schooner:
“And if I may not walk in th old ways and look on
th old faces
I wud sooner sleep.”
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“It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
To bear him company.”
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