Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
3-point stance: Gundy's impact on Bedlam

By Ivan Maisel

1. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has a new contract that will pay him $30 million through 2019, and it makes me hope more than ever that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops stays in Norman. Given Gundy's reverence for his alma mater in Stillwater, and given the way he has taken the resources provided him by sugar daddy T. Boone Pickens and turned the Cowboys into a national presence, the longer Stoops sticks around, Bedlam may catch up to the Iron Bowl and Ohio State-Michigan just yet.

2. From his portrait of the last “Big Thursday” game in 1959 between Clemson and South Carolina, to his feud with Alabama coach Bear Bryant, to his coverage of football Between the Hedges (Georgia) and on the Flats (Ga. Tech), Furman Bisher served as the preeminent voice of Southern sports journalism for decade upon decade. Bisher died Sunday at age 93, and it’s hard to believe that the Masters will tee off without him.

3. Here’s Bisher’s lead on Big Thursday, when the Tigers and Gamecocks played at midweek during the State Fair in Columbia for the final time:
As streaks of eastern light cracked the skies of South Carolina this Thursday morning, many a Sandlapper arose from his bed and dressed in his garish best while in the kitchen his bride packed the picnic basket. Flasks were filled with tonic water, in case venomous snakes were encountered on this hazardous journey, and shortly they set out, hardy pioneers advancing on the state capital.

From Wampee to Walhalla, from Yemassee to Tamassee this little drama of the dawn was enacted. Fathers, mothers, daughters and sons, alumni, alumnae and spiritual affiliates, politicians, storekeepers and bankers, doctors, lawyers, bakers and thieves, alcoholics, teetotalers, preachers and bartenders all were going the same way.

There was a funeral to attend.