NORMAN, OK – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas visited Oklahoma University’s McClendon Center for Intercollegiate Athletics on Monday in an effort to bridge the gap between the Sooner Nation and Rhett Bomar, a former Oklahoma quarterback whose struggle for financial independence has put him at odds with his geographical neighbor.
An AP file photo of Bomar, current leader of Bomar.
CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour described the gathering’s mood as “hopeful”, noting that some progress had been made in the summit’s first electrifying day.
“It’s been more like a concert than a political meeting,” Amanpour said via satellite phone.
U2 lead singer and political activist Bono opened up the summit with an Abraham Lincoln quote from the 16th President’s first Inaugural Address:
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Former President Jimmy Carter followed up the Irish rock star by reading passages from the Book of Ecclesiastes, after which boxing great Muhammad Ali released two dozen doves into the air.
“This summit has begun earnestly, with honesty, and I have the sense that real things are happening here,” said Amanpour.
“The peace process has seemed so distant at times, the barriers insuperable, the odds too impossible to allow for any hope. But the fog seems to have lifted. This has felt special from the minute [film director] Steven Spielberg screened his montage of the Oklahoma of yesteryear to the last second of the Boston Philharmonic’s rendition of Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Op. 86. It feels as if we are walking in history’s footsteps.”
“And Rhett looked like he was enjoying the complimentary buffalo wings,” she added.
Bomar and the Sooner Nation have been at odds ever since the former was twice charged as a minor in possession of alcohol in a span of six months during 2005 and 2006. Bomar protested the charges, calling them “trumped up lies” and referring to Oklahoma as a “police state”. The nation’s former top prep quarterback later released a video in which masked football players drank vodka and beer on tape and showed blurred driver’s licenses indicating they were underage. Sooner Nation responded by firing medium range missiles into Bomar’s hometown of Grand Prairie, Texas.
The U.N. Security Council managed to reduce tensions for several months through the threat of sanctions, but on the morning of August 2, 2006 Bomar and Bomar partisans launched an assault on Sooner Nation’s quarterback depth. The attack killed Oklahoma’s hopes for a national title and injured the hearts of almost all of the state’s 3.4 million residents. The lone exception was Fred Sherrill, a native of Sugarland, Texas whose construction job brought him to Oklahoma City in 2003.
“Fuck them Sooner faggots,” explained Sherrill.
Fighting would escalate along the Red River as Bomar established Bomar-in-exile in Huntsville, Texas, as a member of Sam Houston State’s football team. Sooner Nation declared the Bearkats a rogue program and has since belligerently but futilely searched for an empty slot in its out of conference schedule in order to confront the nearby school.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged that covert Sooner operations along the Texas-Oklahoma border had taken place during the past three months, including several surgical strikes performed by the RUF/NEKS, OU’s special forces unit. Sooner Nation has thus far refused to confirm the downing of a Sooner Schooner on March 13, but local Texas television stations broadcast triumphant footage of what appeared to be a destroyed wagon and two to three very confused ponies.
Mississippi head coach Ed Orgeron, on hand for the summit as an official observer on behalf of the United Nations, said that progress was “real but limited” and that expectations should be tempered with caution.
“You simply do not erase that amount of hatred and division in the span of a few days,” Orgeron said.
“This isn’t religion or politics. This is sports. This is footbaw. This is college footbaw. This goes beyond words or actions or blood. It goes right down to color, and the minute Bomar spilled crimson and cream this conflict became something elemental. I hope to God that they can resolve their differences, but we must prepare for a world where those differences are real and ugly and clothed in flesh and footbaws.”
Olmert and Abbas, however, expressed optimism in the possibility of a resolution to the Bomar-Sooner conflict, and that sentiment dominated the summit’s first day.
“The entire world has watched the grief and anger of this adversial relationship, and we have grieved with them, been angered like them. It is time that we begin the first steps of reconciliation and healing, for what better time could there be than now? We are not under any illusion about the patience needed in this endeavor. We gather today not for ourselves, but our children, and their children. Let Bomar and Sooner come together and, at long last, talk,” said Olmert during a press conference concluding the first day.
“What he said,” Abbas added.