NORMAN, Okla.- A possible change to a long-standing chant surprised and angered many OU fans before the start of football season but school officials say they will stick with tradition.
Earlier this week, video was released of The Pride of Oklahoma performing a new version of the traditional fanfare that kicks off every home game.
“That’s a staple at OU,” said Lisa Kuntz, a longtime Sooners fan. “Pre Game has been the same for as long as I’ve been a fan.”
After Kuntz saw the video, the changes in musical style were obvious and not to her liking.She said, “In my estimation it’s terrible but, then again, I’m prejudice.”
A search of online message boards showed she certainly wasn’t alone, many seeing the changes as an insult to Sooner tradition.
“It breaks my heart,” said Kuntz. “I don’t want them to change it at all.”
Several students on the OU campus also preferred pregame be left alone.
Alec Gray said, “If the tradition works, why change it?”
Lane Lambert said, “I don’t really know, you can’t mess with tradition.”
Alumni and fans were also discussing another proposed change that would eliminate the Drum Major running to midfield in front of the band.
Talk of changes came after the hiring of Justin Stolarik, who moved down from Wisconsin to be the Pride of Oklahoma’s band director.
Kuntz said, “I’m cool with change but not the pregame. Just leave it alone. Let us enjoy that while you enjoy your stay in Oklahoma before you leave.”
However, officials with the university say they have reconsidered and are sticking with tradition.
Justin Stolarik released a statement, which read in part:
“The band believes in listening to the views of our many fans, and they have asked that we keep our traditional pregame fanfare. That’s exactly what we are going to do! While we have experimented with alternatives, we also listen carefully to our fans. By listening, we reached the conclusion that we would keep our traditional fanfare.”