Split Families: The annual Bedlam game puts interesting strains on family loyalties

Great State
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YUKON, Okla. -- It's breakfast time at the McElhaney's in Yukon.

Nothing special on this Friday morning.

Dad Mark is just off work as an EMT.

He's on frozen pancake duty.

Mom Barbara rides herd.

Son Braedon doesn't mind very much if his are a bit frozen.

And six-year-old Whitney?

Well, she's always a brighter color.

Take a closer look at the Yukon McElhaneys and you'll see a lot of Sooner crimson.

It goes back generations on both sides.

Mark's grandparents ran a cafe in Norman.

Mark and Barbara never miss a game if they can help it.

"He also watches a lot of games on TV," says Braedon.

"We tailgate a lot," says Barbara. "Barbecue, family get togethers. Game days are major in our family."

Barbara and Mark's other son cheers for OU as well.

But Whitney?

Well she wore Sooner colors until a teacher showed her orange one day.

"My teacher at my day care," she explains softly.

She came home with it on and never really took it off.

"It went back and forth for a while," adds mom, "But Whitney sided with her teacher Miss Tiffany."

It would have been easy to join the rest of the family, to fall in line with the majority, but it takes courage to go the other direction, to back a perennial underdog, to largely ignore a reporter's questions with a firm look.

"Yep," she nods.

Maybe that's why she convinced me to go Orange for Bedlam.

That and she took an interest in my job.

Whitney McElhaney did the difficult thing, the brave thing, and you have to respect that win or lose.

Her parents say it's been a couple of years since Whitney allied herself with OSU so this doesn't appear to be a passing phase.

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