The Edmond Sun

October 6, 2009

SPRUILL: OU's Bradford still livin' the dream

Eric Spruill

There’s still no guarantee that Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford will play this season. But Sooner fan or not, you have to love the Heisman Trophy winner’s attitude.

His first start could come this week against Baylor, or it could be against Texas. You will not hear any crying from Bradford, though, that is for certain.

The media has questioned his decision about coming back. He could have been the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, instead he gets injured in the opener and now his future is in question.

But what seems so shocking to some across the country, really isn’t that shocking at all. Bradford is living his dream. The dream of any former high school star in the state of Oklahoma that wants to play in either Stillwater or Norman.

"Money's not everything," Bradford said. "Obviously, I think some people, they think it is. But to me, there are a lot more things. I dreamed about coming to Oklahoma and playing football. We didn't have a pro team in Oklahoma, so this was like my pro team. This was who I wanted to play for, and my experience here has been unbelievable.

"I felt like coming back and adding to that experience would be a great thing for me."

Why is that so hard to understand. I admit, in today’s society it would be hard to turn down the money. But to play in front of 81,000 fans every Saturday, that would be amazing too. He’s living the dream that so few of us ever get the chance to do.

Bradford says everything you want a player on your favorite team to say. He sounds sincere, too.

And while it would be doggone tough for the Sooners to find themselves back in the National Championship race, Bradford still believes.

"You say the national championship is out of the picture, but what happens if we win nine straight games and we win the Big 12? There's still a possibility," Bradford said Tuesday in his first public comments in a month. "To win another Big 12 championship and become the first team to win four straight Big 12 championships, I still think there's a lot in front of this team and I think it would be extremely selfish for me to say, 'The possibility of a national championship is slim now, so why come back?'"

What is there not to like about the guy.

And Texas’ Colt McCoy and Florida’s Tim Tebow are the same way. Has there ever been a better group of guys than this. Three quarterbacks that always make the news for the right reasons.

Is this the end of an era that America thought didn’t exist.

Let’s face it, you don’t hear about guys like these anymore. They still exist no doubt, but three Heisman finalists.

McCoy and Bradford don’t get nearly as much publicity for their good deeds, or good moral character as does Tebow. But Tebow has also won two national championships. He’s won his own Heisman Trophy. And the publicity started long before college, where Bradford and McCoy became known.

But either way you slice it, it is quite possible we will never see three better all-around guys play the game the same season. So lets enjoy it while it lasts.