Back when Edmond and most of what is now north-central Oklahoma was still merely a territory, the United States government decided to take land promised to uprooted Native American tribes and give it to white settlers clamoring for land.

To distribute the land fairly, the federal government held “land runs,” basically huge races for plots of land. But, being Americans, a few people had to sneak out early before the start of the runs, earning the nickname “Sooners.”

Now it seems there’s a bit more of that Sooner spirit in Oklahoma City leaders than we might have imagined. Oklahoma City, for those unaware, is now the temporary home of the New Orleans Hornets, an professional basketball team uprooted by the flooding that following Hurricane Katrina.

Though the Hornets’ stay is only supposed to be temporary, you wouldn’t know it by listening to radio shops or reading newspapers in Oklahoma City. Indeed, the rumor is that, in private, City of Oklahoma City officials are trying to convince the team to stay.

In the world of professional sports, there is little loyalty from a team owner toward a home town. While a few teams stick to their traditional base, others flit around the country. So the Hornets, with declining attendance last year, may indeed be looking for a new home.

But Oklahomans should be quiet and leave that to the team’s owners. Our fellow Americans down in New Orleans have enough on their minds without wondering why the people of Oklahoma are trying to steal their basketball team. We earned a reputation as a caring, generous people in the wake of the Murrah Bombing. Let’s not be seen as trying to take advantage of New Orleans’ tragedy.

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