Hopefully history will repeat itself once again when ND visits Norman Okla. to take on the Sooners. If there is anywhere in the country more savagely anti Notre Dame I don’t know where it is. Even before the classic 1957 game the Sooner nation hated ND and not just for football.
Oklahoma football was just about a religion in that State as was the predominant Protestant religion. In this day and age, not politically correct, but I’ll say it anyhow–this area of the country was rabidly anti Catholic and the fans let the ND players know it–often. Anyhow times change, maybe, thank God.
The 1957 Oklahoma team was undefeated in 47 games and ND came to Norman as 3 touch down underdogs but ND brought with them their All American QB Bob Williams as well as All American fullback Nick Pietrosante and future All Pro DB Dick Lynch (New York Giants). Oklahoma had All American players all over the place along with the legendary coach Bud Wilkinson.
Check out the youtube video of this classic game. Note the classic ND leather helmets–can’t see in black and white but it was light tan with dark brown cross front to back and side to side. This helmet was the most known helmet in the country at the time and every Catholic school kid wanted one for Christmas.
This was a time when all the ND games were re-run on Sunday TV across the nation–no one else had this deal–see where some of the hate is coming from yet today.
When you look at this film watch how ND QB handles the ball–a lot of hiding pitching etc. The old jump pass was in vogue in those days–long before Tebow. In those days players went both ways and ND was always a very physical team and usually just beat up opposing teams. Leahy gone by this game, Brennan coaching, but the psyche was still Leahy’s–we refuse to lose to anybody.
Williams place in Notre Dame lore is a mystery–he is never mentioned among the greats but he was simply a terrific player, All American QB and a magician with the ball and as good a clutch QB that ND ever had—still a mystery to me to this day.
Anyhow, watch the video and go back in time–under dog in a very hostile place and shoving all that hostility right in Sooner Nation’s face.