Going into the weekend, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were considered the second-best team in college football, and their in-state rivals the Oklahoma Sooners were ranked fifth. Neither team’s Saturday went as planned, with the Cowboys falling in overtime to the unranked Iowa State Cyclones (and dropping to fourth in the BCS rankings) and the Sooners losing a nail-biter to 22nd-ranked Baylor (and dropping to ninth in the BCS rankings). Though its importance may be diminished by these losses, the December 3rd end-of-season matchup between the two teams will be no less intense; the rivalry (dubbed “Bedlam”) is one of the fiercest in college sports.
As reported this summer, Oklahoma State leads the nation in the number of Native Americans receiving bachelor’s degrees, and the University of Oklahoma comes in third—so it is perhaps a simple matter of supply and demand that has given rise to university-branded apparel featuring Cherokee syllabary, now available at CherokeeGiftShop.com. “Cherokee people have had a passion for sports for hundreds of years and these new products allow us to showcase our tribal heritage and culture while supporting the schools we love,’” said Molly Jarvis, vice president of cultural tourism at Cherokee Nation Entertainment, in a statement.
Syllabary caps and T-shirts are also available for Northeastern State University, the school that graduates the second-most American Indians in the country.