Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A lesson in Oral history

Pitt's first-round opponent in this year's NCAA Tournament is Oral Roberts. I don't care if Pitt doesn't get past the Sweet 16 this year, as long as the Panthers don't lose to a school called Oral Roberts. That'd be ten times more humiliating than their first-round exit at the hands of the school that produced Walt Harris. "What the hell is an Oral Roberts, anyway," you might be asking yourself right now.

We here at FTC realize that not everyone is a walking Barron's Profiles of American Colleges, so we did some background research, and you might be surprised at what we found Here are some Totally Factual Oral Roberts Facts:
  • Oral Roberts University is named for a guy whose name -- whose REAL NAME -- is Oral Roberts. The REAL Oral Roberts -- the guy, not the school -- is still alive. He's 90 years old.
  • Oral Roberts founded his school in 1963 after he claimed that God told him to. In all likelihood, your dad is older than Oral Roberts University. Isn't that lame? What kind of crazy, unique traditions can your college have if it was founded, like, last week?
  • In 1977, Roberts claimed that a vision he had of a 900-foot-tall Jesus told him to build a hospital.
  • In 1986, he told a television audience that if he he didn't raise $8 million, God would "call him home." He's also said that when he dies, he's going to come back to life and rule the world with Jesus. The authors of Free Tank Carter do not discriminate on the basis of religion. That said, when you combine all of the theology classes we took in college, it almost qualifies us as having minored in the subject, and we're inclined to think that Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Satan and Bill Cowher might have something to say about this.
  • I've just been passed a note from FTC's research department. Turns out the students at ol' ORU do have some pretty quirky traditions! All students enrolling at Uncle Oral's House of Learnin' are required to sign an honor code, prohibiting them from lying, cursing, smoking, drinking, gambling, and engaging in a wide array of sexual acts -- ironically, including the one for which their school's divine founder is named.
  • Oral Roberts -- the guy again, not the school -- claims to have raised people from the dead. Again, we at Free Tank Carter don't know if we necessarily believe this.
  • Notable ORU alumni include people you probably hate, like Kathy Lee Gifford, and people you're largely indifferent toward, like former former journeyman utility infielder Keith Lockhart.
  • This one isn't really a fact: Oral Roberts has a really honest face -- a competitor's face; a face that says, "I am synonymous with greatness and achievement in the game of basketball," without actually saying it. You know what I'm talking about.
  • The school's nickname is the Golden Eagles.
  • The Golden Eagles finished the regular season 24-8 in the regular season, including 16-2 in their conference, the Summit League.
  • The Summit League sucks.
  • Sam Young is completely and totally capable of single-handedly defeating the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, 89-14.
  • Sam Young and DeJuan Blair would not only combine for 15 triple-doubles in one half against the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, they would be able to do so while violating every single restriction in the school's honor code.
  • There is a greater chance of a black hole spontaneously opening up in the skies over Scotland and sucking every Highland cow into an alternate dimension with Vigo the Carpathian and all of the vaguely dirty Curtis Enis jokes than there is of Oral Roberts winning this basketball game.

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