Big 12 News

Listen: OU Radio Broadcast Lets Toby Keith ‘Put the Ponies in the Barn’ vs. BYU

Jan 8, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Country music artist Toby Keith watches action between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas Jayhawks at Lloyd Noble Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Sooner Nation woke up on Tuesday morning to the devastating news that it had lost one of its own as country music legend, Toby Keith, passed away at the age of 62 after a battle with stomach cancer.

Keith was a regular at OU sporting events, regularly seen on the sidelines at football, basketball, and softball games, taking in the sights and sounds of everything Sooners.

The Oklahoma basketball team paid tribute to Toby on Tuesday night with a moment of silence and a reserved seat for him courtside.


Head basketball coach Porter Moster even took the time in his opening statement of the postgame press conference to honor his friend after OU’s 82-66 win over No. 21 BYU.

However, the most touching moment of the evening might not have been something that we could see, but something we could hear. Toby Keith impacted us through the soundwaves of radio broadcasts for years, so perhaps it is only natural that hearing his voice on Tuesday evening is what made many folks around the Sooner State emotional.

When an Oklahoma victory is imminent, OU radio broadcaster Toby Rowland uses the phrase, “You can unhitch the wagon, put the ponies in the barn,” as a way to say that the game is over. On Tuesday night, Rowland handed the reins to Keith.


What. A. Moment.

The Sooners’ victory moved them to 17-6 overall and 5-5 in Big 12 play. On Saturday, they’ll face Oklahoma State (10-13, 2-8) where OU will take the opportunity to honor their fallen friend once more.

According to Toby Rowland, Oklahoma will serve all beverages during the Bedlam basketball game in “Red Solo Cups,” to honor one of the biggest Sooner fans ever.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CT, with the broadcast available on ESPN+.

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