Oklahoma State University knows about tragedy, knows about sorrow.
In 2001, ten people associated with the university’s men’s basketball program, including two players, died in a plane crash in Colorado while returning from a game.
Four years ago, in November of 2011, the Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach and assistant coach were killed in another plane crash in Arkansas while on a recruiting trip.
Then, this past October, at the Oklahoma State homecoming, which attracts some 80,000 people and bills itself as “The World’s Greatest Homecoming,” a car being driven by someone later accused of driving under the influence, swerved into the crowd killing four people including a 2-year-old.
All of this was brought to light during pre-game television coverage of the Oklahoma State-TCU game last Saturday. Both teams entered the contest undefeated this season.
As my wife and I listened to the report on ESPN, we heard something that prompted us to rewind the program and play it over and over. It was the words of poet Robert Browning Hamilton read by OSU President Burns Hargis at a memorial service for the victims.
I look up the poem on line and wish to share it. I find it impossibly sad and, yet, so very, very true.
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.”
P.S. Oklahoma State defeated TCU 49-29 to remain unbeaten. The result sent a shock wave through college football.