6-4-14 Sooners in Schooners

Oklahoma has a football team named the Sooners.  I understand the names of teams when they are named after an animals, articles of clothing (i.e. the Red Sox), or figures (Knights). But, what is a Sooner?

The Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, provided that a legal settler could claim 160 acres of public land, and those who lived on and improved the claim for five years could receive title.

On high noon April 22, 1889 settlers could claim land to homestead in Oklahoma. All settlers involved lined up and pistols were fired to signify the start. A great rush of settlers in wagons and on horseback surged forward in a race to claim land. However, there were some that sneaked through earlier and claimed land sooner than all the others. Thus, these people acquired the name, "sooners."

I imagined the law-abiding settlers discovering sooners in schooners on the land they had staked out for their claim.  However, instead of the participants that followed the rules getting a team named after them, the sooners did.

It strikes me as strange that the team would be named after cheaters. No one really gives the team name much thought anymore, but it is interesting to me how many times mankind glorifies sin, considers the ungodly as heroes, and laughs at wickedness.

Whenever I hear the name "Sooners" I am reminded of the Sooners in schooners in history and also how I tend to minimize my own sin.

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20. 

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

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