I was driving through Manhattan this afternoon when my phone rang. It was an unfamiliar Dallas phone number. I answered. It was Jay Rosser, Boone Pickens' PR guy asking me to hold for the college sports world's most powerful booster.
It was only hours before that I blogged that Pickens was "the world's most suffering fan," given that his Oklahoma State Cowboys were 1-2 coming off a bad defeat at Troy last Friday. Pickens insisted that he was more optimistic than I anticipated him being, partly because his BP Capital is doing quite well this year.
"The year has 12 months and at the end of each month, I look at whether my business has won or lost," Pickens said. "Well, January was pretty bad, but we've won seven straight and we're up on September with five more days of trading. So the team might be 1-2, but I'm close to 8-1."
Although last Friday's loss was tough to watch as the program's biggest fan, he says the business environment at BP Capital allows him to keep an even keel. "The office is very much like a football contest," Pickens said. "I'm not a big sweater. There are the ups and downs. Though my wife does say that when we're not doing so well on the field I do get quiet."
As for how involved he will get if things don't turn around in Stillwater this year, Pickens said he won't be the one calling the shots. "First of all, I never played football aside from the corner lot, so I don't feel like I'm a student of the game," Pickens said. "So I am in no way going to manage OSU's gameplan. Just like I manage at BP Capital, I have faith in the people who are in place right now making the decisions."
So how many more road trips will he make? "I asked (Florida football coach) Urban Meyer how I could be a better fan and he told me to go to every single game--home and away," Pickens said. "And I'm going to follow that advice."
Pickens is confident things will turn around. "I don't bet on Oklahoma State games, but I'll bet you we win this week," he said to me. I don't bet on games either, but figured there are few who could ever say they wagered with Boone Pickens over a football game.
Then I forgot: we didn't talk dollar figures. Quite important considering Pickens makes my salary every minute. "How about ten bucks?" Pickens said. "Sure," I said, having always been a fan of Texas Tech's style of play.
If Boone's Cowboys lose this weekend, I'm not sure I'll take the $10. I might have too much sympathy his other bet--the $200 million he has riding on the program.
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