Sooner scripting: J.R. goes Insider
On August 1, the voice of Monday Night RAW, Jim Ross will become the newest columnist for Sooners Illustrated, the official news source for Oklahoma Sooners sports coverage. Beginning next month, good ol' J.R.'s column will run weekly on SoonersIllustrated.com and monthly in Sooners Illustrated Magazine, both operated by the Oklahoma University (OU) Insider.
"[OU Insider is] a lifeline and a great source for accurate OU sports information," Ross said in an interview with OU Insider. "[My writing] fits in exactly with what OU Insider is doing and always has done. I won't conform to the kiss-and-tell and sound byte journalism of the SportsCenter era."
J.R. told WWE.com that he will write from a fan's perspective, utilizing his firsthand experience in tailgating at his house and at the football stadium.
"A lot of things are written about major college football programs that aren't true. A lot of guys speculate," he said. "They just get stuff by the telephone or hearsay or gossip or disgruntled people. I think that being able to set the record straight on some things might be good."
The Oklahoma-born and bred Ross said that his deep laden passion for sports -- especially football -- comes from years of refereeing 14 state championship football games, as well as tender memories growing up in Westville, Okla. A self-proclaimed "student of the game," J.R. was part of the Atlanta Falcons' broadcast team in the early 1990s as well as the XFL's play-by-play announce team on NBC in 2001.
"For me, it's heritage," Ross told OU Insider. "When I do a broadcast or watch sports, it always takes me back to remembrances of a living room with my dad and grand-dad, listening to a big game, enjoying a common interest in something that bound us together," he added.
According to Ross, wrestling legend and former Sooner "Cowboy" Bill Watts got him started in the sports-entertainment business in 1974. Since then, J.R. has stayed loyal to the Sooners and his Oklahoma roots.
Donning his Sooner pride on his hand, Ross wears an Oklahoma University 1974 National Championship gold ring that his wife bought for him at an auction. J.R. also used to travel back and forth from his home in Connecticut to the home of Oklahoma University in Norman, Okla. to watch the Sooners play. Ultimately, Ross and his family moved to Norman last year to live each day in the college town.
Ross claimed that OU football truly changed his life early on. And starting in August, he will have the opportunity to change the lives of a brand new generation of Sooners fans as he takes to the pen to reach the OU community with unique insight and unrivaled perspective.
"I will try to take people where I've been and I will give all kinds of opinions," Ross said, "sometimes based on insider knowledge -- sometimes just my opinion as a Sooner fan of how I think things should be."
To read J.R.'s column, check out www.soonersillustrated.com on August 1.