Watching With The King
The Coaches’ Cabana idea has spread to other schools in past seasons, but Switzer says it was too difficult to scale it nationally, for now. There are still several schools, including Oklahoma State, that do their own versions, albeit, not hosted from Barry Switzer’s backyard.
Henry says what Switzer won’t about Coaches’ Cabana’s national appeal.
“In hundreds of thousands of people’s minds, Barry Switzer is Oklahoma football. So that’s why people tune in to see what he has to say,” says Henry. “So if we try to scale this thing to, say, the top 50 programs in the country, if there were 49 other Barry Switzers, our job would be a lot easier. But there’s not. We try to capitalize on coach because he’s the backbone of this whole thing.”
Many famous people use their wealth to hide from their fame. They buy houses in exclusive neighborhoods behind gates with security guards. They play golf at exclusive courses and hang with their close circle of trusted friends.
Barry Switzer lives in a house less than two miles from the stadium where he became a legend. It’s just across the street from campus. He walks his giant German Shepherds on and around campus. If a stranger knocks on his door he’s likely to invite them in for a peak at his trophy collection and a chat. He’s been described as the “Coach Emeritus” of campus.
“I did the first show by myself. After the first show I said I’ll never do that sumb**ch again,” says Switzer. “Three and half hours of me non-stop. Wore my ass slick out.”
He could have disappeared in his retirement years, living off of his success in anonymity. But that’s not Barry Switzer. His mind is too sharp, his personality too large, and the adoration too intense in Oklahoma for him to just fade into memory.
Every Sooner fan would relish the chance to watch a game with Switzer, and he would love to watch the game with every fan. That’s the heart of the Cabana. It’s why, during home games, he hosts the show from Campus Corner, the restaurant and commercial hub just north of campus where many people hang out during games. Instead of being surrounded by 20-30 houseguests, he’s surrounded by tens of thousands of fans.
Wherever Barry Switzer goes, whether it’s in the halls of Congress, or the streets of Campus Corner, or the Cabana in his own backyard, Switzer is always the most revered figure in the room.
It’s a testament to the importance people place on football and the respect people have for Switzer’s accomplishments.
When you’re around Switzer you realize one thing: It’s good to be with the King.
Switzer and Co will be broadcasting the Coaches’ Cabana from the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa for the Red River Showdown, Saturday October 8 at 12 pm Eastern.