Kevin Durant willingly wades into a heated NCAA football rivalry

Kelly Dwyer

Kevin Durant, albeit briefly, went to college at Texas. Texas is a football rival of the Oklahoma Sooners. Kevin Durant, since 2008, has played pro basketball in Oklahoma. And yet, Kevin Durant still enjoys rooting for the Texas Longhorns, and dismissing the Oklahoma Sooners. Especially on Twitter. Oklahoma residents, and some Sooner players, take issue with this.

And this is a … thing?

Apparently so. The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry recently delved into the iffy back and forth between Durant and Sooner fans, and comes down on Durant's side:

Durant has enjoyed jabbing the Sooners and their die-hard nation every chance he gets. He's added the phrase "Hook 'em Horns" to each autograph he's signed at OU football games. He's sat courtside at OU basketball games and flashed the two-finger Hook 'em Horns sign. He's even taken his needling to Twitter. On Saturday, Durant posted a simple but around these parts scathing message: "LSU > OU…"

[…]

If you ask me, Sooners fans should be happy Durant doesn't embrace the school's sports. He shouldn't. Would you really want him to pretend to be something he's not? That's never been Durant's style in the first place. It'd be even worse if he genuinely accepted the Sooners.

Sooners defensive back Tony Jefferson, however, is far less charitable; tweeting this last weekend:

{YSP:MORE}

If I'm honest, signing "Hook 'em horns" in autographs at an Oklahoma Sooners game is one of the more engaging things Kevin Durant has ever done. As far as personalities go, he's rather vanilla, despite his Twitter presence. And the idea that the NBA's go-to good guy would risk scorn in the league's otherwise untouched heartland has me giddy. And it's not because I'm a St. Louis Cardinal fan that grew up in Chicago, or a Chicago Bears fan that currently lives in Indianapolis Colts territory.

Fandom is fandom, and it shouldn't be tempered, dismissed, or overturned because of working conditions. The idea of community and territory has been just about shot to hell because of the presence of cable TV and the Internet -- witness LeBron James growing up a Yankees and Cowboys fan while living in Akron, Ohio -- but regional rivalries die hard. For Durant to take to this sort of (admittedly, silly) back and forth after just one year at Texas is kind of cool.

And, to echo Mayberry's thoughts, for him to stick to his horns, so to speak, is fantastic. This is a star in need of some edge, and in an era where tattoos can't even raise our ire, we'll take what we can get -- 140 characters at a time.

Hook 'em, KD.

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