Who is 'OU Nana?' How Sooners superfan Patti Gunter always brings 'the energy' at WCWS

As the first pitch of the Women's College World Series championship finals between OU and Texas was thrown on Wednesday, fans at Devon Park settled into their seats.

But not Patti Gunter.

The Sooners superfan, who's in her 70s, stood near the wall in left field, waving her arms in the air to get the crowd going. Gunter wore a crimson OU visor covered with player signatures and a white jersey decorated with pins. On the back read her nickname, "OU Nana."

Gunter brought the energy from the jump, and the Sooners fed off of it. Tiare Jennings launched a two-run homer over the wall in center field a few pitches later, kicking off what ultimately was an 8-3 win.

"I love it," Gunter said when asked about pumping up the crowd. "At my age, who's going to be running up and down like that?"

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Patti Gunter ‘OU Nana’ cheers in the stands during Game 1 of the WCWS championship series between OU and Texas on Wednesday night at Devon Park.
Patti Gunter ‘OU Nana’ cheers in the stands during Game 1 of the WCWS championship series between OU and Texas on Wednesday night at Devon Park.

Gunter is from Healdton, a small town just north of the Oklahoma-Texas border.

Gunter has been attending OU games since 1968 with her husband, Jerry, and she started going by her nickname last year because her four grandchildren call her Nana.

Football. Basketball. Baseball. Softball. Gunter is always in attendance for OU games. She even makes frequent appearances on the video board.

And for a major university with numerous superfans such as "Mr. OU" and "Señor OU," "OU Nana" is a treasured member of the Sooners' community.

"I love seeing her getting her shine," said former OU defensive back (1991-95) Maylon Wesley, who's a close friend of Gunter. "She deserves it. She's 1,000% behind OU, win, lose or draw. This is OU's No. 1 fan, no doubt, by far."

Gunter enjoys interacting with fellow fans at games, even if they don't support OU.

She sat next to a woman in a Texas T-shirt during the game on Wednesday. And despite being on different sides of the Red River Rivalry, the two could be seen chatting throughout the night.

"I want to make friends," Gunter said. "That's what it's about. ... I love everybody. Whoever is going to win is going to win. But hey, I hopes it my team."

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"OU Nana" is a fitting name for Gunter, who treats everyone with grandmotherly love.

Gunter even used to make brownies for the OU baseball and basketball teams, and she jokes that she has probably made over a million pieces for people throughout the years.

That caring nature comes naturally to Gunter. She spent 20 years with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is one of the largest labor unions in the country. Gunter also organized neighborhood associations for the city of OKC for five years and spent 17 years with the Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers local union.

"Being able to work at these different places, I've been able to help other people," Gunter said. "And I believe in helping other people. ... I've always had a passion for taking care of people."

Gunter and her husband now work for an auto dealership. The extra income helps them attend OU sporting events and even travel for some road games.

Gunter's OU fandom isn't limited to attending games, though. It extends to her home, which has a dedicated room that's essentially a museum of Sooners sports.

From football legends such as Billy Sims, Dewey Selmon and Roy Williams to basketball stars such as Blake Griffin, Gunter has countless pieces of autographed memorabilia. And it doesn't end there.

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"Cookbooks, crossword puzzles, toilet paper, salt shakers," Wesley said. "Anything OU related, you can come to her house right now, and she'll have it."

Gunter's love for OU has only intensified throughout the years, and her age hasn't slowed her down.

Gunter says the key to her youthful energy is the way she takes care of herself. She eats right. She doesn't smoke. She's active. She takes plenty of vitamins.

That last one is important for Gunter, who once told OU men's basketball head coach Porter Moser that his players needed to take the vitamins that she takes.

"I told (Moser), 'Vitamins B, C, D, E,'" Gunter said. "He goes, 'Oh my God, that's the alphabet.' And I said, 'No, I've got more.'"

Gunter says she's "living the dream," attending Sooners games.

She loves being a part of the OU family, and every family needs the support of a Nana.

"If the kids have got the energy, I've got the energy," Gunter said. "And when the kids show me they're out there playing with all of their heart, by golly, I'm right there with them."

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This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Sooners superfan Patti Gunter, 'OU Nana,' brings 'the energy' at WCWS