'Horns Down' is Chehkov's Gun and It Will Be Fired

'Horns Down' is Chehkov's Gun and It Will Be Fired


'Horns Down' is Chehkov's Gun and It Will Be Fired


It’s conference championship week and the most intriguing story everyone is watching is — checks notes — how the Horns Down gesture will be handled by Big 12 officials should an Oklahoma player choose to flash it against Texas.

Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said Tuesday on his coach’s show that he’d been informed his players couldn’t do it. The implication being that it would result in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as it did twice when West Virginia played the Longhorns. But the plot thickens thanks to some reporting from Ryan Aber of NewsOk.com

Oh yes, no reason to get clarification here. Definitely a good idea to make the adjudication as subjective as possible. What could go wrong besides potentially costing Oklahoma a spot in the College Football Playoff?

Bottom line here: Horns Up is silly. Horns Down is silly. Anyone with a modicum of common sense would realize that there needs to a uniform application here. Either both teams can riff on it or no one can. That’s the simplest solution.

Having said all that, let me completely contradict myself. Horns Up and Horns Down aren’t the same thing. One is done to celebrate and build up one’s self, the other is about tearing down and mocking an opponent. Horns Down is taunting, by definition. Opposing teams could, you know, just not do it.

That’s obviously too much to ask. Everything must be fair and one kid can’t let another kid have any candy without asking for candy himself. A big red button that says “don’t press” must be pressed.

I am sincerely looking forward to there being no firm resolution before Saturday’s game and then the policy being tested after one of Oklahoma’s seven or eight touchdowns. Horns Down is Chekhov’s Gun. It must be flashed and the shots fired.