The star of last year's Orange Bowl, Oklahoma's Sooner Schooner, will have to remain on the sidelines tonight.
The Sooner Schooner, a covered wagon pulled by two ponies, Boomer and Sooner, traditionally darts across the field after every Oklahoma touchdown.
In last year's game, the Sooner Schooner went darting across the field after an Oklahoma field goal, its drivers not realizing that the field goal had been nullified by a 10-yard penalty against the Sooners. That cost the Sooners an additional 15 yards for unhorsemanlike contact.
Oklahoma tried the field goal again from 25 yards farther away and missed. The Sooners, trailing 14-7 at the time, eventually lost, 28-17, to Washington.
On Tuesday, Orange Bowl officials informed Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer that the Sooner Schooner won't be allowed onto the field, even after Oklahoma scores that count.
"We've had that Sooner Schooner on the field for 14 years, but we won't be doing it Wednesday night," said Switzer, who wasn't pleased by the ruling. "I'll have to give those ponies a scouting report."
Oddly enough, supporting Switzer's argument was Penn State Coach Joe Paterno.
"I had nothing to do with keeping it off the field," he said. "I think it adds color and excitement to the game. I'd like to see Barry on one of those Shetlands."
The hottest-selling poster at the Orange Bowl is "Miami Nice," which shows Paterno leaning against a palm tree, with the Atlantic Ocean in the background, and juggling oranges. He's wearing sunglasses, an aqua T-shirt and a white blazer, a la Don Johnson of "Miami Vice."
According to Greg Woodman, president of Happy Valley Promotions, 6% of the proceeds from the poster and related T-shirts go to the Joe Paterno Library Endowment.
For $3, you also can buy a record in University Park, Pa., called "Joe Pa." It's a song about Paterno, set to the calypso beat of "The Banana Boat Song."
A sub shop in University Park sells a "Sloppy Joe Pa" sandwich, which has salami, provolone cheese, french fries and coleslaw on Italian bread.