As college football rivalries go, few can match the intensity of the ill will between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas. But even the most rabid fans in this football-obsessed city are shocked by the viciousness of a barroom fight between two men with opposing loyalties.
It all began on June 17, when Brian Thomas, 32, a Texas fan, entered Henry Hudson's Pub in Oklahoma City wearing a Texas burnt orange shirt. He immediately inflamed fellow bar patron Allen Beckett, 53, a government auditor and church deacon.
"My client just came in wearing a basic University of Texas T-shirt and was minding his own business," said Carl Hughes, Thomas' attorney. "(Beckett) had made some rude comments to my client and his date, so they then got up and sat across the bar."
The incident ended with Thomas heading for the hospital to receive more than 60 stitches after being nearly castrated, allegedly by the churchgoing Beckett.
The bartender noticed that Beckett, a regular in the establishment, appeared to be upset that day, Hughes said in an interview with ABC News. The bartender saw that Beckett had been taunting Thomas throughout the night and had been constantly signaling hand gestures toward Thomas and his date, according to Hughes.
"(Beckett) kept making hand gestures that were in the 'bring it on' fashion in the direction of my client," Hughes said. Thomas and his date decided they had had enough and got up to leave.
Beckett's attorney, Billy Bock, maintains that the razzing was all in good fun and his client was playfully teasing Thomas. Bock said his client alleges that Thomas had threatened him while in the bar.
"As (Thomas) and his date were leaving, he passed Allen and gave him a chest bump and said that he was going to kick his you-know-what a few times. My client was then placed in a headlock and acted in a manner that would ensure his security against a person who is younger and stronger than him," said Bock.
According to the police report, both men then fell to the ground and Thomas delivered blows to his assailant, who had a firm grip on his testicles.
"He just turned around and Beckett had grabbed his groin area to the point where his scrotum ripped," said Hughes. "He looked down at his white shorts and saw that they were stained with a lot of blood."
According to Hughes, Thomas quickly rushed to the men's bathroom, where his date, a registered ER nurse, was able to help stop the bleeding until Thomas was treated at nearby Baptist Hospital.
Trash talk and the violence that stems from it is no stranger to the Oklahoma-Texas rivalry. As fans from both schools assembled in Dallas for the 100th meeting of the two teams in 2005, 67 arrests were made during the pregame partying.
'Stupid Thing to Do'
"One thing I've noticed when I go down to Dallas for the game is that the trash talk worsens depending on how good your opposition's team is," said University of Oklahoma senior Brent Upham. "I guess that the older you get, tension starts piling up and you finally reach a tipping point, but assault is pretty ridiculous."
Oddly enough, Thomas' attorney, Carl Hughes, is an OU alumnus and does have some allegiance to his alma mater's team. But he called the situation way out of line.
"It was a stupid thing to do. I went to OU and come from a long line of OU graduates and to get so involved in a football team to do something like this is just plain stupid," Hughes said.
Officials at OU were understandably reluctant to comment on the attack.
"It would be inappropriate for us to comment as this is a situation that is for the courts to decide," said Catherine Bishop, a spokeswoman for the University of Oklahoma.
Beckett faces aggravated assault charges that could land him in prison for up to five years. He'll have a court hearing Oct. 4, two days before the Sooners and Longhorns meet at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.