OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As former Oklahoma team head coach Lincoln Riley leaves OU, one man feels another turmoil and confusion. It all eventually led to the hashtag #SmokerGate. It’s all about high end steak, and we’re not talking about football.
Travis Davidson is just a helping guy. He owned three Tulsa restaurants and would go to Riley’s house with his barrel smokers and help recruits by smoking tomahawk steak. When Riley left, however, it became a full push by fans to bring them back.
“It was very wild,” Davidson said.
A lifelong OU fan, Davidson lived up to his dream of participating in OU football.
“I said, ‘Dude, this is great, we’ll come back and do events; This is great,” he said.
That is until Riley leaves for the sunny skies and sandy beaches of Southern California.
“I tweeted, ‘Well, guess I have to go find my smokers,’” Davidson said.
Add to his efforts to do so later. It all started when Davidson contacted the OU’s hiring director. He started getting involved in some things with the football program, such as recruiting. That eventually led to him smoking 40 tomahawk steaks for OU’s ChampU grilling staff recruitment event at Riley’s house.
“I said, ‘Dude, you serve these kids one of these things, then they’ll sign the dot,’ Davidson said.
Thinking he would continue to need his help, Travis left two of the smokers behind after another recruiting event at Riley’s newest home.
“I don’t want to drag our catering smokers up there from Tulsa for a short time or something like that,” he said.
But shortly after Bedlam died, Riley was gone and Davidson’s smokers remained at his home.
“I don’t know who to contact because I don’t know anyone who has a job,” he said.
He didn’t know what to do, but he eventually landed a rental agent on the house. That agent had to confirm that the smokers were even there.
“Oh no,” Davidson said. “Definitely he doesn’t just enjoy shipping them to LA or stuff like that.”
Confirmation has arrived and smoker rehabilitation has been performed. Davidson also began tweeting about the experience.
“People just started jumping into it,” he said.
The entire OU fan base was on board. #SmokerGate started trending on Twitter. Davidson and a friend of his went to see the rental agent at the house, but it didn’t really go well.
“They don’t let me near the house,” he said. “I think they thought I was going to have this angry mob. ‘Guys, I’m not a threat. I just want my smokers. ‘”
Another ended up having to pick up smokers and take them to Davidson and his friends at the front of the gated neighborhood. SmokerGate came to a peaceful resolution and the news spread quickly.
“People were driving past and they were like, ‘Yes, you brought the smokers back! Smokers must go! ‘ It was funny,” said Davidson. “It eventually becomes a kind of fun distraction.”
Now, the search for a coach has ended with the hire of Brent Venables. Davidson said fans can now move forward with a new era of Oklahoma football and his smokers.
“That unity, keep moving forward with it,” he said. “Support new people, have a reason to hire them, and get ready for some good years to come.”
Davidson said there was a time when he feared he would never get them back because the rental agent couldn’t find them. Once things calmed down after recruiting Venables, Davidson said he could be contacted to see if he could re-engage.
https://kfor.com/news/local/mans-smokers-left-at-lincoln-rileys-home-after-riley-left-university-of-oklahoma-his-social-media-documented-quest-to-retrieve-them/ his socially recognized mission is to bring them back