'What happened?' How TikTok celeb James Droz got an invite to craft his next viral video at OU's Bedlam match – The Oklahoma Daily

James Droz, a Bartlesville native, was invited to Oklahoma’s matchup with Oklahoma State after going viral on TikTok. 
James Droz, a viral TikTok creator from Bartlesville, has nearly 700,000 followers and over 15 million likes.
James Droz, a viral TikTok creator, has nearly 700,000 followers and over 15 million likes. 
James Droz, a Bartlesville native, was invited to Oklahoma’s matchup with Oklahoma State after going viral on TikTok. 
James Droz, a viral TikTok creator from Bartlesville, typically spends his entire weekend watching football and making content for his nearly 700,000 followers.
But this Saturday, instead of watching from his room where he records the majority of his sports videos, he’ll be in Norman for Oklahoma’s 6:30 p.m. contest against in-state rival Oklahoma State — his two favorite teams.
I was like, ‘hey, James, what are you going to be doing this Saturday?” said Droz’s mother Susan Hainzinger. “And he was like, ‘I don’t know, watching football.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re watching football. In person, in Norman at Bedlam.’ He was like, ‘What, are you kidding me?’
On Saturday, Droz, who has Down syndrome and was a senior at Bartlesville High in 2021, will tour the university’s campus, watch the Sooners enter Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during Walk of Champions, hangout at Greek Row tailgates, and even go on Owen Field pregame.
And it’s all thanks to his large following, 15 million likes and his go-to catchphrase, “what happened?”
Anthony Rayburn, a 2020 OU graduate, became one of Droz’s most-compassionate fans during the Sooners’ season. Coping with the fact that the Sooners are having one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory, Rayburn and his friends referred to OU’s shortcomings as “getting Droz’d,” because of the TikToker’s famous videos after losses.
Droz’s videos are mostly after high-profile NFL and college football games, where he asks, “what happened?” to the team that lost. He just surpassed a year since his first post, and in January, it’ll be a year since his first viral video, where he added commentary on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the 2022 NFC Championship.
Once Rayburn realized Droz was from Bartlesville, just under three hours from Norman, he had a proposition.
“I’m big on Tiktok, I use it a lot,” Rayburn said. “As a sports fan, I was one of James’ biggest fans. I found out he was from Bartlesville, so that’s when I had the idea of, ‘hey, why not invite him to Norman because he likes OU and OSU?”
Once Rayburn made contact with Hainzinger on Nov. 10, she said she and Droz accepted the invitation instantly. Rayburn then reached out to Joe Castiglione Jr., the son of OU’s athletic director and his childhood friend and was approved for on-field passes for pregame.
His hope is to give back and “roll out the red carpet” for Droz, who has entertained him throughout a tough season for OU fans.
Among those amusing posts for Rayburn was Droz’s post after Southern California’s loss to Utah earlier this season. Droz poked at former OU coach Lincoln Riley, who’s disliked by many of Sooners fans for leaving the program after last season, and former quarterback Caleb Williams, who joined Riley in Los Angeles.
What happened USC
The TikTok, which has over 4.4 million views, features Droz saying “you’re not going to the playoffs this year” and “Lincoln Riley, it’s all your fault.”
“He studies this stuff,” Hainzinger said. “… I thought I was going to die (laughing) on his USC post about Lincoln Riley. It was hilarious.”
The USC video was easily Rayburn’s favorite, especially after the pain of watching Droz’s videos asking how OU lost some of its own games.
“It’s just something to look forward to every weekend,” he said. “Like every fan base and every team’s social media accounts are commenting on it, adding his voice to their sounds for TikToks. He’s just my favorite follow on TikTok.”
Hainzinger wasn’t certain which team Droz admired more, but she stated most of their family are OU fans. Still, he’ll at least pledge his allegiance to the Sooners on Saturday, most likely wearing his red “what happened” merch and accessories provided by Rayburn.
James Droz, a viral TikTok creator, has nearly 700,000 followers and over 15 million likes. 
Although Droz has yet to attend a college game, Hainzinger says he won’t hold back from cheering in his seat, and even calling out the referees if he thinks they’re making the wrong calls.
She never could have guessed social media would bring them to Bedlam, one of the most anticipated sporting events in the state.
“I think this will have a lasting impression on him and what he’s able to do going forward,” Hainzinger said. “You never know what your kids are going to do. … It’ll definitely be a memorable event for me and my family and all of our loved ones. I mean, how many people get invited to Bedlam because they’re TikTok famous? It’s crazy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for him.”
Droz has been watching sports since Hainzinger can remember, memorizing scores on the screen of whatever football game they were watching to learn his numbers when he was younger.
That led to Droz playing all sorts of sports growing up, like holding his own in soccer games, and even playing football throughout high school. He also scored a touchdown for Bartlesville last season in their final game of the season against Choctaw.
James Droz, a viral TikTok creator from Bartlesville, has nearly 700,000 followers and over 15 million likes.
Now, his fame takes him to Bedlam.
“We are getting to experience something that every special needs parent prayed for for their child,” Hainzinger said. “Honestly, it’s like living a dream. We’re getting to be a part of something that just doesn’t happen to normal kids, much less happen for special needs kids. And it’s an honor.”
The Sooners (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) are seeking bowl eligibility against their bitter in-state rival, No. 22 Oklahoma State (7-3, 4-3) that could go either way.
Rayburn, who’s hoping to deliver a day to remember for Droz, someone who has inspired him all season, is optimistic for an Oklahoma win, and a “what happened” TikTok directed at the Cowboys this time.
“I look at it as sort of a celebration of the football season, because there’s really nothing else to celebrate with this team,” Rayburn said. “He’s kind of the best thing that’s happened in college football this season, at least for me.”
Success! An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup.
Error! There was an error processing your request.
Austin Curtright is one of the Daily’s sports editors and covers football. He’s a senior journalism major and previously interned at the Tulsa World.
Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.
Your comment has been submitted.

There was a problem reporting this.
Log In
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *