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Berry Tramel answers emails on Bedlam Behaving Badly, officiating

by Berry Tramel Modified: December 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm •  Published: December 13, 2013

Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland's (26) 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage was called back due to a holding penalty against OSU wide receiver Charlie Moore. The play was one of many what-ifs in Bedlam. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland's (26) 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage was called back due to a holding penalty against OSU wide receiver Charlie Moore. The play was one of many what-ifs in Bedlam. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

The weekly emails are in. I’ll split them up. I’ll run some responses from my Bedlam Behaving Badly column and people griping about officiating. Later in the day, I’ll post emails on the Bedlam game in general and Mack Brown and whatever else.


Jim: “I am in no way saying that refs cost us the game. I can list a dozen things we did to ourselves to hand them a win. The most painful being the interception that wasn’t, Gilbert could have defined his career and his place in OSU Bedlam lore instead of OU Bedlam lore). But you have to understand how jinxed we feel in Bedlam. The hold … the block in the back …the sideline interference call/nocall. Three important plays that all went in OU’s favor. Tell me we don’t feel jinxed. We are incredulous at what happens every year. It is like being a knock out victim, sucker punched.  It is hard to watch those things that don’t happen to you all year, but happen in Bedlam. Another thing that involves the refs in the press box.  No doubt Gundy choked by not using his timeouts on the last drive to gather his troops, not to mention for checking the beyond the line of scrimmage throw and the Gilbert muff.  But why does he have to?  Do your job in the pressbox!  Good night, that was an important time in the game! Review them! The point I’m trying to make is that none of the questions I am raising happened negatively to  OU.  In that game they got EVERY ref decision that mattered their way. How does an Aggie like me not feel jinxed? You don’t even want to ever play a Bedlam game again.  I am ready to be like Texas A&M and not have to deal with stuff like that ever again in a rival game.”

I can sympathize. But there were some iffy calls against OU. A bad spot on a Saunders catch, Bell’s first throw of the game, that forced a punt. They even reviewed it and didn’t overturn it. But I realize, OSU had to feel snakebit by the officiating Saturday.

Jeff: “What a game for OU. Got a question, twice it appeared OU got jobbed on where officials spotted the ball even after a review. First one they reviewed if it was a catch. It was obviously a first down, but officials didn’t give it to them. Could Stoops have been allowed to challenge the spot of the ball? Sure appeared OU had first downs on both plays, especially the first one. That one play, Bell to Saunders, was reviewed. So there’s no reason to challenge.”

Sure, you can challenge the spot. And everyone feels jobbed.

William: “I am a college graduate, a retired business executive and I am a rational person.  I held OSU season tickets for 12 years or so and finally tired of college sports mostly because of horrid officiating and I mean every word of that.  I felt cheated, and to walk away (protest with my feet) was the only way I could reasonably handle the situation.  THREE times now, I have seen such disgraceful officiating which favored OU in Bedlam football and I meant BAD, BAD, BAD. The latest fiasco occurred Saturday.  I usually watch the game with my TV on mute, listen to Cowboy radio and then go back to re-watch and listen to the TV version at a later date.  Cowboy radio was upset over these punt return non-calls at halftime and over the fact that they thought OU had gotten ‘every 50-50’ call at that point.  It is rare indeed for them to comment on the officiating.   Well there was more to come as we well know, i.e. the Gilbert interception issue and the failure to booth review this very controversial play.  As badly as we played, we still deserved to win had this and the below clip been properly handled.  Some of your media friends have tried to bury such officiating in the past and that only makes matters worse.  Only the media can air this out to the degree that something gets done about it.”

You may be a college grad, and a retired businessman, but you’re not rational. Conspiracy theories don’t hold water. Never have. If anyone really believed the games were crooked, or that the officiating was so awful that the games were not legit, they would indeed walk away, instead of just listening to your team’s radio crew comment on the calls.

Gerry: “Why didn’t they review the OSU interception in the final minute? It appears Gilbert made the interception and the officials blew the call. Also, prior to the fake field goal, Brannon Green’s drop in the end zone was due to targeting. Check the replay…the officials blew that call.”

I don’t know why the replay official didn’t call for a review. But Gundy screwed up. No doubt about it. He should have called timeout to have it looked at. However, I think it was incomplete. Gilbert didn’t control it upon hitting the ground. So I think it was a good call. And I don’t agree on the targeting. Daytawion Lowe hit Green with his arms and not in the head.


Jerry: “Really enjoyed your Bedlam Behaving Badly commentary.  I agree the rabid behavior is on both sides.  However, don’t you think the media has been fanning the flames a little with their endorsement of the Cowboys as a program on the rise and the Sooners in decline?  Gundy, the dancing players coach, vs. the older guy who has apparently lost his big game touch. Ten and a half point underdogs was a stretch in a Bedlam game where OSU had only won once in a decade or so.  No wonder the Sooners players appeared to have taken it personally.”

No, I don’t think we endorsed the Cowboys excessively. No one from Oklahoma had one piece of influence on the point spread. That was set by Vegas, in anticipation of how American voters would bet. As for the equality of the programs, OU seems to always win, yet over the last five years, OU and OSU have the same Big 12 record.

Van: “Thank you for your article showing both sides need to cool it.  Bob Stoops is a class guy but Mikey is worse than Les ever thought about being.  Thanks again for showing it is both ways.”

Mike Stoops does draw the ire of OSU fans, much like Miles angered Sooner Nation. Bob Stoops and Gundy seem to not really inflame the passions so much.

Mack: “I was sitting in the OU band in 1960 game when Ruf-Neks ran out on field and gave the high sign to OSU folks.  Not only did their shotguns get broke, so did some heads. Over 100 folks had stitches later that day. This stuff lately is not new and the reason I am now an OSU fan. After the ’88 game, OU drunks followed me and my wife to our car pelting us with oranges. Hard to have a positive a positive view of OU fans, and their players are being taught to be that way.”

The truth is, both schools – all schools, I’d venture – have their share of knuckleheads. Also, neither school is as interested in sportsmanship as they claim to be. Like most schools, for home games, they place their students behind the opposing bench, because students are more likely to harass the visitors.

Mickey: “When I was at OU, it was a foregone conclusion they would beat Oklahoma A&M.  That was back in the days it was “OU and the Seven Dwarfs.”  One wag sportswriter voted OU #1 and the OU alternate team #2 in the nation.  He was not far from wrong. My beef with OSU is the fans.  I was attending a game where OSU was playing Tulsa at Tulsa in the ‘70s.  The stadium announcer was giving halftime scores, and OU was trailing Nebraska by two touchdowns.  The damn OSU fans cheered en mass at the top of their lungs. I regarded them as traitors to the state of Oklahoma.  I always cheered for OSU except for when they were playing an in-state team. I like the players and the coaching staff, but screw the fans!”

Well, good. We’ve established that both teams’ fans stink.

Jane: “My husband  my husband Joe captures the spirit of the rivalry(ies) perfectly. OU fans feel the BEST when we beat Texas. We feel the WORST when we lose to OSU!”

Well, maybe. I don’t know. Like I said. I’ve never seen the Sooners celebrate with as much revelry as I saw Saturday.

Eddie: “Seriously, why were the OU players taunting the OSU student section after the game?  Did you forget that two years ago, several OU players were trying to disrupt the entrance of the OSU players before the game.  Some OU coaches had to pull them away! Surprising or new?”

Sure, I remember that. If you’re saying that the Sooners aren’t a bunch of choirboys, I agree. But taunts go both ways. OSU has made Boone Pickens Stadium a tough place to play, and that’s helped the Cowboys. But what goes around comes around. If you’re going to give it, you’ve got to take it. If OSU had won, and it dang near did, the taunts would have been hurled at the Sooners walking off the field. So people always are going to talk. What CANNOT happen is players  going into the stands or fans throwing things onto the field. That’s where the line is drawn.

Greg: “A wild game on Saturday, huh? it was a good game. Too bad it got ugly at the end. Can you lose tickets if you are caught throwing things on the field?  I was thinking you did at OU.  Didn’t know if OSU had the same rules on that stuff or not.  I am sure they problem do. What makes people do that?  It is just kids.  it isn’t the end of the world when your team loses.”

The people throwing the snowballs were probably just students, too. Not that that makes it OK.

Tim: “If you show no class, after an emotional win, by celebrating and taunting in front of the student section, expect to get hit with some snowballs.”

Put the students right behind the visiting bench, and expect to see celebrations in front of the students.

Joy: “I read your knock on the OSU students for throwing snowballs at the OU players at the end of the game. Please look at the picture on the front page of the same OKC paper.  It clearly shows the OU players taunting our students.  You can see the OSU players walking into the tunnel in the background, so the game is over.  The OU player has his helmet off and is yelling at our students.  The players are all facing our students and carrying him over to them to taunt them more.  I’m sure he was not yelling nice things.  I understand they were excited, but to congregate in front of our fans instead of their own and taunt us is just begging for us to do something.  I get so tired of being painted as the mean horrible fans to their wonderful ones.  They continually taunt and push and prod until we do or say something totally out of our character and then point at us and say how horrible we are.  This happens all the time.  I am a huge OSU fan and put up with this from OU fans on a near daily basis.  Please do not paint us as horrible when we have been pushed into reacting.  I think the students showed great restraint in only throwing snow and not something else. Did you also say that maybe just possibly the OU players should not have taunted us?  No, they were just being happy. Right? It is the OSU fans who are horrible. Be fair please.”

I’ll do my best.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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