Tradition is what's most charming about the peculiar sport of college football. The links to the past. Alums returning to campus. The rivalries. The memories of games when the world was young.
Some schools are blessed to have living monuments to their tradition, which Bob Barry Sr. was to the Sooners.
Barry died Saturday at the age of 80, about 10 months after calling his final OU football game.
Barry called the Sooner games of Bud Wilkinson and Kenny Stills. Barry was hand-picked by Wilkinson to become OU's radio voice in 1961; he called the Sooners from '61 through 1972, switched to Oklahoma State for 18 years and returned to OU in 1991.
“That's quite a sweep,” said OU historian Ed Frost. “Reminds me offhand of Harold Keith. That's a long time.”
Keith was OU's 39-year sports information director, 1930-69.
“It's special,” Frost said. “It's amazing. And I'd say it's pretty unusual. Of course, we have a lot of tradition, for at least the last 60 years. And Bob was in on most of that.”