Bob Barry Sr. was as graceful as it gets

by Jenni Carlson Published: October 31, 2011

One of the last times that I saw Bob Barry Sr., he was behind a microphone.

No surprise there.

The man spent five-plus decades calling games on the radio, bringing football and basketball games to life for Sooner and Cowboy fans alike.

But on this day, he was doing an introduction at a banquet. While I don't remember the intro or even who was being introduced, I clearly remember marveling the ease with which Barry engaged the crowd. He told jokes. He chuckled. He even poked fun at himself.

That grace was Barry's calling card.

At a time when all of Oklahoma mourns Barry — he died Saturday at the age of 80 — many will remember his signature calls and his broadcasting legacy. But nothing was more synonymous with Barry than his grace.

Want to know how to handle criticism, even the most public of opinions? Want to know how to stomach knocks, both fair and unfair?

Bob Barry showed us.

He was one of the most beloved and most criticized figures on our state's sports landscape for the last decade or so of his career. Many couldn't imagine a broadcast without him while others couldn't wait for one.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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