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Go by what Barry Switzer means and not what he says

Switzer has no filter. He says what’s on his mind. That’s not the same as saying what you really believe. Some of us sometimes talk without thinking, and Switzer does his share of that.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 9, 2014

photo - Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame member Barry Switzer at the banquet, Monday, August 5, 2013. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame member Barry Switzer at the banquet, Monday, August 5, 2013. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

Actually, there he goes again. Holieway and Lott couldn’t throw. Not by 21st century standards. Which brings us back to the genesis of Switzer’s pronouncement. Johnny Manziel.

If Switzer’s ‘bone remained alive in Oklahoma in 2010, would he have gone to Kerrville, Texas, trying to sign Johnny Football? Are you kidding me? Switzer would have pitched a tent on the Guadalupe River and gone after Manziel with the same passion he used on Holieway and Turner Gill.

Manziel would have made a monumental wishbone quarterback. And Switzer knows it.

Remember, Switzer got his butt in a sling on another recent radio show, this one in St. Louis, for calling Manziel an “arrogant little prick.” Switzer went on to say he didn’t like Manziel’s antics, particularly how Young John seemed willing to show up his coach, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.

But in that same interview, Switzer said of Manziel, “He's the best I've seen. I've never seen a quarterback in college football take control of a game like he does and put up the numbers he does. It's fantastic what he's done against good competition … he’s the most dominant, most dynamic college quarterback I've ever seen.”

So someone seriously thinks Switzer would bypass the “most dynamic” QB he’s ever seen, just because he’s white?

I ran into Switzer the other night at a Thunder game. Talking about those radio shows, he laughed so hard my sides hurt. Said people take him too seriously. Repeated his line after the only white quarterback he’d sign is one with black parents. Then he laughed some more.

Switzer has many faults. Racial insensitivity isn’t one of them. If we all talked about race as freely as does Switzer, the dialogue would be much more advanced in 2014 America.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

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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