Berry Tramel


Marcus Smart: An Oklahoma State fan changes his mind about our coverage

by Berry Tramel Modified: February 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm •  Published: February 12, 2014
A reader made an about-face on Berry Tramel's OSU critiques. Photo by KT King/The Oklahoman
A reader made an about-face on Berry Tramel's OSU critiques. Photo by KT King/The Oklahoman

I love my readers. That’s a literal statement. I love them. Love is a verb, which means it’s action, so I hope my actions show I love my readers. I try to make myself accessible. I try to answer all my emails, though I have to admit a couple of knuckleheads have been banned.

But this week, I got the most remarkable series of emails I’ve ever received. An OSU fan named Joe. He emailed me Monday morning about my Marcus Smart column. Then he emailed me Wednesday morning about my fans behaving badly column.

They were too rich not to share. So here you go.


“It is so sad and disheartening that the Daily Oklahoman is is so Anti-OSU, especially Barry Tramel. You make sure, especially Barry, that if an OSU thing – it be “Front-Page -News” and attack and bash our players and coaches and even last year called our coaches “dumbasses” on recruiting football players, and then if an OU athletic player or Coach does anything bad (like felonies) they are hidden and tucked away on page 18, and thats OK – because the Oklahoman owners are Pro OU and you all suck up to them this way, to make OSU look bad and OU look good !!

“If you had done your homework – you will find out what I did last year. Orr is a not a super-fan – he is a “SUPER-JERK” fan. Last year at the Big 12 Baseball Tournament at Bricktown, he heckled and yelled at our OSU Pitchers every game and called them “dumbass’s” and Yelled to our pitchers “Don’t throw the ball in the dirt – dumbass”, and did so for nine full innings of bashing as loud as he could. After the game I went over to him and said “You are the worst sport and you are the only “dumb-ass” and you should be ejected from the Tournament”. He told me to “F–k-Off” and I said I will meet you outside in the parking area – but the coward left another exit with his “dumbass friends”, from T-Tech. If you have any class at all – you will try to attack and bash “Orr” and his conduct as “unbecoming”. ORR should be the one to be “EJECTED” and punished. It ruins the spirit of the game for players and fans, alike. He does what he does because he knows he can get away with it year after year and he can demean and ruin their spirit and change the game outcome like this. He always gets seats within “ear-shod” of the teams. He rattled our pitcher so bad last year – he had to be taken out, when in actuality ORR should have been ejected from the entire tournament.

“Your comment “The shove seen round the world” is ridiculous. Your OU guys committing Felonies and others these past years are NOT seen around the World because you don’t cover or say anything or hide it in the back of the paper somewhere in small ink. Thats because you are in bed with the Oklahoman owners whom pay your salaries. I hope to GOD almighty OSU buys their OWN Newspaper and puts all you OSU prejudiced dumbasses out of a job. We would state the “Facts-Jack” and try to support him by saying that  “FANS” like ORR should be banned by the NCAA from attendance if they cannot contain their emotions and their BIG  UGLY MOUTHS !! Smart was pushed and provoked into what he did and he was wrong. But ORR started it and is a master at it and he should be banned for his mental problems and issues far surpassing and creating situations like this for all players. It should have read “SUPER-JERK FAN FINALLY SEEN FOR REAL AROUND THE WORLD”. You could hire this guy to help you, though, for dirty laundry on OSU. Thats your style. Print this if you dare – you have my permission.”

To his credit, Joe listed his name and even his year of OSU graduation and his military rank. I responded by telling him he sounded a lot like Jeff Orr to me. I didn’t try to correct him on calling OSU coaches dumbasses. We went back and forth a little, and I addressed him as “Jeff” every time.

Then I wrote the fans behaving badly column. And Joe sent me this email:


“Dear Barry: Thank you for your article today “Conference has shown No inclination to make FANS BEHAVE”. It was one of your best. And – “MEATHEAD JEFF ORR”. And – “The BIG 12 has shown no inclination to motivate fans to behave”. Yes – “raving lunatics” – those “Jeff Orrs”. and – “from belligerent physcho to contrite humanitarian” – I am still laughing. OMG!! He’s a ATC !! Lord help us. Yes – “we let it go in sports”. Your entire article just nailed it – and all the way. One of the best you have ever done. The reason is – I was so emotionally involved about this one – and you hit the nail on the head. Its about the fans being decent and letting the players show their true talents without attacks and bashing from the fans.

“Thank you for this awesome and amazing article. I apologize for the personal things I said to you. I did not handle that the right way. My frustration was with the “Jeff Orrs” and not really you. My anger and frustration is that no one (the NCAA or Referees) ejects fans for verbally offending players and the fans sitting around them. Smart was wrong – and “anger management” classes will help, but the “orr Fans” should not be allowed to remain in their attendance or banned from the game. Once someone makes an example out of one, especially ORR – (and his Tech buddies) – they may calm down and be semi-decent. They were at the BIG-12 baseball tournament last year at BrickTown, and after the OSU/Tech game I confronted Jeff Orr and told him he was the worst Sports Fan I have ever known in my 60 years of life. His heckling of our pitchers was relentless and very demeaning, which lasted all nine innings  – without stopping. He and his low-life fans from Tech laughed at me, and my friends pulled me away before I could throw my 64 ounze coca-cola in his fat face. In conclusion – I was wrong to blame and take it out on you, instead of ORR.

“You are a great reporter and one-of-the-best and I humbly apologize to you for the things I said, and I will work on myself to vent these things in a better way. You showed what a great reporter you are in todays article on Smart (Wed-12Feb2014). I believe you will make in a difference the way the conference handles “Orr fans” now and you sure exposed him for the jerk he is. He is not a “SUPER-FAN”, he is a “SUPER-JERK”. That being said: you Sir, are a SUPER-REPORTER”, and thank you for seeing all sides, and getting at the root of the issue. The Oklahoman should raise your pay to $500,000.00 per year !! – Joe.”

Wow. In two days, Joe went from my mortal enemy to my negotiating agent. From “prejudiced dumbass” to “super reporter.” It’s a remarkable transformation.

In all seriousness, it’s a great reminder that people care what we write and what we write about. It’s no small responsibility. I do love my readers, though in the name of full disclosure, I love the Wednesday Joe a tad more than the Monday Joe.

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...
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