Berry Tramel
Sports Columnist

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, the Oklahoma City Times, the Norman Transcript and the Oklahoma Journal — and entered the newspaper business at the age of 17, with the Transcript in 1978. His first game assignment was the Lexington-Elmore City high school football game, and he has enjoyed the journey ever since, from high school wrestling duals and regional track meets to Orange Bowls and the NBA playoffs.

Tramel was born and raised in Norman, Okla. He and his wife, Tricia, were married in 1980 and live in Norman near their daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters.

  • Emergency fill-in at Alamo Bowl put Lincoln Riley on Stoops' radar

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Sat, Jun 27, 2015

    The 2009 Alamo Bowl wasn’t the most conducive environment for success. Not if you were in Texas Tech red. Remember the old George Costanza line, “the sea was rough that day, my friend”? Well, on Jan. 2, 2010, the stadium was rough. Tech had suspended coach Mike Leach, and the Alamodome brewed with discontent. Leach’s staff backed him. So did Tech fans, who held up “Team Leach” signs. But Tech players weren’t so supportive, many indicating they were on the side of teammate Adam James, whose treatment by Leach led to the suspension. Amidst the turmoil, a funny thing happened. The old Texas Tech offense broke out. The Red Raiders, who weren’t having a glorious season, beat Michigan State 41-31. And

  • Bob Barry Jr. stories will help a hurting state

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    It’s been a rough week. We lost Bob Barry Jr., someone we all knew and seemed like always was part of our lives. The memorial service Friday at Crossings Community Church was historic. The biggest funeral most of us could remember. More dignitaries than empty seats. The Barry family designed a service dedicated to laughter and good memories. Mission accomplished. It’s just what Oklahomans needed. The tonic for BBJ’s family is not so simple, but hopefully the stories helped. High school teammate Greg Blackburn told of BBJ streaking story through Norman’s Central Junior High in 1973, and if you don’t know what streaking is, ask your parents. Don’t google it.

  • Tramel: After 49 years, Channel 4 will never be the same

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    In 1966, the Braves were in Milwaukee, the Marines were in Vietnam and the Beatles were in mop-tops. In 1966, Jim Mackenzie coached the Sooners. Phil Cutchin coached the Cowboys. Eddie Sutton coached Southern Idaho Junior College. In 1966, Channel 4 hired Bob Barry. And for 49 years, a Bob Barry, Senior or Junior, delivered the nightly sports into Oklahoma homes. Until last weekend, when Bob Barry Jr. was killed in a motor scooter crash. Gone too young, at age 58. News changes. Television changes. Viewers change. But some things stayed the same. For half a century, Channel 4 had an iconic Bob Barry reporting sports. Channel 4 has changed call letters more often (twice) than it’s changed sports directors

  • Tramel: Big 12, Bedlam rivals could be helped by backloaded football schedule

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    College football’s roving capital settled in the Magnolia State last October. Mississippi State was ranked No. 1 the week of Oct. 21; Ole Miss was ranked No. 3. Both were unbeaten and untied, and dreams of an Egg Bowl showdown for national supremacy spread from Biloxi to Tupelo. It was a mirage, of course. By season’s end, neither Mississippi squad was in the top 10; Mississippi State was a 15-point loser to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, and Ole Miss was a 39-point loser to TCU in the Peach Bowl. They combined for seven defeats. But for a precious few weeks, the autumn cathedrals of Mississippi shone brightest. The same could happen in Oklahoma this October. The Big 12 schedule has been backloaded. All the

  • Big 12 football traditions rounding into shape

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    After the chaos caused by conference realignment, the annual Big 12 football schedule is starting to take shape. I wrote about the 2015 conference schedule for the Wednesday Oklahoman, which you can read here. But part of the '15 schedule is some games that have taken root in various spots on the calendar. Bedlam, for example. For many years, Bedlam was not an end-of-season staple. But as the OU-Nebraska series died, and OSU improved, and Bedlam got so much more important, the Bedlam has migrated to the end of the season. Bedlam this season will be played Nov. 28, which is Thanksgiving Saturday. It's the 11th straight year Bedlam will be played on Thanksgiving Saturday or the first Saturday of December.

  • Vegas believes OU will win more than OSU

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Do you think the Sooners will go at least 9-3? Or do you think 8-4 is their upside? Do you think the Cowboys will go 7-5, or can they get to at least 8-4? Those are the kinds of decisions to be made if you want to bet in Las Vegas on the win totals of college football teams this season. CG Technology this week became the first Nevada sportsbook to release college football win totals, based purely on the regular season (no championship games count). Now remember, remember the truth about Vegas: Oddsmakers are not predicting anything about the teams listed. They are predicting how the American betting public will react. In other words, they are guessing how fans think. Which explains why OU has a higher over/under

  • Fans came to know the real Bob Barry Jr.

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Condolences flooded me Sunday. A man at church, wanting to give me a hug. Texts from family and friends, saying they were thinking of me. A minister from California, saying he was praying for me in my time of loss. Sort of stunned me. I first came across Bob Barry Jr. 40 years ago and knew him well the last 25, until his death Saturday night in a horrific motorcycle crash. But the sadness we feel in the sports fraternity can’t compare to the anguish his family feels. Or even his Channel 4 colleagues feel, considering he’s been at KFOR-TV for 33 years and worked alongside many of them for decades. But I think I understand the outpouring of sympathy even to those of us working in the same field as BBJ. The condolences from

  • Tramel: Ranking the 75 Big 12 football games of 2015

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Mon, Jun 15, 2015

    Ranking all 75 Big 12 games in 2015, based on projected importance: 1. Baylor at TCU, Nov. 27: Step aside, Nebraska-Colorado and Texas A&M-Texas. This game harkens back to OU-Nebraska as a Thanksgiving Friday showdown. 2. TCU at OSU, Nov. 7: Switching home game years with Texas A&M in 2011 still paying off for Cowboys, who otherwise would be in Fort Worth this season. 3. Baylor at OSU, Nov. 21: Bears haven’t come within 27 points of victory in Stillwater since 1998. 4. TCU at OU, Nov. 21: Sooners’ best hope for a statement game, but Horned Frogs always play well in Norman. I repeat. Always. 5. Texas at Notre Dame, Sept. 5: Wow, what an opener. Would be a great win for the Big 12. 6. OU at OSU, Nov.

  • Can Notre Dame win without relaxing its academic standards?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Jun 12, 2015

    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has admitted that “all” of his players are at-risk academically. All. That’s an amazing confession for a school that prides itself on academics and has endured a recent academic scandal with its football team. Kelly told Notre Dame Insider that “we recognized that all of my football players are at-risk […]

  • TCU, Oklahoma State rank 1-2 in Big 12 quarterbacking

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 9, 2015

    The Big 12 once was a quarterback-heavy league. Sam Bradford, Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy, Graham Harrell, Chase Daniel, Brandon Weeden, Landry Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Josh Freeman. All were Big 12 quarterbacks in a four-year span from 2008 through 2011. Since then, Big 12 quarterbacking has slacked, and teams with green but promising QBs, like […]

  • Quarterback mystery is paramount in the minds of Sooner Nation

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    Natural curiosity. But the answer will not determine the Sooners’ fortunes in 2015. The key to OU football this season is not who, but how. Move the w to the back of the word. How will the quarterback play, no matter who it is?

  • Why the (underrated) Warriors will win the NBA Finals

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    WE PICK'EM -- Jenni Carlson and Berry Tramel make their picks for everything from the NBA Finals to the next Iowa State coach. And even figure out who's the best coach in college football.

  • Tramel: Adrian Peterson looks bad but isn't all wrong

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jun 2, 2015

    Adrian Peterson has reported to the Minnesota Vikings, and he did what most NFL players do. Backed down. Peterson talked tough in the winter, when he said the Vikings had not supported him during his legal troubles last September, when he was charged with injuring his child, and that his family was not crazy about staying in […]

  • Can you believe it? Sherri Coale is 50 years old

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, May 29, 2015

    Toby Rowland, OU’s radio voice, has a tradition at Sooner Caravan stops. When athletes are part of the program, usually in Dallas and Tulsa, Rowland has a standard question. Tell us an embarrassing story about your coach. The answers often are funny, though not necessarily insightful. Usually something about their awful dance moves in locker […]

  • Sooner football giving a different vibe compared to this time last year

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, May 28, 2015

    Last summer, expectations soared after an 11-2 season and a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama. This summer, expectations sag, after an 8-5 season and two 34-point defeats.

  • Tramel: Why Gregg Popovich is a basketball coach, not a pilot

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    I received an email this week from Wayne Baughman, the wrestling icon who was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. Baughman went to John Marshall High School, then was an NCAA individual champion at OU and a member of two NCAA title teams for the Sooners. Baughman is the only wrestler […]

  • College football: Why Virginia has the best schedule in the nation and North Carolina State the worst

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Sat, May 23, 2015

    Only one Big 12 team cracks Berry Tramel’s top 25 college football schedules.

  • Former OU All-American offensive tackle Eddie Foster was the rarest of football heroes

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, May 21, 2015

    Foster was known more for his family — five high-achieving, high-character kids — and his Christian walk and his love of people than for gridiron greatness.

  • OU football: Were Keith Ford and other recent departures addition by subtraction or a troubling trend?

    From The Oklahoman Staff | Updated: Wed, May 20, 2015

    PRESS ROW -- The Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson weigh in on recent OU player departures, the Thunder's NBA Draft position, Russell Westbrook's NBA Lottery outfit, favorite rainy day activities and the Big 12 baseball tournament's move to Tulsa.

  • Can Keith Ford still make the NFL?

    Berry Tramel | Published: Thu, May 14, 2015

    OU tailback Keith Ford has transferred, and that’s not the least bit surprising. Truth is, I thought that was already a done deal with the announced suspension from the spring. The Sooners have plenty of tailbacks, it seems, but Ford was a ballplayer. Outside of those pesky fumbles, Ford appeared to be a big-time tailback. […]

Berry Tramel Today at 1:00 PM Did Kevin Durant make NBA players think twice about one-year contracts LINK
Berry Tramel Today at 9:54 AM How does Kyle Singler compare with Perry Jones III? LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 03:21:19 PM CST Are college basketball jobs more stable than college football? LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 01:08:40 PM CST NBA free agency: The next two summers will be even more wild LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 11:02:15 AM CST What did Enes Kanter say and what did he mean? LINK
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 01 2015 08:55:07 AM CST Who was the final draft pick of the Seattle SuperSonics? LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 05:05:23 PM CST NBA free agency: Ranking the available big men LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 05:05:22 PM CST Commentary: OKC Thunder should be able to keep Enes Kanter, but at a hefty price LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 04:53:33 PM CST Tom Osborne agrees: 13th game matters LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 01:13:48 PM CST Who has replaced Donald Sterling as the NBA's worst owner? LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 08:33:47 AM CST Thunder's worst-case scenario for LaMarcus Aldridge LINK
Berry Tramel Tue, Jun. 30 2015 08:33:46 AM CST Toronto could be attractive destination for NBA free agents LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 04:25:00 PM CST Time for Thunder to use retired Sonic numbers LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:55:43 AM CST Cam Payne: What kind of basketball place is Murray State? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:55:43 AM CST NBA offseason: Does the Heat have the Southeast Division's worst talent? LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:55:42 AM CST Put Pete Rose in Cooperstown, just not in the Hall of Fame LINK
Berry Tramel Mon, Jun. 29 2015 10:10:43 AM CST Tramel: I think we're going to like new OKC Thunder coach Billy Donovan just fine LINK
Berry Tramel Sun, Jun. 28 2015 08:03:19 PM CST Commentary: I think we're going to like new OKC Thunder coach Billy Donovan just fine LINK
Berry Tramel Sat, Jun. 27 2015 06:24:48 PM CST Emergency fill-in at Alamo Bowl put Lincoln Riley on Stoops' radar LINK
Berry Tramel Fri, Jun. 26 2015 08:25:23 PM CST Bob Barry Jr. stories will help a hurting state LINK