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.

  • Will Tyrone Swoopes keep the quarterback job at Texas?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Fri, Jul 24, 2015

    The Texas Longhorns, as usual, have quarterback questions. Junior Tyrone Swoopes is being pushed by redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard. UT coach Charlie Strong was asked this week how good the Longhorns could be if they get good quarterback play. “I don't know what the number would be or what would happen, but not only with the quarterback, it's got to come from all positions,” Strong said. “You look at us on defense, we lost six key starters there.  So we're going to have to play really well on defense.  That's where it all starts at.” That’s the problem with the ‘Horns. They are rebuilding their defense while struggling to find offensive playmakers. That’s a

  • SoonerVision and all video boards make life better for the fans

    Berry Tramel,Berry Tramel Blog | Updated: Fri, Jul 24, 2015

    SoonerVision, led by Brandon Meier, has won a national award given by the Informat9ion Display and Entertainment Association. OU won the Best Overall Big Screen Display honor in the college division at the Golden Matrix Awards last week. Nothing surprising; SoonerVision does a great job not only with the stuff you see on the video boards football and basketball games, but also with the shows and events and films produced by Meier’s crew. But the award got me to thinking about fans. How much the game-day experience is so much better than it once was. I know. Kickoff times can be brutal, especially a run of those 11 a.m. jobbers. And yes, Akron and Tulsa are the first two OU home games; Central Arkansas and

  • An L.A. story that shows the Thunder's culture survived the storm

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Updated: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    COMMENTARY -- What's going on this week in Los Angeles is evidence the Oklahoma City Thunder culture hasn't been crippled by the passage of time or the anguish of a season from hell.

  • Bad luck part of Big 12 playoff omission

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    Big 12 football suffers from many self-inflicted wounds. Big 12 football also has suffered from plain ol’ bad luck. Much has been made of the Big 12’s omission from the first College Football Playoff last season, and we’ve spent many a moon trying to solve the conference’s problems. But here is some ammunition for the crowd preaching patience. In 2014, the Baylor/TCU entry from the Big 12 — each finished 11-1 and tied atop the Big 12 standings, but Baylor beat the Frogs 61-58 in Waco — was joined by four other contenders. All conference champions: 13-0 Florida State, 12-1 Ohio State, 12-1 Oregon and 12-1 Alabama. The Big 12 entry was nudged out primarily because it didn’t

  • Retaining divisional scheduling will help the Thunder

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league likely will do away with any automatic playoff qualification or seeding for division winners. As I’ve written, that’s fine, so long as you get rid of divisions. But it’s goofy to have divisions and no reward for division winners. Reminds me of a great scene from “The Wonder Years.” Kevin Arnold is paired in science class with some dorky girl, who sort of takes a shine to him and Kevin actually realizes she’s not so bad. But admitting that publicly would be the end days for young Kev socially. So he tells Margaret Fahrquar sure, they can be friends. They just can’t really talk on the phone. Or talk at school. Or act like they know each other. But

  • Dallas travelblog: Surviving the Arbuckles

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    The Dallas trip for Big 12 Media Days always is fun, mostly because it’s a signal that football season is near. A convention hotel keeping you from 100-degree heat is not exactly an exotic locale, but seeing old friends and talking some football always is good. I’ve been to Dallas so much over the years, I don’t have a lot to say for a travelblog, but Interstate 35 between Norman and Ardmore was interesting both going and coming. So I thought I would share: ARBUCKLE SLOWDOWN Most of you know by now the quagmire on I-35 just south of Davis, where part of the Arbuckle Mountains washed away and made driving perilous on the interstate. So the northbound lanes are closed, and the southbound lanes

  • Is Ty Lawson trade good for the Rockets?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    The Ty Lawson trade appears to make the tough Western Conference even tougher. The Rockets picked up a point guard who is just shy of all-star status. Sort of a Western Kyle Lowry. And all it cost Houston was sending the Nuggets some loose-change contracts. That’s just life in the West, where the good teams seem to get better by the off-season. And Lawson will indeed be a great addition to the Rockets — if he’s used correctly. Which means, coming off the bench. Playing Lawson 36 minutes a game would be just fine for the other elite teams in the West. Playing Lawson as a starter or starter minutes means Patrick Beverley goes to the bench. Beverley gives Houston a defensive presence that it

  • Baylor remains a holdout on a quality football schedule

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    Art Briles is sticking with his scheduling philosophy. Which means no games that Baylor possibly could lose in non-conference. The 2014 Bears went 11-1 but were bypassed for one of the four spots in the new College Football Playoff. Part of that was caused by Baylor’s non-conference schedule of SMU, Northwestern State of Louisiana and Buffalo. In 2015, Baylor plays SMU, Lamar and Rice. In 2016, Baylor has scheduled Northwestern State of Louisiana, SMU and Rice. “Truth be known, I think, if we'd have gone 12‑0, there's no doubt we're in there and we're rolling,” Briles said. “So that's something, if we win all our games, it takes care of itself.” That’s

  • OU football: Knight talks about Clemson cheerleader

    BY BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    “She’s a great girl,” Knight said. “Met her at the bowl game. We went to a concert together (a few months ago), then went out to DisneyWorld. Had a great time. She’s an awesome girl.”

  • Why did Bob Stoops ever leave his first love?

    By BERRY TRAMEL | Published: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Stoops has asked himself the same question. Little by little, the offense that Mike Leach brought to Middle America at Stoops’ behest in 1999 and came to be known as the Air Raid, floated far from Owen Field.

  • Is Central Michigan a landmine for OSU?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Mike Gundy never has been to Mount Pleasant, Mich. That changes the first week of September, when his Cowboys open the 2015 season with a game against Central Michigan. Does that conjure shades of Troy? The 2007 OSU team played at Troy, in Troy, Ala., and lost 41-23 on a Friday night game. The OSU-Central Michigan game is a Thursday night game, Sept. 3. “I’ve been to a lot of places in Michigan, and I've been there quite a bit since my family's from there, but I have not been to Mt. Pleasant,” Gundy said. Central Michigan is like Troy was: solid mid-major program, out-of-the-way spot. Mount Pleasant is in northern Michigan, about an hour north of Lansing.

  • Does cold weather impede Iowa State football?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Ames, Iowa, is the Big 12’s northern outpost. The wind whips and the temperature dips as the football season progresses. Does the weather impede Iowa State football in any way? Does the weather keep the Cyclones from using a certain type of offense that coach Paul Rhoads might prefer to deploy? I asked Rhoads that question Tuesday at Big 12 Football Media Days. And it was obvious that Rhoads had been asked that question before. Rhoads said you would think, on first thought, that there were limitations on what a team up north could do. But he says no. “This is certainly something that we sell in recruiting — we've averaged kickoff temperatures 62 degrees in the six years that we've been

  • OSU football: Cowboys coach Mike Gundy explains why he named Mason Rudolph starting QB

    BY BERRY TRAMEL Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    DALLAS — Mike Gundy was quick to name Mason Rudolph the Oklahoma State starting quarterback going into the 2015 season. Even before spring practice, Rudolph was crowned. Gundy says the way the 2014 season ended made the decision easy. “Each situation is different,” Gundy said Tuesday during Big 12 Football Media Days at the Omni Hotel. “We felt like it was best for our football team to name him the starter. His ability to lead, the toughness. Obviously, we had success at the latter part of the season with him.” Rudolph played solid in a 49-28 loss at Baylor, then quarterbacked OSU to a 38-35 overtime upset win at OU, followed by a 30-22 Cactus Bowl victory over Washington. That made Gundy convinced to name

  • Bob Stoops says Baker Mayfield has to know his own shoulder

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    OU quarterback Baker Mayfield has thrown so many football this summer, his shoulder got sore. And Bob Stoops says that’s on Baker Mayfield. “Baker's shoulder is healing just fine, just a little bit overworked, and that's where we had to have a talk that no one knows your shoulder but you,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “You have to monitor how often or how much you're throwing, and he's recovered really well from it. “He's back throwing the football now.  Of course, we're monitoring how much that is, but he'll be fine once we get into two‑a‑days, not expected to have any limitations.” Stoops said sophomore-to-be Cody Thomas also suffered from a sore

  • Don't expect Baylor offense to stand pat

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Baylor has a new offensive coordinator: Art Briles’ son, Kendall. Art Briles has a huge hand in his own offense, of course, but Art says new blood is important. Even if it’s his own blood. Kendall Briles was elevated in December after Philip Montgomery became the head coach at the University in Tulsa. “The transition to Kendall was kind of a natural transition,” Art Briles said Tuesday during Big 12 Media Days. “We didn't have a lot of time to get ready before the (Cotton) bowl game, with it looming about two weeks away at that time. Kendall's been around our system and our program ever since he could say mama. So he understands what we're doing, and that's critical, and it's important because we don't

  • No change in college football's ineligible receiver downfield rule

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    The college football rule for linemen being illegally downfield hasn’t been changed. Despite Big 12 support for a switch. Linemen can go as far as three yards beyond the line of scrimmage before a pass. Offensive coordinators have taken advantage of that rule with a variety of fake-handoff pass plays that paralyze defenses. Kansas State caught OU with such a play on Jake Waters’ 62-yard touchdown pass to Glenn Gronkowski last season in Norman. OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops complained that even when officiated correctly, the play compromises defenses, but that often, the linemen go beyond three yards.

  • Who will win the Big 12's undecided vote?

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    Like the school marm in a mining town, the Big 12 is quite popular these days. At least among a certain segment of college athletics. Not among fellow power conference schools. Not among the cool kids. But the programs trying to step up in class, the programs trying to get a seat at the grown-up table, clamor for an invitation to join a conference that consistently has stated it has no desire to expand.

  • Texas Tech has two QBs; do the Red Raiders have one good one?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 20, 2015

      Texas Tech figures to have a quarterback derby in August. Both Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb played well at times last season, and Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury isn’t ready to name a starter. Monday at Big 12 Media Days, Kingsbury was asked if he might have a quicker hook, knowing an accomplished backup is on the bench. “That’s a great question,” Kingsbury said. “It will be a feel situation … if we name a starter, we're going to ride with that guy knowing that we have a great insurance policy behind him, but I wouldn't expect a quick hook on whoever we name the starter.” Tech went 4-8 last season and is picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 race in 2015.

  • When will Bill Snyder retire?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 20, 2015

      When Bill Snyder was named head coach at Kansas State on Nov. 30, 1988, his fellow conference coaches were Barry Switzer, Pat Jones, Tom Osborne, Bill McCartney, Glen Mason and Jim Walden. Wood Widenhofer had stepped down at Missouri eight days earlier. Now it’s 2015, and Snyder still is coaching the Wildcats. To great success. K-State has 38 wins the last four years. Snyder turns 77 on Oct. 7. How long will he keep coaching? “I get asked some type of question like that quite frequently,” Snyder said Monday during Big 12 football media days. “When I retired (for three seasons in 2006), I missed football probably for about six months, and after that, I didn't.  I truly

  • Skyler Howard impressed as West Virginia quarteback

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    The Big 12 is not flush with proven quarterbacks in 2015. West Virginia had the effective Clint Trickett in 2014, but Trickett was hurt late in the season, and Skyler Howard took over. Howard, a junior from Fort Worth, Texas, is expected to take over the job this season. He played well down the stretch, throwing eight touchdown passes with no interceptions in his final three games. “I think the No. 1 thing that we got to talk about when it comes to the quarterback position is he's taking care of the football,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “He did play in 21/2 games last year and didn't throw a pick, had one fumble he learned a lesson from.  We're going to use our quarterbacks in

Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 09:13:33 PM CST Don't count out Trevor Knight yet; just look at Trevone Boykin
Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 04:26:25 PM CST Uetake pays tribute to Rodericks
Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 03:22:57 PM CST Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame cut short some great stories
Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 02:25:53 PM CST Steve Zabel formed friends for life playing football
Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 12:25:25 PM CST Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame notebook: Johnny Bench honored again
Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 12:25:25 PM CST THE GREATEST EVER: Japanese import Uetake honored by Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 12:11:09 PM CST Where were the Smith brothers' parents when anarchy reigned?
Berry Tramel Tue, Aug. 04 2015 10:37:20 AM CST Johnny Bench's career could have taken a different path
Berry Tramel Mon, Aug. 03 2015 04:45:59 PM CST Will the Thunder hire a female coach?
Berry Tramel Mon, Aug. 03 2015 01:36:41 PM CST Big Ten's new scheduling model further cripples Big 12's status
Berry Tramel Mon, Aug. 03 2015 12:22:39 PM CST Good news: College football starts a month from today
Berry Tramel Fri, Jul. 31 2015 03:04:23 PM CST 63 years ago today, Bill Greason made OKC history
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 30 2015 09:47:23 PM CST Why late OU football great Kurt Burris was The Boss
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 30 2015 08:19:23 PM CST Kurt Burris was The Boss
Berry Tramel Thu, Jul. 30 2015 10:05:19 AM CST Is Notre Dame gaming the system with no 13th game?
Berry Tramel Wed, Jul. 29 2015 08:49:57 AM CST Why Nebraska never will leave the Big Ten
Berry Tramel Tue, Jul. 28 2015 09:45:09 AM CST Would two five-team divisions work in the Big 12?
Berry Tramel Mon, Jul. 27 2015 10:36:04 AM CST Northwest Oklahoma travelblog: How I made it to Longdale
Berry Tramel Sun, Jul. 26 2015 06:48:41 PM CST With Henry Iba's help, Jumpin' Jack McCracken became a giant in the game
Berry Tramel Sat, Jul. 25 2015 05:16:45 PM CST Tramel: Diminished Big 12 scrambles to regain its status