Berry Tramel
Sports Columnist and Reporter

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.

  • Who deserved to get fired: Sam Hinkie or Phil Jackson?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Apr 7, 2016

    Sam Hinkie is out as the Philadelphia 76ers general manager, and no one is surprised. The Sixers are in the third straight year of not really trying to win — Philly is 10-68, after going 19-63 and 18-64 in Hinkie’s first two seasons running the 76ers — and when Jerry Colangelo was brought in as president of the organization earlier this season, it was clear Hinkie would not be long for the job. I need to make two things clear: 1) I like Sam Hinkie a lot. I like most people from western Oklahoma. I’ve written about Hinkie; he grew up in Marlow, went to OU and then embarked on the fast track in sports franchise management. 2) I abhorred Hinkie’s plan.

  • Can't let it slide: Jose Bautista incident shows how MLB is trying to limit rough play

    By Berry Tramel Columnist | Published: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    Tuesday night, Toronto’s Jose Bautista was ruled to have interfered with Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe on a slide. Upon replay review, the Rays were handed a game-ending double play and a 3-2 victory, from what had been a 4-3 deficit.

  • Travis Ford finds a soft landing spot at Saint Louis

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    I always thought Travis Ford would be a natural for the Western Kentucky basketball job. Located in his home state, where Ford remains an icon from his days as a Kentucky point guard. Located in the right part of the Commonwealth; Ford grew up in Madisonville, 86 miles from Bowling Green, Ky., where Western is located. The Western Kentucky job came open about the time Ford was fired from OSU in March. Western Kentucky is a good job. Good basketball tradition, good geography, good fit. But Ford got a

  • Mid-America Christian's Josh Gamblin on the fast track in coaching

    By Berry Tramel Columnist | Updated: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    At 27, Gamblin already has spent a season working for the Los Angeles Clippers, a season working for Lon Kruger and has brought the NAIA championship trophy to the school in southwest Oklahoma City, on 119th Street just east of Interstate 44.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    Want to talk OU, OSU and the Thunder? Join columnist Berry Tramel in the Power Lunch live chat at 11 a.m.

  • Villanova's title a bonanza for the Big East

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Apr 6, 2016

    We like to think of conference realignment through the Big 12 prism. From the departure of four schools for points all over America, to David Boren’s assertion that the Big 12 “psychologically disadvantaged,” we think of the Big 12 as the victim in conference realignment. And maybe it is. But it’s not the only victim. It’s not the biggest victim. The league that took the most hits in conference realignment was the Big East. Other leagues might have had more upheaval — Conference USA, for example — but no other league had the upheaval and the loss of prestige like the Big East. Think of it this way. The Big East not only lost a bunch of prominent schools, the

  • Villanova's offense was historically great

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    In a game for the ages, Villanova beat North Carolina 77-74 Monday night for the NCAA basketball championship. Does that take away any sting from OU’s historic, 95-51 loss to ‘Nova in the Saturday semifinals, the biggest blowout in Final Four history? Hard to see how. That 44-point shellacking will live long in Sooner memories and NCAA recordbooks. I came away from that game harder on the OU defense than the OU offense. Scoring just 51, or giving up a robust 95, is a sure way to lose in April. Doing both guarantees an epic defeat. But against Villanova, the Sooners shot just 31 percent while allowing 71 percent shooting. That 31 percent, while dismal, is a lot closer to the norm than the 71 percent. Until

  • Better season: OU football or OU basketball?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

      My pal Jake Trotter asked a great question last week while hosting a Sports Animal radio show. Who had the better season: OU football or OU basketball? It was a great debate. Lots of good points on both sides. And the truth was, no matter which side you settled on, basketball still was kicking and with some success in Houston for the Final Four could end all discussion. Of course, the Sooners encountered the ultimate opposite of success. A 95-51 blowout at the hands of Villanova, the most lopsided game in Final Four history. Does that change the debate? For the Tuesday Oklahoman, I wrote about the football/basketball relationship on the big stage and the perception that the Sooners always come up short.

  • Jay Wright: Villanova's title couldn't happen to a nicer guy

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    Villanova won the NCAA championship Monday night, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. That’s close to a literal statement. Villanova coach Jay Wright is high on the list of the best coaches to deal with and the list of seemingly decent people. Basketball coaches in general are much more down-to-Earth than football coaches. Football coaches play a game of thrones. Paranoid. Distrustful. Always on the outlook for someone trying to get them. Basketball coaches generally are not. Basketball coaches typically have a better world view. They typically acknowledge that there’s a big, wide, wonderful wide out there beyond their gridiron.

  • OU basketball: Welcome to the club

    By Berry Tramel Columnist | Updated: Mon, Apr 4, 2016

    OU indeed has a perception problem among masses both near and far.

  • Trevor Knight appears to be winning A&M quarterback job

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Apr 4, 2016

    Trevor Knight appears to be winning the Texas A&M quarterback job, though there was not a lot of separation between Knight and Jake Hubenak during the Aggies’ scrimmage Friday night. Knight, who transferred from OU in January and is eligible immediately as a graduate student, started the scrimmage. No A&M players or coaches were available to the media after the scrimmage. Hubenak originally was a walkon at OSU but transferred to Blinn Junior College, then went to A&M and started the Aggies’ Music City Bowl game against Louisville after A&M’s top two quarterbacks, Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray, transferred, the latter to OU.

  • Why Eddie Sutton didn't make the Hall of Fame

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Apr 4, 2016

    Eddie Sutton again was bypassed for the Basketball Hall of Fame, and Oklahomans again are outraged. But Sutton himself seemed to know that his candidacy was doomed, declining comment when he was named a Hall of Fame finalist during the NBA All-Star festivities. Sutton is in Kansas City’s College Basketball Hall of Fame, which is what really counts. Sutton is a college hoops icon and has been well-praised by that segment of the game. But the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., is a different animal. Look at it this way. What if we combined the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton with the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, with the added caveat that a strong international faction of football would need

  • Could Thunder be headed for Houston playoff series?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Mon, Apr 4, 2016

    [brightcove]4830748066001[/brightcove] The NBA regular season ends in 10 days, and the Thunder now is aligned with Portland in a potential matchup of 3-6 seeds. But don’t expect the Blazers to stay sixth. Portland is only a half game behind Memphis in the Western Conference standings. The Blazers are playing well and have a much easier remaining schedule than does Memphis, which is not playing well. The short-handed Grizzlies have lost six straight and 10 of 12. Meanwhile, Portland has won four of five. But that doesn’t mean an OKC-Memphis playoff series is imminent. The Grizzlies could fall far quickly. The Grizzlies are 41-36, which puts them just two games ahead of Utah and Dallas, who

  • Final Four goes from a blessing to a curse for the Big 12

    By Berry Tramel Columnist | Published: Sun, Apr 3, 2016

    The only balm was that these Sooners had a little balm in the bank. The Buddy Hield story. Lon Kruger’s successful reclamation project. Just making the Final Four in the first place; that banner still will be hung with pride.

  • Houston travelblog: Bad game, bad seat

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Apr 3, 2016

    I didn’t have a good seat for the OU-Villanova game, which was OK. It was a game worth missing. The Wildcats won 95-51 in historic fashion. Jackie O. and I sat probably 100 feet behind the basket, probably five feet above the court. Go back to geometry. That’s not a good angle. We basically couldn’t see anything, so we watched the big screen for virtually the entire game. Looked as bad there as I’m sure it did live. Of course, 60,000 people had bad seats, too. Before the game, I went to find the Dish, and probably 100 feet behind us, up 20 rows or so, I spoke to Spencer Tillman and an OU booster. If they didn’t have good seats, not too many people had good seats. I found the Dish in

  • OU basketball: This wasn't how it was supposed to end for the Sooners' Four Horsemen

    By Berry Tramel, Columnist, | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    HOUSTON — Ryan Spangler jogged through first, focused on the NRG Stadium tunnel and the relief it would bring from the bright lights and the scoreboard that declared the awful news Saturday night. Next came Isaiah Cousins, who reached out to slap hands with dozens of OU students sitting on the floor who still wanted to connect with this team and these players who had resuscitated Sooner basketball. Jordan Woodard was next, and he couldn't wait for the sanctuary of the tunnel, shuffling with a towel over his head. Finally came Buddy Hield, walking with his head down. An OU fan leaning over the railing yelled, “Keep your head up, man.” Ever the loyal soldier, Hield lifted his head and kept it high as he walked away

  • OU basketball: A look at the Sooners' blowout loss to Villanova by the numbers

    By Berry Tramel, Columnist, | Published: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    Here is a look at Oklahoma's 95-51 Final Four loss to Villanova by the numbers: 5: NCAA Tournament games this season decided by at least 30 points. OU joined the list of Fairleigh Dickinson, Hampton, Holy Cross and North Carolina-Asheville. 5: Missed shots by Villanova in the second half. 6: Missed shots by OU one a single second-half possession, in which the Sooners had five offensive rebounds. 9: Points by Buddy Hield. It was 16 points below his season average. Hield made just one of his eight 3-point attempts Saturday 10: Missed shots combined by Villanova's five starters, who combined for 74 points. 11: Missed shots by OU's Isaiah Cousins, who scored eight points. 15:07: Game time elapsed in

  • OU report card: Not many good grades to be had in a record-setting loss

    By Berry Tramel, Columnist, | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    Hard to find many positives in the biggest blowout in Final Four history — and we didn't find many for OU in handing out the grades for a 95-51 loss to Villanova on Saturday: Aggression D OU didn't attack Villanova. The Wildcats weren't called for a foul the first 12 1/2 minutes of the game. The Sooners shot just two foul shots the first half. Buddy Hield, Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins, consistent drivers throughout their careers, didn't dent the Villanova defense. Each shot more 3-pointers than 2-pointers (Hield 8-4, Cousins 8-6, Woodard 6-4). Defensive momentum F Villanova shot 66.7 percent in the first half. Then the Wildcats shot 77.3 percent in the second half. The most consecutive stops OU got was

  • OU-Villanova is for silver medal in conference standings

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    The OU-Villanova Final Four is for the silver medal of conference supremacy. The ACC established itself as the clear best conference in college basketball this season, putting six teams in the Sweet 16, four in regional finals and two in the Final Four. But the next most-successful leagues have been the Big East and the Big 12. The Big East is 7-4 in this NCAA Tournament; the Big 12 is 9-6. If OU beats Villanova, the Big 12 clinches a better record than the Big East. If ‘Nova beats OU, the Big East secures the better record.

  • Houston travelblog: Trying to find a good Final Four seat

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sat, Apr 2, 2016

    You know how we laud some sporting venues? Say there’s no bad seat in the house? Welcome to the Final Four. Where there’s no good seat in the house. And that’s not much of an exaggeration. The NCAA’s ridiculous setup for the Final Four — a stage in the middle of a massive dome — guarantees more people than ever can get into the NCAA basketball semifinals and championship game, but it also guarantees that even the best seats are bad and the bad seats are awful. I walked around the NRG Stadium floor Friday during workouts and tried to find a seat that was as good as a normal seat at Chesapeake or Lloyd Noble Center or Gallagher-Iba Arena. There aren’t many. Maybe 15-20 rows up,

Berry Tramel Today at 1:03 AM Thunder must play much better, else summer of Durant will get here quickly
Berry Tramel Sat, Apr. 30 2016 11:57:59 PM CST OKC Thunder: Grading the Thunder's 124-92 loss to the Spurs
Berry Tramel Sat, Apr. 30 2016 07:21:45 PM CST West semifinals: Spurs & Warriors the pick
Berry Tramel Sat, Apr. 30 2016 10:38:14 AM CST San Antonio travelblog: 80 mph speed limit & Uber
Berry Tramel Fri, Apr. 29 2016 09:15:13 PM CST OKC Thunder: Spurs spinoffs
Berry Tramel Fri, Apr. 29 2016 09:15:12 PM CST ALL IN THE FAMILY: Thunder has been the most successful of the many Spurs spinoffs
Berry Tramel Fri, Apr. 29 2016 02:27:19 PM CST Why did Dallas draft Ezekiel Elliott?
Berry Tramel Fri, Apr. 29 2016 09:55:19 AM CST How will Scotty Brooks fare with the Washington Wizards?
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 10:36:25 PM CST OKC Thunder journal: Kevin Durant gives his scouting report of the Spurs' defense
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 07:30:24 PM CST NBA superstars like Kevin Durant don't select teams based on coaches
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 01:27:30 PM CST OU's recruiting gap on OSU has been wide
Berry Tramel Thu, Apr. 28 2016 10:09:11 AM CST Eastern Conference providing best drama in NBA playoffs
Berry Tramel Wed, Apr. 27 2016 05:03:17 PM CST Is new Big Ten TV contract a problem for the Big 12?
Berry Tramel Wed, Apr. 27 2016 10:56:31 AM CST Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel Wed, Apr. 27 2016 09:17:40 AM CST What was Mark Cuban really talking about?
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 08:51:30 PM CST Western Conference injuries don't help Thunder — for now
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 04:04:23 PM CST Steve Kerr wasn't even the Warriors' best coach
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 09:32:08 AM CST The greatest press conference in Thunder history
Berry Tramel Tue, Apr. 26 2016 12:23:28 AM CST Westbrook answers Mark Cuban with superstar performance in closeout victory
Berry Tramel Mon, Apr. 25 2016 04:27:52 PM CST Marcus Smart saves Celtics