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.


  • David Boren would like to end The Longhorn Network

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Jan 14, 2016

    David Boren has his sights set on something bigger than conference expansion or a Big 12 title game. The OU president is focused on what started this whole “psychologically disadvantaged” Big 12 in the first place. The Longhorn Network. On Wednesday, day the NCAA voted to allow the Big 12 to stage a football championship game even without divisional play or at least 12 members, Boren released a statement to the OU Daily, the campus newspaper. “The Big 12 is disadvantaged when compared to the other conferences in three ways. We do not have at least 12 members, we do not have a conference network and we do not have a championship game. I think that all three of these disadvantages need to be

  • Arizona travelblog: A grand day & the Grand Canyon

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Jan 13, 2016

    Monday night, I did a most American thing. I watched Alabama play football. Tuesday, the Dish and I did a most American thing. We went to the Grand Canyon. With a free day — we didn’t fly home until Wednesday — we decided to make the 230-mile drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. The Dish had been, as a kid, but not me. Never even got close. Sedona, I suppose, about 114 miles away, was as close as I’ve been. So we decided to go. And what a day it was. BIG HOLE IN THE GROUND The Dish has always said she was underwhelmed by the Grand Canyon. Said it was one big hole in the ground. But she was more excited to return than I was to debut at one of the

  • Nick Saban: Bama 'wouldn't have a chance to win' without the onside kick

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jan 12, 2016

    Alabama is the national champion, again, a 45-40 victory over Clemson providing the Crimson Tide its fourth national in the last seven years and 11th (I would count 10) since the poll era began in 1936. But this Bama title was won a different way. Alabama won in 2009, 2011 and 2012 with defensive dominance and offensive manhood. Alabama pushed foes around like a schoolyard bully in years past. Not Monday night. Monday night, Alabama had to resort to two other major elements of football to beat Clemson: big plays and special teams. One particular kicking-game was the primary difference — Nick Saban’s onside kick in the fourth quarter. I wrote about Saban’s gamble for the Tuesday Oklahoman,

  • Arizona travelblog: Hiking Mummy Mountain

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Tue, Jan 12, 2016

    Arizona is a beautiful place. Not traditional beauty. Rugged beauty. And you can see it best from a mountaintop. Or at least the side of a mountain. I finally had some free time Monday, so the Dish and I hiked up Mummy Mountain, which sits hard behind the Camelback Inn. You can’t go all the way up the mountain, at least we can’t, but halfway up was still a hike and gave us a spectacular view of the Valley. Downtown Phoenix off to the west. Camelback Mountain to the south. Scottsdale to the east. The mountains of Phoenix aren’t really a mountain range, rolling from one to another. They’re just individual mountains jutting up majestically. At night, the lights from high-dollar houses up the

  • Make it five Golden Rings for Nick Saban

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Jan 12, 2016

    Saban has coached Alabama to four national championships and LSU to one.

  • College Football Pregame: Why Lane Kiffin is the coach on the hot seat

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    GLENDALE, Ariz. — Alabama has won a national title with Nick Saban as head coach. Three, actually. Bama has won a national title with Kirby Smart as defensive coordinator. Three, actually. But Alabama has not won a national title with Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator. Kiffin was head coach at Tennessee in 2009, when Saban won his first Bama title. Kiffin was head coach at Southern Cal in 2011 and 2012, when Saban won his next two titles. Kiffin joined the Bama staff last season, and the Crimson Tide offense has been mostly excellent under his watch, despite pedestrian quarterbacking. But Alabama football is about one thing. “I don't think fun is a word used around program much,” Kiffin said. “We're not here

  • COACH ON THE HOT SEAT: Lane Kiffin

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    Alabama has won a national title with Nick Saban as head coach. Three, actually. Bama has won a national title with Kirby Smart as defensive coordinator. Three, actually. But Alabama has not won a national title with Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator. Kiffin was head coach at Tennessee in 2009, when Saban won his first Bama title. Kiffin was head coach at Southern Cal in 2011 and 2012, when Saban won his next two titles. Kiffin joined the Bama staff last season, and the Crimson Tide offense has been mostly excellent under his watch, despite pedestrian quarterbacking. But Alabama football is about one thing. “I don't think fun is a word used around program much,” Kiffin said. “We're not here to have fun. We're

  • College Football Playoff Pregame: Prediction time

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    GLENDALE, Ariz. — The last time Clemson won the national championship, 1981, the Tigers finished 12-0. In 1992, now-Clemson coach Dabo Swinney played on Alabama's national title team, which finished 13-0. These Tigers are 14-0 and still haven't won the title. So it's been a grind for Clemson. But the Tigers aren't stressed. They were loose at the Orange Bowl. They're loose at the national title game. “To me, it would be sad to come up here and be all stressed out,” Swinney said. “Stressed about what? I hope they have some fun along the way.” Alabama is the most physically imposing team, but that doesn't always determine the victor. Big plays are the ticket to success, and a loose team can make big plays.

  • UPSET SPECIAL: Clemson over Alabama

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    The last time Clemson won the national championship, 1981, the Tigers finished 12-0. In 1992, now-Clemson coach Dabo Swinney played on Alabama's national title team, which finished 13-0. These Tigers are 14-0 and still haven't won the title. So it's been a grind for Clemson. But the Tigers aren't stressed. They were loose at the Orange Bowl. They're loose at the national title game. “To me, it would be sad to come up here and be all stressed out,” Swinney said. “Stressed about what? I hope they have some fun along the way.” Alabama is the most physically imposing team, but that doesn't always determine the victor. Big plays are the ticket to success, and a loose team can make big plays.

  • College Football Playoff Pregame: Ranking the top 5 players in the game

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    GLENDALE, Ariz. — The top five players in the national championship game: 1. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson: Watson proved to be the real deal with his Orange Bowl performance against Oklahoma. 2. Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland: A unanimous all-American and worthy successor in the lineage of C.J. Mosley and Rolando McClain. 3. Alabama defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson: All-American from Fort Worth Arlington Heights. He'd look awfully good on a Big 12 line, don't you think? 4. Alabama tailback Derrick Henry: Henry looked like a Heisman-caliber tailback two years ago in the Sugar Bowl against OU. Now he's a Heisman-winning tailback. 5. Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson: Suffered a knee injury against

  • THE LIST: Ranking the players

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    GLENDALE, Ariz. — The top five players in the national championship game: 1. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson: Watson proved to be the real deal with his Orange Bowl performance against Oklahoma. 2. Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland: A unanimous all-American and worthy successor in the lineage of C.J. Mosley and Rolando McClain. 3. Alabama defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson: All-American from Fort Worth Arlington Heights. He'd look awfully good on a Big 12 line, don't you think? 4. Alabama tailback Derrick Henry: Henry looked like a Heisman-caliber tailback two years ago in the Sugar Bowl against OU. Now he's a Heisman-winning tailback. 5. Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson: Suffered a knee injury against

  • If Deshaun Watson plays great, Clemson will beat Alabama

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    Most agree that Alabama has better overall talent than does Clemson in the national championship game Monday night. But Clemson has the better quarterback, and that’s never a bad place to start.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Berry Tramel

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    Join The Oklahoman's sports columnist Berry Tramel to talk OU, OSU, the Thunder and tonight's College Football Playoff championship game at 11 a.m. in the Power Lunch live chat.

  • Alabama Football: Norman North's David Cornwell ready to compete for Tide QB job

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    PHOENIX — Alabama quarterback David Cornwell played at Norman North High School in 2013 and at Jones High School in 2012. Cornwell hasn't played in his two Bama seasons but hopes to compete for the starting job with the departure of current starter Jake Coker. The Oklahoman chatted with Cornwell on Saturday during Media Day for the Alabama-Clemson game. How has the bowl season gone for you? Cornwell: “It's been good. Lot of good practices. Look forward to this game. Just ending the season, it's been a really good time. Really good season. Go back to the Ole Miss loss, that was really tough, but just how far we've fought as a team since then, figuring out our identity as a team. Derrick (Henry) winning the Heisman,

  • Saban says he doesn't compare to Bear Bryant

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    If you want to talk about establishing tradition and building Alabama’s brand and those types of things, fine. The edge goes to Bryant. But in terms of on-field success, Saban clearly has trumped the Bear.

  • College football: Nick Saban's serious approach has Alabama on the verge of another national title

    By Berry Tramel Columnist btramel@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    PHOENIX — The down marker was wrong at Alabama's practice Friday morning back in Tuscaloosa. The stick said “2.” It should have said “3.” Uh-oh. Somebody was about to feel Nick Saban's wrath. “It don't matter who you are,” said Alabama defensive lineman D.J. Pettway. “You can be the guy holding sticks up. You can get cussed out. This dude is really serious about this.” Has there ever been a more apt description about The Great Saban? Serious.

  • Brent Venables: No chess match vs. Alabama

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    Brent Venables’ defense vs. Lane Kiffin’s offense is an interesting subplot of the Clemson-Alabama game. Will Venables stack the box and make Jake Coker throw? Can Alabama slip tight end O.J. Howard free down the middle or receiver Calvin Ridley free on a bubble screen? Can Clemson blitz at the right time? Makes for a fascinating chess match. Just don’t tell Venables. “There is no chess match,” Venables said. “That doesn’t have any bearing on the game. Our players gotta come out and play well. The most physical team is going to win. You can’t give up explosive plays. Who wins the turnover battle. You gotta make competitive plays.  Those things have nothing to do

  • SEC commissioner has it right on four-team playoff

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — Any support you hear for expanding the College Football Playoff does not come from the leadership. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey spokes to reporters Sunday and strongly endorsed the four-team format. “My view is that we're in the right place, “ Sankey said. “I've consistently said four is the right place. Part of that is drawn on the experience I had in (Division I-AA) football, where you once had a 16-team playoff. There's a great toll taken physically, mentally, not only on the people playing the game, but on coaches, administrative staffs, even you could argue the fan base.” Sankey is right. Clemson plays its 15th game of the season Monday night.

  • Arizona travelblog: The Big Eight lives at Clemson-Alabama media day

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sun, Jan 10, 2016

    Saturday in the Valley of the Sun was Media Day, and the College Football Playoff has tried to mimic the Super Bowl. Media Day last season was held in the Dallas Convention Center, and Media Day this season was held in the Phoenix Convention Center, both adjacent to a fan fest, which ran all day. Any brave fan willing to get going around 8:30 a.m. could sit in bleachers and watch the media at work. Doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time, and you could say the same for Alabama and Clemson fans. Maybe 100 Clemson and 75 Bama fans took advantage of the opportunity. Meanwhile, on an artificial turf football field, hundreds of media mingled with the teams, one at a time. Head coaches and stars were placed

  • Will Clemson's Shaq Lawson be able to play?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Sat, Jan 9, 2016

    PHOENIX — Clemson defensive end star Shaq Lawson went down with a knee injury in the first quarter of the Orange Bowl. Lawson plans to play Monday night in the national championship game against Alabama, but Lawson said Saturday during media day that he’s only 60 percent. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said he figures Lawson is more healthy than that. “Maybe that’s my wishful thinking,” Venables said. “Helps me sleep better. He’ll be fine. And if he doesn’t, I feel terrible for him, because he’s a guy that’s completely committed to this team. He’s like a Sam(aje) Perine. Total team guy. Loves his teammates. Very selfless. Not




Berry Tramel Fri, Feb. 12 2016 08:15:11 AM CST For now, Sooners overall No. 1 in NCAA mock selections https://t.co/rqBO1wVvFu
Berry Tramel Thu, Feb. 11 2016 07:40:12 PM CST OU basketball: An oral history of the 3 OT game between Oklahoma and Kansas https://t.co/F4W9LY0gCG
Berry Tramel Thu, Feb. 11 2016 07:40:11 PM CST OU vs. Kansas: The greatest game Dick Vitale ever called https://t.co/U5koFiWZZW
Berry Tramel Thu, Feb. 11 2016 10:38:39 AM CST Power Lunch: chat with columnist Berry Tramel https://t.co/MIQL4YXOkF
Berry Tramel Thu, Feb. 11 2016 08:57:01 AM CST Indianapolis travelblog: 14 degrees in a great city https://t.co/DFhZFIAYmd
Berry Tramel Wed, Feb. 10 2016 03:55:24 PM CST Ex-Sooner Bob Harrison loved playing football https://t.co/8qonUgbmGa
Berry Tramel Wed, Feb. 10 2016 11:42:10 AM CST Gary Kubiak's second-chance success not common in the NFL https://t.co/wnw9Lb9Tpz
Berry Tramel Wed, Feb. 10 2016 08:57:43 AM CST Big 12's academic status on the rise https://t.co/SWXY5PlwoH
Berry Tramel Tue, Feb. 09 2016 06:07:52 PM CST Analyzing what Scotty Brooks said https://t.co/37wyfyB00C
Berry Tramel Tue, Feb. 09 2016 03:09:24 PM CST Tommie Smith & John Carlos did NOT give up their Olympic medals https://t.co/k5PVjwaDkc
Berry Tramel Tue, Feb. 09 2016 10:26:39 AM CST Who will take the last shot for OU basketball? https://t.co/ttyWOekWh1
Berry Tramel Mon, Feb. 08 2016 08:35:04 PM CST Tommie Smith & John Carlos: from villains to heroes https://t.co/HMqI1cerwp
Berry Tramel Mon, Feb. 08 2016 05:24:10 PM CST Why didn't Cam Newton try to recover the fumble? https://t.co/nrQRuwI4nz
Berry Tramel Mon, Feb. 08 2016 11:54:59 AM CST Super Bowl commercials: Ant-Man & The Hulk rate No. 1 https://t.co/ijmLvTylZ4
Berry Tramel Mon, Feb. 08 2016 07:46:48 AM CST All the Thunder rotations were competitive against Golden State https://t.co/5auodK7yA5
Berry Tramel Sun, Feb. 07 2016 11:00:03 PM CST Peyton Manning makes like John Elway in quarterbacking Super Bowl victory https://t.co/t3iYajHPYN
Berry Tramel Sun, Feb. 07 2016 11:36:03 AM CST 50 people who will define Super Bowl 50 https://t.co/BfcokL3xkw
Berry Tramel Fri, Feb. 05 2016 06:43:31 PM CST Super Bowl 50: For Purcell's Clifford Thrift the ring is still the thing https://t.co/JHvdJieHQ0
Berry Tramel Fri, Feb. 05 2016 05:37:58 PM CST Can Buddy Hield surpass Wayman Tisdale's records? https://t.co/u7xBdk9pDn
Berry Tramel Fri, Feb. 05 2016 05:25:42 PM CST Super Bowl: A look at Oklahomans with their Super Bowl rings https://t.co/4VmWsZSOVP

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