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OU announcer Bob Barry Sr.: Treasuring an Oklahoma institution as he signs off

A living testament to Sooner football announces 2010 will be his final season behind the microphone.
by Berry Tramel Modified: September 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm •  Published: August 31, 2010

Senior called the Joe Namath Orange Bowl. Called that 105-degree USC game at the LA Coliseum in 1963. Called Jim Mackenzie's and Howard Schnellenberger's only season. Called Steve Owens' Heisman season 41 years ago. Called the stunning birth of the wishbone-T in October 1970. Called the Game of the Century a year later.

And Saturday night, Senior will call Landry Jones throwing to Kenny Stills.

Senior might mess up some calls. Might get some names wrong or some yard-lines off.

But if you slip on an earpiece at the game, or turn down the sound on your Sony at home, Senior's voice might offer soothing comfort. In a world where nothing is as it was the day before, sometimes you can hear the voice that you heard 50 seasons ago.

"I'm an unabashed fan of Bob's," said the son of the Congressman banished inside the newspaper 72 years ago. "The excitement, the true devotion you feel ... there's a special bond between him and the university."

Here's more bonding. I never did tell you why little Bobby Barry fell out of that window on NW 26th Street.

Seems he wanted a nickel to buy a pop. Called his dad at work to ask if he could go next door and borrow five cents from nice Mr. Noftsger.

No, said Jack Barry. You've had enough pop. Little Bobby borrowed the nickel anyway, his dad found out about it and ordered his son to his room.

A bored Bobby sat in the window sill, leaned against the screen and down he went.

By the way, Mr. Noftsger had a daughter, Nancy, who grew up next door to Little Bobby. Several years later, Nancy Noftsger married Claude Arnold, who in 1950 quarterbacked OU to its first national championship.

I'm telling you, Bob Barry is a testament to Oklahoma football, new and old.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at