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OU Football: Dewey Selmon and a football star's serene path to the state Hall of Fame

OKLAHOMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME — Induction gives the state one more opportunity to celebrate the Selmons. And when Dewey Selmons speaks Monday, listen well and close.
by Berry Tramel Published: August 2, 2012

Dewey Selmon goes into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night, but don't expect a rousing induction.

If the Jim Thorpe Association wants to provide musical accompaniment with the Selmon celebration, don't get trumpets. Use violins.

Dewey Selmon is serene. Soft-spoken. A man of peace. A gentle giant. A gentle man.

Dewey Selmon never raises his voice.

“Never,” said someone who should know, Dewey's son Zac, a former Wake Forest tight end and now associate director of OU's Sooner Club. “That's very accurate.”

Dewey's preferred form of discipline, for Zac and his three older sisters and even a new generation of adopted children from Liberia?

“Long lectures,” Zac said. “Which was much worse than any spanking I could ever get. Long lectures at the kitchen table.”

Delivered in that melodic voice that soothes the spirit and calms the nerves.

All of which makes absolutely no sense to anyone who ever tried to block the ninth child of Jessie and Lucious Selmon Sr.

Dewey and his brothers torpedoed virtually every offense they faced almost 40 years ago as the OU defensive line, and now he joins Lee Roy and Lucious Jr. in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

“It's a special, humbling time for us,” Dewey said of his family once again being honored by an adoring state.

You've got to pay close attention when Dewey Selmon speaks. He doesn't try to outshout the din.

The world can get chaotic, but there sits Selmon, quietly offering life lessons when asked, about growing up on the farm outside Eufaula or playing football with his brothers or raising a family that makes our world a better place.

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by Berry Tramel
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,...
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The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame will induct six new members Monday night at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The Oklahoman will profile the inductees:

Friday: Dewey Selmon

Saturday: Ferguson Jenkins

Sunday: Lynne Draper, Jess “Cab” Renick and Perry Maxwell.

Monday: Pat Jones


Born: Nov. 19, 1953.

High school: Eufaula

College: OU 1972-75

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976-81, San Diego Chargers 1982.

Presenter: Son Zac Selmon.

Claim to fame: Two-time all-American defensive lineman for the Sooners; he and brothers Lee Roy and Lucious formed the legendary OU defensive line in 1973.


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