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Power Lunch: Chat with Berry Tramel

staff reports Published: March 12, 2014
Berry Tramel 10:56 a.m. Hey, everybody, I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started.
Cowboy 10:58 a.m. Was OSU safety Lyndell Johnson dismissed from the team or did he leave of his own accord for "personal reasons?" Is he a former major league baseball player - an older guy?
Berry Tramel 10:59 a.m. Good question. Not really sure. But Gundy did say "personal reasons," and most problems are labeled "violation of team rules," so it's possible that Johnson did indeed have some kind of personal issue. Johnson is 23. He's not the baseball player. That's the other Johnson. Tyler Johnson.
KC Mark 10:59 a.m. Oklahoma Joes or Gates or Arthur Bryants?
Berry Tramel 11:00 a.m. My favorite is Jackstack. Love the burnt ends and the sides. I didn't care for Arthur Bryant's. As for Gates, 15 years ago, they charged me for a refill of iced tea, so I wrote them off, though I go along with others if that's what they really do. I have never been to Oklahoma Joe's. I have to get there.
Fred 11:00 a.m. How do you see OU Basketball finishing in the Big 12 Tourny and NCAA Tourny?
Berry Tramel 11:01 a.m. Let's see. Big 12. Should beat Baylor. And should beat the Texas-WV winner. Good side of the bracket for OU. So I'll take the Sooners to lose in the finals. As for NCAA, I'm going to say four seed. Can OU make the Sweet 16? Tell me who the No. 5 seed is in their bracket. Then I'll decide.
Orange Crusher 11:01 a.m. Sounds like OSU is in for a major rebuilding year. Gundy has to be really ticked to have to start the season with FSU. Do you think the Cowboys have a chance to sneak up on the Seminoles and steal a win?
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. Sure, there's a chance. But it's slim. You're right. OSU is facing a rebuilding season. Seven defensive starters gone, plus Lyndell Johnson. Now Jake Jenkins is gone at center. It will be a rebuild. Seems like a tough task to upset Florida State. But the risk/reward is much in OSU's favor. The Cowboys aren't risking much by playing the game. It's not like OSU is a national championship contender or anything. The reward is great, though. Upset the Seminoles, and OSU is suddenly back in the national picture.
Guest 11:03 a.m. Do you think there is any chance Travis Ford would let Stevie Clark back on the team next year? Or is it best that Stevie move on down the road with another team?
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. I assume there's little to no chance. And I think everyone knows that's best. Seems to me, Stevie Clark could stand to get as far away from Oklahoma City as possible. HE seems to draw a bad crowd with him.
Guest 11:04 a.m. What is the real thunder? The one who got up to play the Rockets ( against Harden they always play hard) or the loss latley ( looking more at Heat, clippers, then lakers)
Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. I would guess we saw the real Thunder last night. Because that's what we saw over three full years, rather than three weeks. The losses of Thabo and Perk aren't small, so OKC has a reason to struggle. But the Thunder found its defensive mojo last night. Play defense like that, and the Thunder can win the West.
guest 11:05 a.m. New nickname for kd instead of "slim reaper". How about "slim ripper" because he rips through defenses?
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. I like it. I like both of them. I like Durantula. Heck, I like Spiderman. I like them all.
Fred 11:06 a.m. How do you think OU will fair in the Big 12 and NCAA Tournys?
Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. Sorry, already had that one.
Jason 11:08 a.m. What do you think the chances are of Blake Bell being a difference maker at Tight End?
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. I don't think too many tight ends are difference makers. Keith Jackson, yes. Most other tight ends, no. But I think Blake Bell can be a good and productive tight end. You don't have to throw the tight end 10 passes a game to make him productive. Throw him 4-5, if he catches 3-4, you've got yourself a player. Of course, the key is blocking. Can Bell block well enough. That's where he would make the biggest diference.
Blindman 11:10 a.m. All the media hype and knee jerk stories about players trying to get a coach fired and players being selfish can be put to bed... The Thunder won. The Ford coaching piece from a non-coach has no credibility. You won't agree... the sun is shining, look outside.
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. Yes, you're exactly right. We should all go to coaches to tell us what's going, because coaches are all-knowing and all-wise and have no agendas. They all tell it exactly like it is. How could you have a name like Blindman. You are enlightened beyond all comprehension.
Patrick 11:11 a.m. Do you think Holder is making Gundy play a little more nice with the media these days? I was a little surprised Gundy even had a pre-spring presser and he seemed a little more forthcoming than I would have expected. Even ventured so far as to acknowledge that OSU does in fact have QBs on the roster.
Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. I thought Gundy was accommodating on Monday. I have no idea if Holder had discussions with him or not, but Gundy was very forthcoming on most things. I had no beef with it. You know, Gundy's media policies sort of swing back and forth quite wildly, so he may have just decided himself. Who knows?
Terry 11:12 a.m. As a fan why would we ever want a slower game? The hurry up offense give us more football to watch. Before when every play was preceded by a time consuming huddle the pace was approaching baseball's snail pace. Boring. Now I have soccer friends from south of the border who were never interested in football because it was too slow coming over to watch OU football. Of course it could be because OU ended the season in such style, or it could be because of the full fridge of cerveza. Do you think the NCAA ever considers how these rule changes effect football from the fan's viewpoint?
Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. It's a great question. How do rules committees make their decisions? I can tell you what I think are the three greatest factors: 1) Stragegy and coaches' input; 2) safety concerns; 3) TV. What do the guys writing fat checks want? So the fans come into play on No. 3. TV generally tries to accommodate fans. You make some good points. I would say that if you want to cut down on the number of plays in a game, which would cut down on injuries, then instead of changing fundamental strategies in the game, shorten the game in other ways. For instance, get rid of stopping the clock after first downs.
Terry 11:15 a.m. What's up with Sam Bradford. Is his proneness to injury becoming a big issue at the Rams?
Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. From what I understand, it's not so much injury as it is general lack of greatness. The Rams are paying Sammy B a ton of money, and while he's been a solid quarterback, he's been nothing special. For that kind of money, you need special.
IBA 11:16 a.m. Flip or Flop oklahoma states basketball team
Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. I would say Flap better describes the season. Lots of drama and controversy with this squad.
Patrick 11:16 a.m. I think your most recent "bracket" has OSU as a 9 seed. If that were to come to pass, would OSU be better of in a regional where Wichita State is the No. 1 seed, or in a regional with one of the expected No. 1 seeds (i.e., Florida , etc.)?
Berry Tramel 11:17 a.m. I would guess OSU would take Wichita State over a team that's big and burly. Just because of size. Wichita State is good and would be a solid favorite to beat the Cowboys. But OSU's biggest problem is teams that can overpower inside.
Ed 11:17 a.m. Looking at brackets it almost appears better to be a 10 seed versus an 8 or 9..since 8 plays 9 and then gets 1? As where 10 gets 2 seed?
Berry Tramel 11:18 a.m. No doubt about it. You've long been better off being a 10 rather than an 8-9. Probably better off being an 11 rather than an 8-9. If your goal is the Sweet 16, there's no doubt about it.
Sooner in Texas 11:18 a.m. Who do you have OU losing to in the finals? Al and Dean are picking a Bedlam finals. Are you going to pick Ford and OSU to beat Kruger and OU?
Berry Tramel 11:19 a.m. I am not going to pick OSU to make the finals. I want to see KU without Embiid. While I think the Cowboys have a really good shot at pulling the upset, then beating ISU or KSU, I think I'll go with the Cyclones to win it all. Their fans will fill up the Sprint Center. So I'll take Iowa State.
harry man 11:19 a.m. I will give it up to OKC fans and thunder up team..they did not back down on there own court...but will it happen thursday night against the lakers? you and i cant tell what these players go through...
Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. If the Thunder doesn't beat the Lakers 146-89, the Boomers should be sent home without their supper.
thunder bob 11:20 a.m. thoughts on Harden getting all upset with Reggie pulling the "Beverley move", seems like the rockets like to dish it but cant take it?
Berry Tramel 11:21 a.m. Oh, both these teams are pretty testy. It's clear there's bad blood both ways. Don't go painting one as the villain and one as the victim. The same thing Beverley did to Westbrook last April and last night, Westbrook has done to others. Harden was a pest and a flopper with OKC and everyone thought it was charming. Now everything is aghast.
Jared 11:21 a.m. If (and that's a big "if") OSU loses tonight, do they still make the NCAA tournament?
Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. I think so. But it would hurt OSU. The Cowboys would fall quite a bit. I think OSU could fall into the 11-12 range. Maybe even get sent to Dayton for a preliminary round game.
harry man 11:22 a.m. would love to see houston vs. okc in western edge with houston...taking a big victory in be witnessed by all including sports writers....
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. Yes, I can certainly see why you'd pick Houston to beat the Thunder, since OKC is only 3-0 vs. Houston this year, with two blowout victories, neither one with Westbrook, and a solid victory last night, missing Perkins and Thabo. Yep. Houston has the Thunder right where it wants.
Patrick 11:23 a.m. It's going to be hard enough to replace Gina as a beat writer, but no way will there be one with a nickname as good as "Vinegar Bend."
Berry Tramel 11:24 a.m. Don't sell me short. Do you understand. Do not sell my nickname-giving ability short. Vinegar Bend isn't even the best nickname I've ever given an OSU writer. When Andrea Cohen was one of our OSU writers, she joined us on the condition that she could work two weeks, then take a vacation that had been a year in the planning. She was going to Vietnam. Thus was born, Miss Saigon.
Rick 11:24 a.m. you've landed in the middle of a zombie apocalypse who is you're all big 12 team?
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. I would have voted for Smart, Embiid, Wiggins, Kane and Ejim. Two KU, two KSU, one OSU. No Juwan Staten from West Virginia. Which I regret. I like STaten a lot. But that's a tough team to crack.
Chris 11:25 a.m. Eating recommendations around the Sprint Center in KC? Always enjoy reading your blogs, articles and chats.
Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. Around the Sprint Center? Well, if you're talking the Power & Light District, I don't know. I've been to a couple of places, which are within a block or two, and nothing grabbed my fancy. But JackStack barbeque is in the south part of downtown, not too far away, and it's my favorite BBQ. Garazzo's is the best restaurant in the world. It's just north of downtown. Probably couldn't walk it but an easy cab ride.
Terry 11:26 a.m. I'm still laughing at how well the Sugar Bowl went for OU. It was a fun game to watch. It almost seemed like OU was toying with Bama, by letting them stay fairly close and then BAM, they slammed the door right in their face. What feedback did you get from people outside of Oklahoma in regards to that game?
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. What's funny is people outside the state never were as down on the Sooners as even their own fans were. Same when OU is riding high. People outside the state never are as high. There was a feeling that Bob Stoops remained in charge of a solid program. Then when OU won, it was just confirmation that the Sooners were really good, not that OU had risen from obscurity or something. So it was great and good. But the real benefit of beating Bama is what it did for the people -- fans, players, etc. -- inside the OU realm.
Patrick 11:28 a.m. It's been established that Tyreek Hill can run really fast. It will be interesting to see what kind of D1 football player he can be.
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. You never know. John Carlos signed with the Eagles and never did anything. Bob Hayes signed with the Cowboys and was a star.
Don 11:28 a.m. How would you rate the officiating @Thunder last night considering all of the "chippiness?"
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. I thought it was fine. I was watching on TV, so I didn't have the best angles. But looked good to me. Westbrook got a good call on that pushoff against Beverley. The Thunder got hit with a bunch of fouls early, but navigated through those waters. In fact, that's an underrated part of the game. Scotty Brooks was really good with his rotations last night.
Al 11:30 a.m. When the Thunders play like they did yesterday I think there are no teams that can beat us in a play off series. Great team effort on offense and defense. I loved how Adams played. What do you think?
Berry Tramel 11:31 a.m. Well, I'm not going to pick OKC to win a series from Miami until I see it with my very own eyes. But I did think the Thunder reasserted itself. And you're right. Adams made a big difference. He played well. That was the key to the game. The Thunder didn't have to double team much, which left the Thunder to cover the shooters.
Jared 11:31 a.m. 2A - 6A State tournament picks? Any upsets?
Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. I have no idea what would be an upset. I'm no expert. But I can tell you I'm pulling for the Putnam West boys (can you believe the Patriots never have won the state title in hoops) and the McGuinness boys (my godson is one of the Irish's best players). Other than that, I generally cheer for the OKC public schools. So that's who? Douglass, Centennial, Northeast?
BRIAN WICK 11:32 a.m. Granted its 6 months until the FSU game, but Gundys tone about this game sems different than his tone about the Miss St game. Could it be OSU had more to lose in the MSU than the FSU game?
Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. That's very possible. Good way of thinking about it. All though in retrospect, there wasn't that much to lose. Mississippi State wasn't that good. Here's another way to look at it. If OSU had played Florida State in the season opener last year, who knows if the Seminoles would have survived? Maybe OSU beats FSU. OSU was really good. That probably would have made for an all-SEC Big Bowl. So thank you, schedulemakers, for waiting a year on this one.
Don 11:34 a.m. Can Lamb and Jackson ever become adequate defensive players?
Berry Tramel 11:35 a.m. Yes. But it's going to take work. It's going to take time. It's going to take patience. Come the playoffs, Scotty Brooks doesn't have time. He's got to play his best. Which looks like the big three plus Fisher and Butler, unless he needs certain defensive specialty from Thabo and/or Perkins.
Terry 11:35 a.m. Cory Nelson was denied redshirt status after playing 4 games last season. What's the usual number of games they would have accepted?
Berry Tramel 11:35 a.m. I believe it's three. I think it's no more than 20 percent of a season. Those are the numbers I remember. The NCAA sometimes give you some latitude, but I think three is the latitude.
Terry 11:36 a.m. With the Summer Olympics in 2 years, will the Riverboat District see any events qualifying rowers for the Olympics?
Berry Tramel 11:36 a.m. You know, that's a good question. I think we possibly could see some Olympic Trials in OKC. I'll have to check.
Sooner in Texas 11:36 a.m. Embiid, Wiggins, Egim, Hield, Brown. Best team!
Berry Tramel 11:36 a.m. Noted.
Guest 11:36 a.m. I question how good a coach The Mayor is for ISU? YOu have 2 of the top 5(or 6) players on your team and you tie for 3rd? I am not sure that is great coaching.
Berry Tramel 11:37 a.m. I think Hoiberg is an excellent coach. It's not like Iowa State has a ton behind those two guys. They are a team of shooters with no real inside presence. And they've found a way to win. Watch out for the Cyclones in the bracketing. They are ranked 11th in the RPI. Iowa State is going to get a good seed.
Terry 11:37 a.m. Do you think Bradford has it in him to be that special QB that the Rams expected him to be?
Berry Tramel 11:38 a.m. I don't know why not. But it's not about having it in you. It's about getting it done. And he's in a tough division to get something done.
harry man 11:38 a.m. Ok i can read the nba page online. 3-0 yes. but playoffs are a new whole have witness it before in a sport...I still like houston winning if it came to a series..writers just report the news..harry man
Berry Tramel 11:38 a.m. Basketball is about matchups. The Thunder is a bad matchup for Houston. No answer for covering Durant, while the Thunder generally has an answer for covering Harden and Howard.
thunder bob 11:38 a.m. i hear Tulsa is getting the Olympics in 2024? do u think they will throw okc a bone and give us any events?
Berry Tramel 11:39 a.m. Rowing and kayaking. Though I'm personally holding out for ballroom dancing to be an Olympic sport by then.
Guest 11:39 a.m. If OSU had been playing a non-SEC team in last year's opener, do you think that Chelf might have been given a couple of more series to get settled before Gundy pulled him out.
Berry Tramel 11:39 a.m. No. Chelf didn't get pulled because of performance. He didn't play enough to play badly. That was scripted. For reasons I have no idea.
thunder bob 11:39 a.m. if/when the cowyboys go 8-5 again like they did 2 years ago, will gundy be taking any heat for his massive ego errr I mean contract? Find me more than 7 wins on that schedule?
Berry Tramel 11:41 a.m. I think 8-5 is a possibility. I don't think Gundy would take too much heat. I mean, 8-5 wouldn't be a bad year in a rebuilding season. THink about it. If you're the Cowboys, wouldn't that be an acceptable treadmill. Championshup, then 8-5, championship contender (should have won the Big 12), 8-5. That should be acceptable for OSU fans. Some day, annual championship contention will be the requirement, but when you've won just one title, asking for contention every year seems a bit much.
guest 11:41 a.m. I know he's played well the last 2 months, but seems to me that good teams will find a way to exploit Fisher on defense in the playoffs. Can he really be relied upon to play crucnh time D when it counts?
Berry Tramel 11:42 a.m. Yes. He did it last year. No reason why he won't do it this year. And he doesn't have to do it for 25 minutes a game. I mean, he won't be asked to guard Dwyane Wade for five minutes. Thabo will do some of that. But absolutely yes, you can count on Fisher.
E.Flame 11:42 a.m. Tram the western con playoffs are going to be cray. every match up is going to be intense. I don't want to see okc vs lac. I don't know who would when. anyone else I think we got in the bag some will be tough though.
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. I would say that the Thunder's toughest foes could be: 1) Spurs; 2) Memphis; 3) Clippers; 4) Portland; 5) Golden State; 6) Houston. In that order. San Antonio knows how to play. The Spurs will be tough to beat. I really don't think the Clippers are a huge hurdle for OKC. The Thunder is a bad matchup for the Clips. Westbrook is a bear for Chris Paul to cover, and the Clippers don't have a good answer for Durant. Meanwhile, someone like Memphis can D up on Durant and Westbrook about as well as any team can.
Phil 11:44 a.m. Do you think the Thunder will end up with the one seed by the end of the season?
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. I'm going to guess no. I'm going to guess No. 2 seed for OKC. The Thunder's April schedule is tough.
harry man 11:44 a.m. i am a big fan of THABEET..a true leader on the bench and off the court....keeps it quiet...but real happen to see him play some
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. I like Thabeet myself. He has played well since Perk went down.
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. OK, everyone. great questions. Talk to you next week.


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