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Tramel: Lee Roy Selmon was the best of the best

by Berry Tramel Published: September 4, 2011

Lee Roy went to Tampa Bay in the 1976 NFL Draft and never left. Reading about Lee Roy over the years, and since his stroke on Friday, it's possible he was held in even higher esteem in that Florida metropolis than in Oklahoma. Icon doesn't begin to describe how Tampa feels about Lee Roy Selmon.

He would come back often. I last chatted with Lee Roy at his nephew's wedding a few years ago, and watching all the Selmons laugh and love at the outdoor reception, nine siblings and their descendants strong, it was easy to picture bygone days, back on the farm. A monument to Jessie and Lucious Sr.

A few years ago, Lee Roy was honored as a distinguished graduate of OU's College of Education (he and Dewey were academic all-Americans).

That night Lee Roy told a story, how part of his Special Education degree included a field trip to a Pauls Valley facility that housed mentally and physically handicapped.

Lee Roy's OU professor told him words that the gentle giant never forgot. The people in that facility “in reality are more like you than they are different from you."

Wouldn't it be something if we all could say the same about Lee Roy Selmon?

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

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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