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Voice of Bedlam

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By Michael Dean and Bob Burke

When University of Oklahoma football coach Bud Wilkinson called young Norman sportscaster Bob Barry in 1961 with news that he had been chosen as the new radio voice of the Sooners, no one could have anticipated that nearly a half century later, Barry would still be broadcasting Sooner fortunes on the gridiron and basketball court.

In more than 50 years as a radio sportscaster and 43 years as a television sports anchor, Barry broadcast more major college sporting events on radio as the play-by-play announcer than anyone else in history. He was truly the “Voice of Bedlam,” having called every Bedlam football game between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University for a half century, as either the voice of the Sooners or Cowboys. He was play-by-play announcer for football and basketball at OU for 31 years, with 18 seasons as radio voice of OSU football and basketball from 1973 to 1990.

Barry is a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame and was named Sportscaster of the Year in Oklahoma a record 15 times. He had seen and heard it all in press boxes and locker rooms, from inferior facilities at early Big Eight Conference schools to national championship games in America’s finest stadiums.

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