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Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson pen final columns for The Oklahoman…

After a combined 56 years of informing and annoying the Oklahoma people, Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson are officially out at The Oklahoman. 

As we first reported a few weeks ago, the pair are joining the new Toby Keith and Bob Stoops-backed – a media project that vows to “transform” the local sports media landscape by giving washed-up newspaper sports columnists, beat reporters, and sports radio guys a website, newsletter, and podcast to share news and opinions. 

Ground-breaking stuff, huh?

Usually, when a person leaves one local media outlet for another, the outlet being ditched pretends the person never existed, often refusing to give them a going away party, much less a platform to say farewell and explain to readers and viewers what they’re doing “for their next adventure.”

Surprisingly, The Oklahoman did the opposite. 

Even though in just 10 days Jenni and Berry will be competing with the paper for eyeballs, attention, and $20,000 a month (lol) podcast sponsorships, the paper let both columnists pen farewell columns this past Sunday.

For the most part, they both went as I predicted. 

Berry’s was a reflective piece about his career in the newspaper industry. Although he didn’t tell a story about his Norman High School journalism teacher, he reminisced about his favorite Oklahoma sports and traffic memories, and in a nod to his travel blogs, tossed in a plug to Eischen’s.

The column didn’t include any new nicknames or one last shout-out to Bertha Teague, but it hit all the other standard Tramelisms we’ve come to expect over the years, and made us forget we're reading words written by this guy:

Probably because we foiled her plan to write an Open Letter, Jenni’s column was a bit experimental by Jenni Carlson standards.

Check this out:

In my early years here, we witnessed the resurrection of OU football under Bob Stoops, a national championship and a wealth of great players. I was in the limo with other reporters the morning after Jason White won the Heisman Trophy, crisscrossing New York City for his interviews and appearances. And I still have a formal dress tucked away in a closet that I wore to the Butkus Award ceremony the night Rocky Calmus took home that trophy.

The early 2000s were also a heyday for college basketball. 

Both teams at OU made the Final Four in 2002. What a trip it was piling in a 14-passenger van and going to San Antonio with an army of Oklahoman writers and photographers to cover Sherri Coale and Co. They were so devastated a year earlier when they lost to Washington in the Sweet 16; they thought they had a Final Four-caliber team. Then to see Stacey Dales and La’Neishea Caufield, Caton Hill and Rosalind Ross a year later at the Alamodome going toe-to-toe with Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and mighty UConn in the national championship game?

Still gives me chills.

Know what gives me chills? Jenni Carlson actually writing in full paragraphs! Was this one big F-you to her critics, or did Nolan Clay steal her “enter” key as part of a list day of work prank or something? We need answers!

Anyway, now that Jenni has officially parted ways from The Oklahoman, I guess it means the locale sports-reading public is now safe from being “Carlsoned.”

It’s the word I created for when you click on an Oklahoman sports article with an interesting headline, only to learn it’s a Jenni Carlson piece and then have to frantically click the back button or risk being drawn in.

Also, FWIW, I think this is the formal dress she wore to the 2000 Butkis Ceremony that she mentioned in the farewell piece:

Berry and Jenni both casually teased their move to, but didn’t leave any specifics, like what exactly they’ll be doing, who exactly is going to watch or read it, or where exactly you can book a $ 15,000-a-month banner ad.

I guess we’ll learn all that in the next week or so when the project launches.

Until then, stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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