Oklahoma City sports media legend Bob Barry, Jr. passed away this Saturday. Barry was riding his motor scooter without a helmet and suffered a fatal crash. Full details can be found at KFOR.com.
We at WTLC are heartbroken by the news, and offer our condolences to his family, friends, and fans. Below is a tribute video KFOR compiled yesterday honoring BBJ.
I've lived in Oklahoma City and loved sports my whole life, so I'm quite familiar with BBJ's work. As long as I can remember, BBJ manned the sports desk for KFOR and hosted Sports Morning on WWLS. More importantly, I can't remember a single day where BBJ showed up to either job in a bad mood. BBJ never minded having to drive out to Kingfisher for remotes, always treated his callers with respect, and stayed really late at his TV station job. It was obvious that the man loved what he did, and I found it very admirable.
More than that, I've always admired BBJ's professionalism. Sports talk radio in Oklahoma City has a huge tendency to get off-topic and quite personal. But BBJ always stayed on point, and never made the show about himself. BBJ's ability to do that hinged on his love for sports as well as his vast network of professional connections. I mean, who else could get a different writer to talk about every single college football team in the Big XII in a single program?
Of course, BBJ also spent a good portion of his career covering Oklahoma City basketball. Honesty was probably the key word to describe BBJ's work with the Hornets and Thunder. I never met BBJ, but I was behind the scenes during the 2012 Finals. During that time, there were tons of national sports media personalities rolling through town. A lot of local reporters weren't as prominent in the press conferences. Except BBJ, of course. BBJ was never afraid to be the first to ask a question, standing up and proudly announcing "Bob Barry Jr, Kfour, Oklahoma City." This was before ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and any other national organization could have their say. Respect.
I'll leave you with the words of my fellow writer, Sarah Rogers:
I met Bob Barry, Jr. once while covering the Thunder. He greeted me with the warmest smile and made me feel like we had known each other for years. The world lost a great guy. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this very difficult time.
Any thoughts on the life and legacy of BBJ are welcome below.