Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Power Rankings, Or, The Opposite Of


(Edit:  In case you forgot about the post trading agreement we have with DailyThunder.com, here’s a reminder.  Hop over to Royce’s site to read Clark Matthews’ most recent Peace, Love and Thunderstanding article, which, shockingly, has less basketball content than this post.)

Power rankings are extremely popular and an automatic hook article. It’s journalism science. You see “RANKINGS” or “TEAMS RANKED IN DESCENDING ORDER HERE” and you know you’re clicking. You just are. Maybe you’ll skim the comments attached or maybe you will just see who number one is, remark, “Pppsh”¦. morons,” and then move on. The point is we’re all suckers for countdowns and polls. It’s why you wasted anywhere from 10 ““ 45 minutes last night watch VH1’s “Top 50 Hottest Hotties of the 40s” last night. That Joan Fontaine. Yeow.

I figured this countdown/poll thing out years ago whilst writing my college paper. First, it made for an easy column idea. What to write about”¦ what to write about”¦ OOO TOP 10 LEFT-HANDED KICKERS EVER!” Done and done. It was that easy. And people read. I don’t know why, but they do. They just have to see who or what number one is. That’s precisely why I’m going to strategically place the jump on this in a place that reels you in to look, gets you slightly interested in the topic and then forces you to think, “Ah heck, one click and I can be done with this crap.” Again, it’s science. Look it up.

So I’m going back to an old college gag column I’d fall back on when my brain was emptier than the promises of a televangelist. Basically, these power rankings contain five things that miffed me in some form or fashion or in general, are just anti-awesome. It’s simple. So jump with me. You want to see No. 1 don’t you? Its got a link to boobs. I swear.

5. The WNBA
Yay Tulsa? I guess we’re supposed to be at least somewhat enthused by this because as Jenni Carlson would have you know, the WNBA is a big league professional sports organization. But at the same time, getting a WNBA squad is like, well, getting a WNBA team. Sure, it’s “big league” but so is the PCA (the Professional Chess Association).

What I don’t like about it is that I think people assume the WNBA will be successful because of the popularity of OU women’s basketball over the last decade. I believe some people have confused “the enjoyment of women’s basketball” with “the enjoyment of successful Oklahoma college sports.” Everyone loves Sherri Coale, the Paris sisters turned the Sooners into a perennial winner and the team didn’t play a completely boring brand of basketball. When you turned on a game you didn’t know if they might turn it over 20 or maybe even 30 times. You might witness history!

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m happy for Tulsa and also for fans of women’s basketball. I’m not hater of women’s sports by any means. Heck, back as a sophomore in college, I was a scout team player for the OU women’s team. And I have no shame in saying that they were very, very good at basketball. Every single one was absolutely better than me. But I also have no problem saying that the product on the floor isn’t near as entertaining as the male counterpart. That’s just reality.

So way to go Tulsa. Hopefully the team succeeds and wins and everyone is happy. Just don’t expect me to give a crap.

4. John Canzano, columnist for the Oregonian
Kenny Mossman, OU’s sports information director, sent out an email recently that included a note about the Sooners’ three losses pointing out that all three came away from home against ranked opponents by a total of five points.

The email went out Saturday, shortly after OU had lost to Texas in Dallas and presumably as national sportswriters were filling out their AP ballots. So Canzano made the assumption Mossman was lobbying and begging for votes and as Canzano put it, “justifying away a three-loss season with a special email release pointing out that the losses were close sort-of-road losses to decent teams? Did they really just do that?”

Mossman responded to Canzano explaining that it wasn’t lobbying and that a reporter asked about the stat, mentioning that is was a “helluva note.”

Fine, fine, fine. Nothing to see here, no harm done. Mossman did his job and sent out a note, Canzano saw it as petty Mack Brown-style lobbying for votes. No big. But then of course, the Oregonian sportswriter had to go there.

“Well at least they didn’t blame Gordon Riese.” Oh, haha yeah because that one time a replay official totally blew two calls up in Eugene and OU lost because of it and then Sooner fans “blamed” him for it? Harf harf harf. Good one Canzano. Points for you.

I actually wish Mossman would send out a media blast that just said:

Oklahoma’s three losses”¦
By a total of five points.
All on the road or on a neutral field.
All versus ranked opponents.
And all are the fault of Gordon Riese.


3. NewsOK’s autoplaying videos
Seriously, burn in hell autoplaying videos. I hate you. IF I WANTED IT TO PLAY, I’D CLICK THE LITTLE ARROW THINGY. Why? Why must it autoplay? A lot of times, I’ll see a new column by Berry Tramel and open it up in a new tab. I’m not quite done reading what I’m on, but I don’t want to forget about Tramel’s column. You know how it goes. Then I hear some Bluehaven Pools commercial start playing and for a second, I’m very confused. Where is this sound coming from? I don’t see anything playing on the current page I’m on. Did a popup open? What is going on here? And then it hits you. It’s the damn autoplay.

College students who bring their laptops to class are the ultimate victims of the autoplay. You’re positive you have your sound off ““ absolutely positive ““ so you’re browsing, making sure to not listen to the professor and then you lazily click over to ESPN.com or NewsOK and BOOM!!! the video starts playing and the sound is echoing through the room as if you hooked your computer up to five mega-stacks of speakers. You scramble to hit mute as fast as you can but you’re hitting everywhere around the button but the actual freaking button and the whole class does the half-turn to see who the idiot is that didn’t mute his sound. And you’re just sitting there trying to act like it wasn’t you. No, this has never happened to me.

2. Driver
I listen to The Sports Animal far more than I care to admit. And as a sports fan, of course I think I’m smarter than all the hosts. We all do. Mark Rodgers? He doesn’t know jack. I’m so much smarter than everyone. I should be on that show. Some people call in to try and prove their sports smartness. Some just listen and talk to their radio saying things like, “Pppsh. What an idiot. [Insert point here that no one hears but you].” (That’s me.) And then there’s Driver.

Driver calls the Morning Animals. He calls BBJ. He calls Marcus Rodgers. He calls Traber. He calls Al. Heck, I think he called me last night. And it doesn’t bother me so much that he calls in all the freaking time, but it’s that I think he thinks he’s like a Sports Animal personality. You can tell he thinks he’s really smart. He tries to prove his wide-ranging sports knowledge by commenting on things from MMA to soccer to even softball. Let me tell you Marcus, last night’s game was just grrreat. It really was Marcus. It’s a shame your Redbirds didn’t come out on top, but I’m tellin’ you, this is really why we watch sports. Oh step off your high sports horse Driver. If that is your real name.

This week, I literally heard him call in three times in an afternoon. I wondered if he was on the payroll. I bet he thinks if he can call in enough and establish himself, that maybe a producer or host will recommend him for his own show. I think he thinks he’s working towards that. At least that’s the only thing I can come up with that justifies any of it.

1. Oklahoma sports
What was supposed to be possibly the biggest year in Oklahoma sports history, hasn’t quite panned out. People were salivating over the chance of an undefeated OU and OSU playing each other in late November. People were dreaming of Sam Bradford and Dez Bryant battling for the golden statue. People had hopes on top of hopes on top of dreams for their teams and their players. It was supposed to be The Year of Sport in Oklahoma.

And now look at us. The NCAA did it what it does so well and likely screwed Dez out of a season (and maybe the Cowboys too). A shoulder injury did the same to Sam Bradford and OU. We went from the top of the Hype Mountain to the bottom of the Disappointment Valley. Just like that. Thanks heavens for the Thunder or I might have had to take a whole box of Benadryl and sleep on some railroad tracks tonight.

Now Sam is seriously looking at season and possibly career-ending shoulder surgery. Let me just say, eff you shoulder injury. Enough of that crap. Bradford has decided to put his decision on hold for the time being on whether or not he’ll have season-ending surgery. I know there are people out there like Jim Traber that are running around (metaphorically, not literally because Lord knows he doesn’t run ““ unless it’s after Japanese pitchers) saying how he should have left last year and now these injuries prove it. It’s cliché, but hindsight people. Hind-sight. It’s easy to say now what Sam should have done. Had he won a second Heisman and a national title but for some reason slipped to 10th in the draft, I don’t think anyone would mention the potential money he may have lost. Everyone wants to tell Bradford he’s stupid and what he should have and shouldn’t have done. Well that’s fine, but it wasn’t your choice. It was his. Not everybody is consumed and driven by money. One more season at OU was obviously worth $40 million to him. And if you have a problem with that, get your own radio show and yell at everyone about it.

And why does everyone act like now that he’s had a little AC sprain that everything is over? I hate when people question a guy’s durability and wonder if he’s injury prone. As long as the injuries are the real deal and aren’t “Fingernail cut too short” and “Shin splints,” then how could a guy have questionable durability? An injury is just bad luck. It’s not about toughness and it’s not about durability. It’s not like Sam was born with a weak AC joint.

Bradford has taken hundreds of hits and gotten up from every one. He took a routine one and landed on his shoulder wrong, twice. Doesn’t mean he’s more likely to suffer an injury in the pros over and over and over again. Remember the last guy from OU that NFL GMs questioned and worried about injuries and durability? Yeah, Adrian Peterson. I think that worked out okay.

So go ahead, take another JaMarcus Russell with his big arm and NFL “body”. You’ll regret passing on Sam. You will. /stepsoffboxthatcontainssoap

So the Year of Oklahoma didn’t really work out for us. But hey, at least we’ve got a WNBA team now, right?


  1. You promised me boobs and all I got was a reminder of how crappy OU’s season is? You should be ashamed!

  2. I would rather hear 100 more calls from the “beatbox” guy than ever hear Driver again. He’s on the same level as a Mackie McNear’s commercial or Bobbie Burbridge-Lane PSA.

  3. cashion, you are spot on with those 2 commercial call outs, I can’t stand Mackie McNear or Bobbie Burbridge Lane, that’s the quickest way to get me to change the channel.

  4. Whenever I haer Bobbie Burbridge Lane talking about bad shows that promote “poor character” I laugh because that is Traber’s show, um I mean the Total…..Total……..Total…..[Jim:Hello Dean?]……Doooominance……..Dooooominance………..[Jim:Al what’er ya doin’? Yer killin’ me!]……Hour.

  5. You have me cracking up with 2 & 3. Seriously, freaking HATE those automatic videos at Newsok. If I wanted to watch reporters I would have turned on the TV, rather than reading a website. As for Driver, that guy calls in all the time. I thought I was the only one who noticed, it is nice to know I am not the only one. My personal favorite callers are Harry and of course James the Marvel.

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