Yesterday, Gary England celebrated his 40-year anniversary at Channel 9. Think about that for a second. When Gary started keeping people advised and telling them to take tornado per’cautions, Richard Nixon was president, gasoline cost 55-cents a gallon and Oklahoma was ran by racist Democrats. Yeah, a lot has changed in 40-years.
Anyway, Channel 9 went all out to honor Lord England yesterday. They aired several tribute videos, a blooper reel and everyone ate cake in the break room. At the end of it all, Channel 9 announced that our Severe Weather Savior had signed a new contract. That probably explains why all the church bells rang and tornado sirens went off around 10:10pm.
After all the fan fair and pageantry, it was time for Gary to do what Zuess, God and the Griffin family had chosen him to do: Give the weather forecast. When he did, this happened:
In a way, the finals of our Oklahoma State Fair Photo Contest reminds me of NCAA Men’s Basketball Final 4. It’s kind of anti-climatic. Sure, it’s cool to see who wins and everything, but the real fun is that first week when we get to see the field, pick our favorites and watch a Cinderella or two emerge.
Here our the six finalists for the contest:
- Beauty and the Corn Dog
- Daisy Dukes and Cowboy Boots
- 8 Mile
- Mr. Snaky McMuttonchop
- Them’r my corn eatin’ gloves
- Sleeping Beauty
Before you review the pics and cast your vote, remember a few things:
- In the semi-finals, you could vote for three pics. This time, you can only choose one. Voting ends on Sunday night.
- Whoever submitted the winning photo will win a Limo Tour to the Wedge Pizzeria and Deep Fork Grill. When you go the Wedge, be sure to order an American Pie and add Pepperoni. When you’re done eating it, send me a thank you note. When you’re at Deep Fork, get whatever you want. It’s all amazing.
- I should have mentioned this in one of the earlier posts, but please don’t try to stuff the ballot box. Some person with the IP addresses 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 tried to do that, and let me tell you, it’s annoying. The votes are audited by the Clark Matthews accounting firm. You’re allowed one vote. Don’t try to rig things.
After being rejected by David Payne, Zach Daniel, and just about any other weatherperson with a clue, KOCO Channel 5′s three-month search to find a replacement for Rick Mitchell has ended. They have promoted Damon Lane, the station’s former morning weatherman, to Chief Meteorologist.
Via the Dallas-based website Uncle Barkey:
CBS11 reporter Melissa Newton, who joined the D-FW station in June 2009, will be leaving soon to join her husband, Damon Lane, in Oklahoma City. They were married earlier this year.
Lane, the early morning weatherman for KOCO-TV, has been promoted to chief meteorologist in place of Rick Mitchell, who left the station in August to join Fort Worth-based NBC5 as that station’s eventual chief meteorologist. He has been at KOCO since August 2009….
Newton, who has been working the early morning shift at CBS11, previously worked as an anchor-reporter at both KOCO and KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City. Sources say Newton is being wooed by two stations in that market to be a full-time anchor.
Lane, whose birth surname is Smuzynski, married Newton under that name on Sept. 22nd in McKinney.
Geeze, I don’t know which is sadder. Is it that KOCO just promoted Damon Lane to Chief Meteorologist, or is that we got scooped by a website called Uncle Barkey? I’ll go with Channel 5. Sure, the egg on our face is embarrassing, but at least we don’t have millions in advertising dollars vested in our mistake. I bet Mike Morgan and Gary England are still lighting cigars and toasting champagne as you read this.
In case you can’t tell, I don’t think this was a great move. Channel 5 needed to make a splash hire, and they promoted the offensive line coach. We’ll see how that works out for them. And it’s not that I don’t like Damon Lane. I’m sure he’s a good guy and everything, but he just has the looks, personality and feel of a morning weatherman. I can’t see him keeping viewers during severe weather season or cutting into Lord England’s or Magic Mike’s market share. I could maybe watch him during an ice storm, but when a tornado’s barreling up I-44, forget about it. For example, when he cut into the OU-Texas game during a commercial to let rabid Sooners fans know (gasp!) there were storms brewing near Altus, he genuinely seemed nervous and scared. You don’t want a scared weatherman. You don’t want one who plays with puppies in fields of wildflowers, either.
All that being said, there is one positive thing to report here. Damon’s wife is cute and according to Uncle Barkey, she’s being wooed by two stations in the market. Considering how she looks in the photos after the jump, I’d encourage a station to do exactly that. Here are some pics of the newlyweds:
This past week, one of the Internet’s best and most influential sport writers – Bill Simmons — wrote an excellent article in Grantland about the James Harden contract fiasco. The beginning of his column included a very significant and important footnote. The Zombies are dead.
Important note for this season: I’m giving up my four-year vow to avoid typing the word “Thunder” in an NBA column after the Sonics were hijacked from Seattle with the implicit consent of the NBA’s commissioner, David Stern. It’s just too much of a pain in the ass to keep the “Zombies” thing going, and more important, Chris Hansen is definitely bringing the Sonics back to Seattle. That’s happening. Let’s start looking forward instead of backward.
Yeah, great excuse. I’m sure you’re being 100% honest, and you stopped writing “Zombies” when the word became a “pain in your ass” to include in mailbags, trade value rankings and an upcoming column that will compare 27 NBA players to your favorite characters from Boardwalk Empire. You know, because “Zombies” is so much more difficult to write than “Thunder.” I doubt it had anything to do with the Zombies schtick becoming tired and boring and old news. And lets look forward instead of backward or something like that.
Lame excuses aside, Simmons’ article about the Harden conundrum was spot-on. He outlines the entire situation perfectly. Here are his three likely outcomes:
On Sunday, the Oklahoman published a lengthy report detailing the excessive travel-related expenses that Governor Fallin has accrued since taking office. The report was very thorough, objective and would have been much more interesting had the Tulsa World not done the exact same thing 12-weeks-ago.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s travel expenses add up
Since taking office 21 months ago, Gov. Mary Fallin has spent more than $273,000 on travel paid for by taxpayers, an analysis by The Oklahoman has found. During that time, Fallin logged 56 trips, more than half of which were unrelated to state business.
Fallin accrues more than $250,000 in travel expenses
More than a quarter of a million dollars in public and private funds have been spent on travel and related security for Gov. Mary Fallin, her family and staff.
In all fairness, the Oklahoman’s coverage was a bit more detailed. They shared sidebars and graphs and even profiled the state plane, which is seriously called The Spirit of Oklahoma. But still, aren’t these two papers supposed to be sharing content or something?
The answer is yes, because the Tulsa World republished the Oklahoman report. So basically our state’s largest two newspapers paid three reporters to write the same damn story in a 12-week time frame? And they’re supposed to be sharing content. It’s like they killed one bird with three stones. And they wonder why the newspaper industry is struggling.
Oh well, at least the Oklahoman writers were cool enough to give us a veiled shout out:
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