I guess you can say yesterday’s weather forecast lived up to its billing…
After a few days of hype, the 2015 Severe Weather season rolled into Oklahoma yesterday evening, packing with it a powerful punch of strong winds, large hail, and tornadoes. Here’s a pic of a Tulsa-area twister that took one life near Sand Springs.
— World News Tonight (@WNTonight) March 26, 2015
In the metro, Moore was the target of Mother Nature’s fury… again. Following a similar path to the deadly May 20th tornadoes, they caused damage, a few serious injuries and made us all ask “Why is Moore always in the path of these damn storms?!”
That’s actually a legit question. It’s one I first asked when a 2003 Moore tornado missed my house by only about six blocks. What the hell is going on there? Is there some sort of atmospheric condition above Pickle’s that spawns tornadoes? Are the weather gods also annoyed by Toby Keith’s music? Can some meteorologist who doesn’t dabble as a spray tanned bodybuilder answer these questions in the comments?
Anyway, yesterday also marked the beginning the 2015 Severe Weather Coverage Season. We previewed it yesterday. Some of our questions were answered (it appears Mike has officially retired the bedazzled tie), while others are still mysteries (what is Channel 9 going to do with the new girl).
Overall, the coverage didn’t disappoint. After knocking off some winter weather rust, the local severe weather teams were in mid-spring form. Chief Meteorologists were declaring their own tornado warnings, storm chasers were inventing new words to describe tornados, and social media bandits clogged your timelines with boring pic of hail after boring of hail. It was a spring treat.
Like every Oklahoman, I flipped through the channels and scrolled through social media looking for the best radar updates, live shots and RTs. Since this is what my obviously sad, depressing life has come to, I thought I would give some off-the-cuff, highly unscientific grades:
KWTV News 9: C
You could tell David Payne was a bit slow with his clicker. He was visibly irritated by the positioning of some of his stormchasers and he lacked chemistry with whoever controlled his radar. And when the tornado was about to touch down in Moore, he seemed more concerned with high winds near the Fairgrounds. He was also victimized by a couple of amazing weather dongs:
According to the local weather gods, the 2015 severe weather season kicks off today in Oklahoma. As the map of doom below clearly shows, we may be in for some large hail, damaging winds and a 4-hour scream therapy session with David Payne
In all honesty, that’s pretty tame compared to the maps we usually see in April or May. Wake me up when that map turns all red and purple like Emily Sutton in a triathlon.
Anyway, with a new severe weather season coming down upon us like a wall cloud, I thought it would be fun to preview the Severe Weather Coverage season by taking a look at some storylines to follow.
Before we do, lets review some basic weather safety procedures:
• Difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A Tornado Watch simple means there’s a good chance there’s going to be a state map on the bottom left of your TV screen for a good part of the day. Be cautious and aware. A Tornado Warning means the Chief Meteorologist is going to cut into live programming to likely show you helicopter footage of a slow-moving wall cloud located 30-miles north of Woodward… or a funnel cloud approaching your neighborhood. One of the two.
• Tornado Safety Precautions. If you hear sirens or see Bob Moore Chopper 4 from your backyard, either get underground, hide beneath a pile of pillows and blankets in a hall closet or bathroom, or head south and try to outrun the storm. It’s your call.
• Clean out your shelter. Also, consider how you’re going to address that awkward moment when your neighbor frantically knocks on the shelter door, pleading for you to unlock it and save his life, but you don’t have extra room because you brought your dogs.
With that out-of-the-way, here are 11 storylines to follow for the 2015 season…
On Friday afternoon while you were watching your NCAA tournament bracket go up in flames, Grantland released a fascinating look into our local media’s strained relationship with the Oklahoma City Thunder and its players.
In particular, the article spends a lot of time focusing on the Tramel / Westbrook “feud” from January. You know, the one where Russ said out loud what thousands of Oklahomans have said to themselves while reading Berry Tramel columns over the years: “I don’t like you.”
In a way, Berry Tramel is the protagonist of the Grantland story. He, along with several other members of the local media, were interviewed by Grantland staff writer Bryan Curtis:
A few weeks ago, I met Tramel in a diner in downtown Oklahoma City. A tall, thin, gray-haired man, Tramel has covered sports in the city for 37 years. “I’m a lifer,” he said with happy resignation. He was looking at me over the rims of his glasses. Anyone who has shared a press box with Tramel can tell you this is his signature gesture.
That was the funny thing about Tramel’s conflict with Westbrook. He and Westbrook weren’t mad at each other. Never had been, really. They didn’t even know each other, despite sharing a locker room for seven years. “I could have been from Syracuse for the way he acted,” Tramel said. “[But] that’s not really Russ’s fault, I don’t think. I think the culture created that.” By “culture,” he meant the invisible handcheck that pushes reporters away from athletes. The disconnect that permeates monthly YouTube clips starring Westbrook or Marshawn Lynch or Phil Kessel. What created such a culture? Follow me, if you will, into the Thunder locker room …
When I read “culture,” I figured Berry was referring to the Thunder Ministry of Propaganda. That’s the name we coined a few years back for the powerful communications wing of the franchise. The Ministry’s goal is to control and influence the minds of the people (Thunder fans) through its own state controlled media (Fox Sports Oklahoma) and a constant barrage of corporate propaganda.
Just try watching a Thunder game on Fox Sports Oklahoma. You’ll never hear anything critical about the Thunder or see a highlight from an opposing team or player. It’s like they refuse to acknowledge that the other team exists or let the game take on its own narrative. For example, some dude from the Timberwolves could unleash a double 360, behind the head, SportCenter Top 10 dunk on, say, Andre Roberson and Fox Sports Oklahoma will not show a replay. They’ll just ignore what happened and talk about Roberson’s tough defense and effort.
The Ministry really shows its power inside the Peake. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m at an NBA game or inside a dystopian young adult fiction novel. You think that artificial “O-K-C” chant gets old on TV? Imagine having a Stormchaser in your section demanding you clap along when the Thunder are up 15 against the Bobcats in the 3rd. Just leave me alone and let me watch the game, and while you’re at it, buy a scoreboard that only shows player stats. Actually, disregard that request. The scoreboard would probably just show how many charges the players take in a game or keep a running tally of how much money they donate to charity.
Anyway, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, the Grantland article. Thanks to it, we now get to see how the franchise treats, respects and interacts with the free press that’s supposed to provide the fans some fair and balanced coverage of the team.
Here are some notes..
I thought this moment between Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson and Darnell Mayberry was kind of funny:
On Sunday night, Lon Kruger and his OU men’s basketball team eked out a hard-fought NCAA Tournament road win against the Dayton Flyers. As the buzzer sounded and players rushed to the court to celebrate, OU reserve Khadeem Lattin was caught by a CBS cameraman saying this as he hugged a teammate:
Shocking, huh? A black man calling another black man the N-word… while on a basketball court. What’s next? Using the word in hip hop music?
I heard Lattin’s celebratory comment live on air as it happened. For me, it wasn’t offensive and it wasn’t a big deal. It was only noticeable because it’s a word you rarely, if ever, hear on network television. However, once the words came out of his mouth, I immediately turned to an Ogle Groupie and said “Oh God, hopefully no one out there tries to make a big deal about this and compare it to the SAE controversy.”
Well… they did. And of course it was KFOR Channel 4.
Yesterday, the Oklahoma City news channel led their 5pm broadcast with the story. In a move that resembles something Fox News would do, they tried to relate Lattin’s socially acceptable use of the word with a bunch of frat boys joyously singing a memorized, racist chant about hanging black people from trees.
If you’ve been reading this site over the years, you’re probably aware that we like to write about and parody diabolical Facebook weatherman Aaron Tuttle (pictured above with a bunch of drag queens). The guy makes it pretty easy for us. He’s like the Regular Jim Traber of weathermen. He’s moody, narcissistic, egotistical, right-wing, and best of all, a public figure who likes to post pics like this on Facebook:
Question? Can someone with mad web skills add that photo to the Wikipedia entry on douche bags? I can’t think of a better pic.
In addition to the endearing traits we listed above, Aaron – or as he calls himself when masturbating in front of a mirror, “AT” – lacks a sense of humor and basic knowledge of copyright laws. We know this because last week he filed a DMCA takedown request to our hosting provider. He claimed we were infringing on his copyrights by posting photos like the one above. You know, the ones where he dressed up like a spray tan model for Halloween, posted crying selfies, and auditioned to be a short-shorts model.
Here’s a snippet of his complaint that was copied and pasted from a generic legal website, which ironically enough, can probably be considered some sort of copyright violation:
Thanks! Your message has been sent!