One thing you get pretty used to as an Oklahoman is your home state making some random internet Top 10 list. Sometimes these lists can be nice and positive — like being named one of the “Top 10 Cities to Relocate to if You Want to Work for a Natural Gas Company” — while other times they can be embarrassing and sad.
Well, an Ogle Mole forwarded us this list (via KOCO) from last February that belongs in the embarrassing and sad category. It ranks “The Ten States Running Out Of Smart People.” Oklahoma was ranked third. Here’s why:
The best Oklahoma performed in any of our metrics was 33rd, for a slight increase in the population with jobs requiring college educations. In every other category, the state experienced significant relative and actual decreases. Oklahoma had the sixth-worst decline in reading scores. Between 2000 and 2009, 39 states had better increases in adults with bachelors degrees, and 45 had better increases in advanced degrees.
Population Change (2000-2009): 159,419 (4.6%)
Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 22.7% (42nd)
Population With White Collar Careers: 11.8% (37th)
NAEP Math: 41st
NAEP Reading: 38th
• We have a new name for the ex-Ford Center / Oklahoma City arena. Surprise, surprise, it’s going to be called Chesapeake Energy Arena. The arena is going to be powered by abundant, clean and efficient natural gas and Aubrey McClendon is allegedly going to use the Cox Convention Center parking garage as his new wine cellar.
Okay, okay, I may be making some of that up, but here’s something I’m not making up. We got sooooooooo close to predicting the name of the arena last August. If you don’t believe me, check it out. Also, if the nickname for this place isn’t the Shale, there’s something wrong with the world.
• A whole bunch of fish have turned up dead in a pond in a Muskogee park. The rumor on the street is that the school of fish committed suicide. Considering they lived in Muskogee, I guess you really can’t blame them.
• Someone emailed us a picture of a nude model that they think strongly resembles Jessica Schambach. Here’s a head shot:
So a lot has happened this week. The state capitol shut down because the heat caused the pipes to burst, or something like that. I’m not really sure because I’m not a plumber. If I were, I’d be worried about the evil Bowser stealing my girlfriend. Owling has now surpassed planking as the dumbest thing that college kids are doing in their spare time. And apparently the NFL lockout might end. So yeah. All things to be thankful for, or if not thankful, at least aware of.
Here’s your Friday Night in the Big Town.
July 22-24: The Rumored Wedding Reception of Christina Fallin and Matt Bacon
Word on the street is the Fallin girl and her new hubby are having their Oklahoma wedding reception this weekend. Now, I was in no way invited to this shindig, though The Lost Ogle did offer to exclusively cover the event as if it were the royal wedding. But because Mary Fallin already spent $13,260 of state money on bringing her security team with her to Ireland, there wasn’t enough money to pay our blogger salaries.
Let me give you readers a rundown of how I think this scene will play out: Christina Fallin will run around looking like Gwen Stefani, and the majority of the decorations will be exactly like that one Alice in Wonderland-themed video she has for that one song that’s incredibly forgettable. Matt’s friends will be exchanging pills behind the punchbowl, and if it’s like any of the weddings I’ve been to in the past couple of years, there will probably be some smoking of illegal substances in the parking lot. The evening will end when Christina is caught canoodling with a state trooper.
Football is only … okay, I don’t know how many days away it is because I have chosen to block all the guys on my Twitter feed who have annoyingly been doing a countdown, but it is apparently only a few Saturdays away. Despite there being no games, or even practices, going on right now, the OSU/OU rivalry is in full swing.
According to NewsOK, a Sooner wide receiver took to Twitter to rail against Oklahoma State’s star player. That’s what happened, right? Look at the headline:
OU’s Kenny Stills criticizes OSU’s Justin Blackmon on Twitter
So, now the OSU fanbase is fired. Me included. Blackmon is a certifiable badass. Whoever it is that hands out the award for best wide receiver in college football (The Biletnikoff Trophy) gave it to Blackmon last season. Blackmon absolutely dominated every game he played. In twelve games, he caught 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. He scored at least once in every game. How could Stills, a secondary target at his own school have the audacity to go after the best?
The facts of the matter suggest he was not really criticizing Blackmon so much as he was praising his teammate. It started when Patrick Peterson, a star defensive back at LSU last season, lobbied his Twitter followers with this suggestion: “Everybody follow the best WR in the College Football this year and last year @jblack_81.” For those who don’t speak Twitter, that was an effort to get people interested in what Peterson has to say and to also listen to Justin Blackmon.
Playfully, Kenny Stills responded to the post by suggesting the LSU star put the wrong name with that description. Instead, he felt Peterson should call Stills’ teammate Ryan Broyles the best receiver in college ball. He then made a couple of tweets contrasting the two players in a way he felt made Broyles out to be the better player. Such as:
“(Blackmon) is all about big bodying people and sloppy routes. (Broyles) gets open by finding space…Based off of routes, knowledge of the game and the caliber of his fellow receivers, I’d go @RyanBroyles”
So, that’s his opinion. Kenny Stills thinks that his teammate, a Biletnikoff finalist, is a better player than the trophy winner who plays for one of their rivals. I’d be more surprised if he did not feel that way. Regardless of how wrong Stills’ opinion is (and I cannot stress how strongly I disagree with him), it isn’t really controversial for him to hold that belief. He even admitted in the end:
“Apologies to @JustBlack81, Wasn’t knocking the Biletnikoff winner at all. He makes huge plays and dominates the game.”
So the question is, why did The Oklahoman seize on the “criticism” part? From the Sooner point of view, it was probably an Aggie conspiracy to make it sound like OU was afraid of the Pokes. From the OSU fans perspective, the journalists were telling it as it was. In reality, it probably relates to a lack of interesting stories considering NFL and NBA free agency are on hold from lockouts and there is no actual football going on.
As you probably know, the past 10 years have not been good for Crossroads Mall. The mall lost all its major tenants, became a haven for teens and gang violence, and recently became property of the Federal Reserve during the big bank bailout. Hell, even Wal-Mart employees now look down upon it.
The decline of mall is a little bit sad. Before the big remodel and renovation of Penn Square in the late 80s, Crossroads may have been the best mall in Oklahoma City. I remember going there as a kid and being infatuated with glass triangle shape roof and running up and down the big ramp that connected the first two floors. Plus, I generally knew that a trip to Crossroads meant a trip to the Toys ‘R’ Us across the street. It was awesome.
Now the future of the mall is up in the air. The place is virtually empty and is now on the market for just $6-million dollars. Price Edwards even decided not to include the relic in its survey of Oklahoma City retail property.
Anyway, since the mall is for sale we decided to come up with a list of 10 different uses for the property. Maybe some rich investor will like one of them and make it happen. Here they are:
1. Erect a museum to honor South Oklahoma City legends … like the first white guy to wear FUBU.
Before you hate, I should explain that I spent the first 12 years of my life as a lower-middle class kid in South Oklahoma City. I went to Lee Elementary School, Capitol Hill Fifth Year Center and Jefferson Middle School for 6th grade. My street address – no lie – was 3 (yes, 3) SW 33rd. That’s kind of between the area where the Video Vigilante works and where some crazy dude allegedly went around stabbing people.
Anyway, why am I telling you this? Well, because I feel that I have earned the right to make fun of South Oklahoma City. Also, because I totally deserve to be in that museum! Seriously, sign me up! Nominate Me! I’ll take the induction with pride and class. I’ll even try to get Bill Moore’s or Los Tacos to cater the reception.
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