Tag Archives: Tulsa

Where’s The Journalism???

Local sports coverage is slipping in Oklahoma.  As a former member of the Tulsa media, it saddens me to make that statement.  Covering local sports was my passion and my livelihood.  Back then I sensed it, and even more so now, I see the profession slowly dying.

There is no longer an investment being made in real, substantial journalism.  When I tune into local news these days, I cringe because each station’s sportscast is predictable and dull.  Each channel airs a slightly altered version of the same show.

It’s fine to show highlights from the Drillers, Shock, Talons, Barons, OU, OSU, and of course the Thunder.  However, I have a feeling no one is flipping on their TV to see a couple of lousy highlights.  Nobody is sitting at home anxiously awaiting 20 seconds of Redhawks footage.

So why do stations fall into this cookie cutter pattern?  Is it because the anchors and producers are afraid to miss something or is it because they’ve been in the same routine for so long that they’re just too comfy and complacent to think outside the box?  Frankly, I know it’s the latter because I was guilty of it when I sat at the anchor desk.

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Giving Back With Golf

 

Four years ago, Major Dan Rooney was on a commercial flight shortly after finishing his second of three tours of duty in Iraq.  As the plane touched down, the pilot made an announcement.  “Ladies and gentleman, we have an American hero on board – Corporal Brock Bucklin – and his brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin, is accompanying him home from Iraq.  As a sign of respect, please remain seated while Corporal Bucklin’s family receives him in his final homecoming.”

Rooney, an F-16 pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, looked out the window as a casket was carried off the plane.  Behind a fence just beyond the tarmac, Rooney could see Corporal Bucklin’s family members and a four-year old boy who would grow up without a father.

Every passenger on that flight was moved by what they witnessed, but Major Rooney was also inspired.  He couldn’t get the image of that little boy out of his head.

Back home in Broken Arrow, Major Rooney decided something had to be done to help the children of America’s fallen soldiers.  He founded a charity called the Folds of Honor Foundation with the aim of providing college scholarships to the spouses and children of service members disabled or killed as a result of their sacrifice to our nation.  Rooney chose the name to represent the 13 folds that form the triangle shape of an American flag that is folded at a soldier’s funeral.  Corporal Bucklin’s son, Jacob, received the very first Folds of Honor scholarship.  Four years later, the Folds of Honor Foundation has awarded 2,000 scholarships and raised $8.5 million for the dependents of America’s fallen and disabled soldiers.

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No Buzz For Basketball

If you still have a team alive in the NFL playoffs, you’re one of the lucky few.  For the rest of us, mid-January leaves an empty feeling.  College football season is officially over.  Just reading that last sentence out loud is almost enough to make my eyes wet.

So now we can turn our full attention to basketball.  Or can we?  I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.  I feel no buzz, no excitement, and no anticipation for hoops right now.  I don’t think I’m the only one.  In this state, no one is talking basketball.  Sure, the newspapers and local media will cover the games because they have to, but trust me, the fan bases of our state schools are not fired up.  There is far more interest in the next football season than there is in the current basketball season.

Part of that is simply the climate in our state.  Oklahoma is a football state, always has been, always will be.  Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of basketball tradition here.  Henry Iba, Eddie Sutton, Wayman Tisdale, Billy Tubbs, the Griffin brothers, Nolan Richardson, and countless others have contributed to the hoops history of Oklahoma.  But the truth is, no matter how many Final Fours the colleges rack up, and no matter how many dunks Kevin Durant throws down, basketball is never going to overtake football in the hearts and minds of Oklahomans.

Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon will both be back for another season in Stillwater (courtesy tulsaworld.com)

Part of the basketball apathy is due to the unbelievable success of football in 2010 and what could transpire in 2011.  OU is already one of the favorites to win a national championship, while OSU is getting its stars back and should start the season in the Top 10.  Tulsa finished in the Top 25 for the first time in nearly 20 years, and the search for a new head coach is dominating the headlines in this part of the state.  If there’s one constant in Oklahoma sports, it’s that it’s never too early to start talking football.

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Silent Sunday: 12/19/10 ~ Tulsa Town, by Vlad Railian

This morning our Silent Sunday post is completely focused on Tulsa.  Because quite a few of our contributors live in central Oklahoma, we want to make sure and let Tulsa know they are in our hearts as well.  All images have been provided by Vlad Railian, an amateur photographer from the Tulsa area.  We’re certainly glad you’re living in Tulsa Town, Vlad…and for showing us some of what your city has to offer.  One final note, the LED photos aren’t necessarily “Tulsa,” per se – I just liked them and thought they might be appreciated as Christmas lights with a twist. ~ RDK

Rhema Building

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