Press Talk: Of snow frenzy & Tebowing

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian Editor



Columbian Editor Lou Brancaccio Tebows in the newspaper's pressroom Wednesday.

A few days before the snow actually came and the TV weather wizards were already in DEFCON 4 prediction mode, I admit I was chuckling a little.

We were sitting in a news meeting and someone was taking about the upcoming doom. I couldn’t resist.

“At best it will be a snowapalooza.”

Another editor mildly objected.

“But that sounds so sweet.”

Well that was my point, I guess. But it got me to thinkin’.

We needed a graphic, a chart that everyone in Vancouver could follow. It would be visual, so you could quickly gauge how frenzied you should be.

It would be called — dramatic pause required here — The Snow Frenzy Rating. The more it snows or is expected to snow, the more dire the rating.

The levels of snow that create the frenzy would need to be adjusted, depending on where you live.

For example, the ones we show here would work fine for Miami, San Diego and Vancouver.

If you live in Syracuse, Chicago or Yacolt, you’d adjust up.

This is a service, free of charge to you. (Shipping and handling not included.)

• Snowapalooza: 1-3 inches. It’s a happy time. Sort of like a ’60s hippie concert without the drugs. No huge problems likely to result.

• Snowmageddon: 4-6 inches. The battle between good (us people) and evil (the snow) begins. Judgment Day could be on its way.

• Snowpocalypse: 6-12 inches. You’re welcome to try to dig yourself out, but it’s more likely the complete and final destruction of the world is upon us. You can tell this mostly because your cable TV has been out for 30 minutes.

Inspiration comes from …

Sometimes I’m asked where my column ideas come from. Sheese. Who knows, right? But I admit sometimes I need help.

It’s not unusual for me to try to find a quiet place to think. I like to remember how small I am in the scheme of things and I seek out bigger things than me.

This week I found myself in the presence of our 110-ton press. (Former Mayor Royce Pollard wasn’t available.)

I’ll often get down on one knee and press my reporter’s notebook to my frontal lobe. It hurts (both my knee and my head) but it works.

Now you might notice it sort of looks like I’m Tebowing. It’s the latest rage. Everyone is doing it.

Look, quarterback Tim Tebow is not a superstar (unless you’re watching that neat musical from a few years back.) But you don’t have to believe in him to Tebow.

Have you Tebowed? Well, have you?

Look, do me a favor, do your best Tebowing and get a photo of it and send it to me. Don’t be shy. It feels good.

Let’s also get some people in high places to do this as well. Are you listening, Mayor Tim Leavitt? Keep your shirt on.

And what about you, Commissioner Tom Mielke? I have an instruction manual in case you need it.

I’d like to end up with a wall of Tebowers.

I hope they come from all walks of life. Young and old. Big and small. Pets and stuffed animals.

If I get enough good ones I might even do something special for a winner or two.

And see, it worked for me. I got this column out of it. And I was able to write it as soon as a couple of pressmen helped me up out of that Tebow position.

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or

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