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This just in: a night in the lives of D-FW's late night newscasts (Mon., Feb. 4)

Volatile Bob Knight's abrupt resignation as Texas Tech basketball coach made for big news Monday on three of D-FW's four major late night news providers. NBC5's Newy Scruggs as usual got left out, but did manage to shoot a Super Bowl XLII ratings zinger at anchor Jane McGarry.

Following a severe weather update, Belo8 topped its 10 p.m. newscast with Knight's surprise sign-off at age 67 after signing a three-year contract extension in September. The all-time winningest college hoops coach supposedly had grown tired of the job. Anchor Dale Hansen saw an opening and pounced.

"Can you imagine what Bobby Knight would have said and done if one of his players quit in the middle of the season, saying he's tired?" Hansen asked rhetorically. "But Knight does it anyway."

Hansen later reiterated: "Knight quits on his team in the middle of the season."

OK, OK, we get it. But guess what? Coaches, sports anchors and even TV critics are entitled to suddenly get tired of it all as old age turns the head in other directions. So Hansen seemed too harsh on Knight, even if his storied temperament leaves him wide open for counter-punching.

CBS11 sports anchor Babe Laufenberg took a more even-handed approach.

"Knight will be remembered for his fiery temper, but also leaves with 902 career victories in his 42 years," he told viewers. CBS11 was the only station to air an interview with his son, Pat Knight, who's replacing the old man as Tech coach.

"You know, he's just tired. That's the bottom line," the younger Knight said. His dad had shown signs of this for the past year, Pat Knight said. "Today was the most relieved and peaceful I've seen him in a long time."

Over on Fox4, sports anchor Mike Doocy treated viewers to a collage of Knight's greatest hits, so to speak. The footage of course included footage of his famous chair-throw.

"He'll be remembered for the winning, and for the one thing he lost most often -- his temper," Doocy said. Well put.

NBC5 waited until Scruggs' ever-abbreviated, end-of-newscast sports segment to bring viewers a little dollop of Knight coverage. Scruggs also told viewers that Super Bowl XLII had more viewers Sunday than every TV telecast except CBS' M*A*S*H finale.

"I was too young for that one. Jane remembers it, though," he said.

Scruggs later wondered when the M*A*S*H finale had been telecast. The year was 1982, anchor Mike Snyder informed him (actually it was 1983). Scruggs said he was 11 years old at the time, and had to be in bed.

"Newy knows I can't say to him what I'd like to on the air," McGarry retorted with an edge in her voice. Who says that Belo8 anchors get to have all the fun during their nightly volleys at one another? Um, just how old is McGarry? Anyone out there know for sure? Let's set the over-under at 46.

CBS11's Jack Fink, Fox4's Becky Oliver, NBC5's Grant Stinchfield

Monday also had a wealth of enterprise reporting, much of it laudable. But what was CBS11 thinking with its loopy "Dream World" story by Ginger Allen?

The almost supernaturally tanned investigator and early morning anchor seems to be working around the clock. Maybe she needs a rest after this amusement, featuring a cosmic-sounding School of Metaphysics guru named Damian Nordmann.

He tried to explain the concept of "lucid dreams" with help from a true-believing high school student who supposedly took a trip to the 9-11 attacks and witnessed people "screaming everywhere." Viewers also learned that a jogger with recurring dreams of killing a tiger in fact had symbolically killed his jogging routine. Dreamscape imagery also abounded, with Allen amazingly fighting off any laughing fits. But has Ginger snapped? Stay tuned.

CBS11 otherwise led its newscast on solid ground with reporter Jack Fink's in-depth look at "HOV Headaches" on I-75 north of 635. Motorists are befuddled by the lack of entrances and exits, and Fink did a fine job of giving viewers a road map. It was a story of considerable importance to many commuters and travelers.

The station's Brooke Richie was the only D-FW television reporter in Phoenix for a first-hand update on two Dallas firefighters who were wounded in a drive-by shooting after watching the Super Bowl at a sports bar. She interviewed the manager of the Moon Saloon, who said that neither man had caused any trouble before leaving just before 2 a.m. It remains a "very mysterious case," Richie said.

Also on CBS11, reporter Katherine Blake brought news of a Fort Worth man who's on a mission to confiscate illegal roadside "bandit signs" for a dating service. The money shot: he ceremoniously and sanctimoniously dumped a trash bag full of the signs, leaves and all, near the front desk of the dating service.

On Fox4, veteran gravel-voiced investigator Becky Oliver got back in the saddle with a telling look at state agencies that somehow have lost or misplaced more than 8,400 items worth $27.7 million in the past two years. They include TV sets, motor vehicles and computers.

"So," Oliver asked no one in particular, "do big-screen TVs just grow legs and simply walk away?"

Someone in the station's graphics department, or maybe the reporter herself, had the dim-bulb idea to underscore this point by putting legs on a TV and having it walk away to the accompaniment of a cartoon sound effect. Didn't need that.

Oliver seemed to have her facts well in order, though, with an additional boost from smarty-pants Dallas state rep. Dan Branch, who said, "There's neglect somewhere, which is the root word for negligence."

Fox4's Jason Overstreet, one of the station's brightest reporters, later had an intriguing story on a locally produced Super Bowl XLII ad starring deaf employees of Plano-based Pepsico. And intrepid Saul Garza remedied another wrong during his regular "What's Buggin' You?" segment.

This time Garza aided a married couple whose wedding pictures, taken on June 25, 2005, had gone undelivered by a photographer they'd paid up front. Even a successful small claims judgment hadn't helped. But Garza tracked down the shooter, and he finally put the picture discs in the mail.

"I'm so glad I called you," the bride gushed. "You're a miracle worker." Garza didn't disagree.

NBC5 ran its "scary" streak to three nights by deploying the reliable buzz word during reporter Randy McIlwain's story on a McKinney jogger who died Saturday of a heart attack and still hasn't been identified.

"It was a pretty scary moment," said a fellow jogger who watched CPR performed on the man.

The Peacock's Grant Stinchfield, a reliably savvy veteran, reported on the abrupt closing of the Silver State Helicopters training school, which left students in the lurch and their tuition money in limbo. NBC5's heavily promoted "Tale of Two Weddings" story by Lindsay Wilcox was more than a little over-produced, but still affecting. Basically, the mother of a bride-to-be suddenly took very ill, prompting her daughter to get married both in mom's hospital room and at a church.

Belo8 medical reporter Janet St. James had an interesting story on fasting as a time-honored means of both losing weight and staying healthy. And the station's Craig Civale gave viewers the most through look at the unforeseen closing of Dallas' Lynacre Academy Charter School, which had amassed $750,000 in debts with no warning to students or their parents.

"Doesn't it almost sound criminal to you?" Civale asked a school representative who to her credit took questions from both the reporter and those who had been traumatized by the sudden closing.

"Yes, it does," she said after pausing to gather herself.

In keeping with Monday's news, it's time to suddenly end this latest dispatch -- but without announcing any retirement just yet.