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Local couple shares special day with 15 other couples on ‘Good Morning America’

This is what I’m thinking …

Just about every bride wants the attention to be on her as much as possible on her wedding day.

But it certainly isn’t easy to do when you are one of 16 couples getting married together on national television.

That said, Jenell Greene and her new husband, Paul Spitale, got a fair amount of attention when the Buffalo couple was married Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Greene was one of three brides in a makeup chair talking with Sam Champion several minutes before the ordained minister married all the couples. And Spitale got a few seconds of screen time with his bride during a program that “GMA” billed as the “Wide World of Weddings.”

“It is getting real, it is getting real,” said Spitale in a recorded clip after he and Jenell got their wedding license.

“It is starting to kick in now,” added Jenell.

Spitale also spent a decent amount of time over three days in New York City posting video on social networks about what he and Jenell did in New York City to prepare for the wedding.

I’m sure it was a memorable experience for the couple, who got a bonus. They could be shouting “we’re going to Walt Disney World.”

At the end of Friday’s program, it was announced that all 16 couples were given a three-day honeymoon at Walt Disney World, which has the same owner as ABC.


Speaking of attention, Mississippi offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil got more screen time than expected during the NFL Draft Thursday night as he fell to the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick after a video emerged that was said to show him smoking marijuana through a bong a couple of years ago.

Tunsil’s slide made news on Friday’s national news programs and overshadowed the selections of two quarterbacks, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, who were the first two picks of the draft.

The draft choices were revealed on Twitter before ESPN and The NFL Network, which took some of the suspense out for viewers simultaneously on social networks. There were some laughable suggestions that the media not tweet the picks before the cable networks announced them. The picks were news and any reporter would reveal them as soon as he or she knows them. If viewers don’t want to know the choices before the cable sports networks reveal them, they should get off the social networks.

My top draft pick among television analysts Thursday was ESPN’s Louis Riddick. Whenever he talked, I listened. I will say that a new Jon Gruden emerged; he was more critical of players being drafted than he ever has been on Monday Night Football or any of the shows he has been on.


Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Doug Flutie has gotten a lot of attention for weeks competing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” this season. His dance career mercifully ended Monday night when he was eliminated.


I can’t imagine versatile play-by-play man Mike Tirico would be leaving ESPN after 25 years for NBC unless he had assurances that he would eventually replace Al Michaels on Sunday Night Football.

Granted, Michaels still does quality work and reportedly has two years left on his contract, but he will be 72 in November and not everyone is like Vin Scully and can continue forever.

The idea that Tirico would leave all the prestigious NFL, pro and college basketball, golf and tennis assignments that he does for ESPN to work five Thursday Night Football games on NBC makes about as much sense as the Bills signing Tyrod Taylor to a $20 million contract before the season.

NBC Sports doesn’t have enough professional sports to keep Tirico busy. Its high-profile events are the NFL, the Olympics, the Triple Crown of horse racing and the British Open and Ryder Cup in golf.

The Syracuse University graduate could also work at NBCSN and the Golf Channel, which NBC owns. NBCSN has the NHL and soccer, neither of which gets much national attention.

It wouldn’t shock me if NBC tried to find a place for Tirico to work in its news division, perhaps on “Today” in some capacity.

Tirico’s reported departure would leave multiple holes at ESPN, most prominently on Monday Night Football.

The Sports Business Daily, which first reported Tirico’s move to NBC, speculated that another Syracuse graduate, Sean McDonough, appears to be the favorite to replace Tirico alongside Gruden on MNF. I’ve always thought McDonough has been underrated, especially on college basketball.


My memory was jogged by the current theatrical movie starring Kevin Spacey, “Elvis & Nixon.” I thought I had seen something like that before. Sure enough, Showtime carried a TV movie in 1997, “Elvis and Nixon,” that dealt with the singer’s request to be assigned a new position as a federal agent at large to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Rick Peters, who has an extensive TV series resumé that recently included “Agent Carter,” played Elvis. Bob Gunton, who played the evil warden in “Shawshank Redemption,” played President Nixon.


Channel 7 reporter Rachel Elzufon is leaving the station to work at The Red Cross part-time as its volunteer services coordinator. Her last day was Friday. Reporter-anchor Jill Perkins also has decided to relocate for personal reasons and will be leaving in July, General Manager Mike Nurse said.


Mike Gilbert, the member of the Buffalo Sabres organization who has been dealing with the local and the national media covering the National Hockey League team for 19 years, recently received a promotion.

The Sabres haven’t announced it, even though Gilbert’s new role is visible on its website. Under the staff directory Gilbert now is listed under front office personnel as the vice president of administration for the Sabres and the general manager of Harborcenter.

It isn’t unusual these days for the Sabres or Pegula Sports and Entertainment (PSE) not to announce key hires, promotions or departures. Channel 4 reporter Lauren Hall recently announced on Twitter that she was joining PSE in June. There was no announcement by PSE.

Gilbert joined the Sabres in 1997 and has earned the respect of the media while working with several different owners since then, often in difficult times.