Mike Burger had the greatest job in the world. As a weatherman, Burger can be completely wrong pretty much all the time and say, "Weather changes". But as a weatherman of forever, Burger has been right more than he has wrong. Sadly, however, the weatherman at CBS 11 has retired. But he did agree to pick some games from this weekend and talk about his career.
Mac Engel: How long have you been forecasting?
Mike Burger: I forecast Moses' big rain. About 30 years. Started in Florida, came to Texas, went back to Florida, and came back to Texas in 2000.
ME: Where is the harder place to forecast - Texas or Florida?
MB: Texas for sure. You can see weather any time in Texas. Florida depends on the direction of the wind.
ME: Are there any storms you remember distinctly here in Texas?
MB: The hailstorm in Fort Worth. The F5 tornado that hit Lancaster. The Mother's Day tornado in Wylie. We were chasing that in a helicopter. That one we had to set it down in a field because we were between two storms. I had a great pilot and he knew what he was doing.
ME: What's the most embarrassing moment you had on TV?
MB: There was a time in Florida, I had shaved that morning and I had cut my lip. I was on-air and I could feel the blood dripping down my mouth, down my shirt and own my tie. I couldn't stop bleeding.
ME: Do you ever get viewers who complain about your forecasts?
MB: There are people who do that. There are no wrong forecasts - just the conditions change. I had one guy call me once everything but a human being. I had ruined his vacation because it rained. I had forecasted it was going to rain but he obviously wasn't listening.
ME: Do people ever thank you for the weather?
MB: All the time. It's a compliment - people have enough faith and belief in you that they think you can control the weather. People will say, 'Thanks. We really needed that rain.' We had nothing to do with it.
ME: Do people ever get mad at you if you break into a show or a game with breaking weather?
MB: All the time. All the time. But it really depends on the news director's decision. I've been fortunate that here at CBS 11 their priority is weather, so we can do it. But they are very considerate and we try to break in only during commercials, which costs the station a lot of money in advertising.
ME: Why retire?
MB: I'm 65. I've done this between radio and TV for 40 years. It was time. I figured, 'Get outta here and play golf and enjoy life.'
ME: Do you know anything about college football?
MB: Sure. I love it. When I was doing radio in Florida when I was starting out I did sports. We had no budget and no money but I'll always remember that was when Bobby Bowden was starting out at Florida State. He would always take my calls, and always call me back. I never forgot that. He didn't have to, but he was trying to build a program and he awlays did it. And Charlie Bell was the head coach at Florida at the time and he would never call me, but Bobby would.
ME: Time to pick some games.
ME: TCU at SMU; SMU is getting 17.5 points.
MB: I have to go with SMU; 17.5 points is too many points to pass up.
ME: Eastern Michigan at Ohio State; EMU is getting 42.5 points.
MB: It's not enough. Steve Dennis would never talk to me again if I didn't pick Ohio State.
ME: Alabama at Arkansas; the Hogs are getting 7.5 points.
MB: That is a tough, tough game. Arkansas has a good quarterback and they believe they can do it. I have to go with the Razorbacks.
ME: West Virginia at LSU; WVU is getting 6.5 points.
MB: I have go with LSU.
ME: Virginia Tech at Boston College; BC is getting 4 points.
MB: Boston College is not bad, they are at home. Go with BC.
ME: South Carolina at Auburn; USC is getting 2.5 points.
- Mac Engel