Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hey, Andi, Anytime a Guy Named Mad Dog Wants to Interview Me About the Hawkeyes And 'Tales from the Iowa Sidelines,' I'm Ready!

The phone rang. It was Andi from the publishing company.

“Good morning, Ron. I’m wondering if you want to be interviewed about ‘Tales from the Iowa Sidelines’ by Mad Dog?”

“Mad Dog who?” I asked.

“David ‘Mad Dog’ Demarco,” Andi said. “Mad Dog does a radio show called ‘Mad Dog Inc.’ in Lansing, Mich. “He’d like to talk to you about the Iowa-Michigan football game as well as your book.”

“Hey, Andi,” I said. “Anytime a guy named Mad Dog wants to ask me about my book and about the Hawkeyes, I’m on! Set it up.”

Meanwhile, I did a little research on Mad Dog. I learned that he’s a huge favorite in the Lansing area. He’s a big deal on the radio and he’s invited to do lots of things off the air.

Heck, he even threw out the first pitch at a Lansing Lugnuts’ baseball game [the photo is at the top of this column]. That’s tough to beat.

So Andi got hold of Mad Dog. Somebody from WQTX, which is Mad Dog’s station in Lansing, called me at 2:30 p.m., and we were rolling.

“OK, welcome back, this is David, the Mad Dog, Demarco and this is 92 on the ticket,” Mad Dog told his listeners after the commercial. “As we take a little break from our topic—-whether it’s the NBA dress code or hockey…..

“There’s going to be a big game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City this weekend. The Michigan Wolverines travel there, and they’ve had some success and some non-success there.

“This gentleman has been covering Iowa football for a long, long time. He has a collection of the greatest stories ever told…..’Tales from the Iowa Sidelines—Updated and Revised’……Ron Maly is the author.

“Ron, how are you doing?”

“I’m doing very well, Mad Dog,” I said. "And you?"

“Doing great, and great to hear from you, man,” Mad Dog said. “First of all, why don’t you tell the Michigan people in this area exactly how fired up people are in Iowa City—on the campus of Iowa—for this ballgame.

“Tell us the status of some of the Iowa players—guys like Drew Tate and the offensive line. We already know the status of Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway. They’re gonna be trying to win this game very badly.”

I told Mad Dog that anytime a Michigan football team comes to Iowa City, people are excited. Hawkeye fans may not be quite as pumped as they were 20 years ago when Bo Schembechler accompanied his No. 2-ranked Wolverines to Kinnick Stadium for a game against No. 1 Iowa [and wound up losing, 12-10], but, hey, Lloyd Carr won’t be bringing his Michigan team into a place where they’re playing classical music over the public address microphone.

I mentioned to Mad Dog that this state is unlike Michigan. There’s no professional football team –- well, I guess they’re still calling the Detroit Lions a professional team, aren’t they? –- around here, so Iowa and Iowa State are our teams.

Mad Dog and I continued on for 15 or 20 minutes, covering the Iowa-Michigan and “Tales from the Iowa Sidelines” waterfront. We left no stone unturned. We even talked about Iowa’s 1939 Ironmen, and about Nile Kinnick, the university’s only Heisman Trophy winner.

I explained to Mad Dog that the hard-cover version of “Tales” was published in 2003, and all 10,000 copies have either been sold or distributed to bookstores and book sellers. I told him the publisher [Sports Publishing LLC] asked me last summer to do a 4,000-word addition on Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz’s success in recent seasons, and the soft-cover version of the book is in now selling very well in stores.

Andi of the publishing company had reminded me in an e-mail to tell Mad Dog and his radio listeners “where they can purchase the book [], and local book stores” such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks and just about every other place that sells books.

So I did just that.

Mad Dog wound it up by saying that maybe we'd talk again sometime.

"Sounds good to me, Mad Dog. Meanwhile, stay cool."

Andi wanted to know later in the day how things went on the radio with Mad Dog.

“Great,” I said. “Mad Dog is on top of things and is an excellent interviewer."

Andi then said she’d be reminding me of the three book signings I have coming up in the next few weeks in the Des Moines and West Des Moines areas.

“I’ll be ready, Andi,” I said.

So it goes in the book-writing and book-selling business.