Wednesday, June 28, 2006

'Doug From Davenport' Writes About the 'One-Shit Shutout,' Some Goofy Register Cutlines And Adding Men's, Women's Hockey At Iowa State

"Doug From Davenport," a man who knows a lot about the newspaper business, weighed in with another of his outstanding e-mails:

"I thought you might like this. In our version of the Register on Saturday morning, the cutline under the photo of Bob Bowlsby and Gary Barta shaking hands says this: 'This is the cutline. And it goes herey.' And then it repeats the same two phrases five more times. Probably was about as interesting as the real cutline about two guys in suits shaking hands.

"Now, if they could only do the same thing with Sean Keeler's columns once in a while.

"I understand mistakes though. I knew a reporter who once had a high school kid pitching 'a one-shit shutout' and it made the paper that way. The next week I think he hurled a two-shitter. Nah, just made the last part up.

"If Jamie Pollard wants to do something the University of Iowa will never do, he should add ice hockey as a varsity sport for men and women. It's a sport thousands of kids play all over the midwest and it's a sport that you can compete at at a national level pretty quickly. Students also love the games, with or without beer sales. It would take a dedicated arena of 4,000 or 5,000 seats, could probably be used for wrestling or gymnastics, too, but apparently Pollard plans to raise $135 million, so why not? It makes much more sense than trying to have a baseball team at Iowa State, or Iowa for that matter."

"Doug From Davenport"

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Thanks for the funny, and sensible, stuff, Doug. It sounds like you're reading the earliest edition the Register puts out now. I can't imagine the paper letting stuff like those horrible cutlines make it through more than one edition, but you never know these days. Just when you think you've seen it all, you see something even worse. As for the "one-shit shutout" you wrote about, I was always told to be very careful with headlines. A smart editor told me never to write a headline that says something like "Brown's hit wins for Tigers, 5-3" His point was that it would be very easy for the space between the "s" after Brown's name to be very, very narrow. Then you'd have "Brown'shit wins for Tigers, 5-3" By the way, the photo that Harry Baumert took for the Register that "Doug From Davenport" referred to is at the top of this column. As for Sean Keeler's writing, that's something out of my control. I can't solve all of their problems at that place. And as for adding men's and women's hockey at Iowa State, it's no doubt something that college fans could get interested in. Iowa State has had men's hockey as a club sport for quite a while, and it's been both successful and popular. I haven't heard that hockey is something Pollard wants to add as an intercollegiate sport, even though he wants to spend a whopping $135 million [which he doesn't yet have] for renovations to Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium, plus other projects. The projected renovations are pictured, courtesy of Iowa State, under the photo of Bowlsby and Barta].

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On the subject of the money Pollard wants to spend at Iowa State, I heard from "Willie in Waterloo," who has his doubts.

"Someone has to convince me that Iowa State will raise those huge dollars when Clemson and South Carolina are having trouble getting it done. Clemson draws over 80,000 fans for every home game; ditto for South Carolina. I didn't do very wellin 'Math for General Education' at UNI back in 1965, but don't the Cyclones still play in a stadium smaller than either Clemson's or SC's? At least they did last season. Oh, sooner than later on the dash to Madison."

"Willie in Waterloo">

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Willie's mention of "the dash to Madison" is in reference to the belief that Pollard will be heading back to the University of Wisconsin as Barry Alvarez's successor whenever Barry gets tired of being the athletic director].

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Clark Mollenhoff, where are you when you're needed?

Bud Appleby of Des Moines sent this e-mail:

"Interesting Associated Press story about Charles Grassley and pimps on page 7 of Wednesday's paper.

"Makes a person wonder what the Register's crack Washington bureau was doing."

Bud Appleby
Des Moines

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: It was left to Mary Dalrymple of the AP to report the story with these opening two paragraphs: "Pimps and tax traffickers could soon find themselves being chased by tax collectors, not just the vice squad. [Iowa] Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, wants the Internal Revenue Service to chase after pimps and sex traffickers with the same fervor it stalked gangster Al Capone for tax evasion....." The Register's less-than-crack Washington Bureau evidently ignored the story or wasn't able to understand it. Can you imagine that happening when Mollenhoff was running that bureau? Grassley is pictured at the lower right.]

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Travis Simpson of Des Moines writes about Derrek Lee, the Chicago Cubs, the Iowa Cubs and sports-talk radio in this e-mail:

"I was listening to the Marty and Miller show on KXNO and they were discussing Derrek Lee’s shortened rehab stint here in Iowa. After a week or so of listening to them now, I’m not so sure that they will ever be able to live up to the mediocre bar that Steve Deace set. They were commenting on how the I-Cubs were allowing ticket holders to exchange their tickets for another game if they were upset about Derrek Lee not being at the Sunday game. Lee was called up after Saturday’s game in Iowa after two non-factor Cub players -- Freddie Bynum and Tony Womack -- both were injured in Saturday’s game vs. the Twins. Obviously, the move didn’t matter as the Cubs lost, 8-1, to the Twins on Sunday and 6-0 Monday to a Brewers team that had lost two of three to the equally-pathetic Kansas City Royals.

"Anyway, back to the afternoon topic on M&M’s show.....They were suggesting that the I-Cubs should take the 'high road' and offer an additional free game to anyone that had tickets for Sunday’s game because of the inconvenience of not being able to see Derrek Lee. That idea not only sounds stupid, but knowing how the I-Cubs charge $5 to park now and an arm and a leg for beer and mediocre concessions I doubt that is going to happen. Why should they in the first place? It’s not their fault that the circus in Chicago called Lee back sooner than scheduled. What if I had bought a ticket to see the Chicago Cubs earlier this year and just days before the game I was to go to was when Derek Lee was injured? Do you think the Chicago Cubs would refund or exchange my ticket just because I was unable to see him play now? HECK NO! So why should the I-Cubs feel obligated to do anything? I’d rather go see the I-Cubs play right now than the Chicago team. At least the I-Cubs play with some effort and have a manager that at least has half a brain. I had tickets to the Sunday game hoping to see Lee and even without him I still enjoyed a nice day at the ballpark and watched a well-played 5-3 win."

Travis Simpson
Des Moines

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Thanks for the thoughtful e-mail, Travis. In my opinion, the Iowa Cubs should let fans in free to atleast half of the team's home games because of the horrendous costs involved with taking a family to No-Name Ballpark. However, I certainly agree that the I-Cubs are a more entertaining team to watch than the Chicago Cubs. Watching a piss-poor manager like Dusty Baker trying to get a piss-poor team that plays in Wrigley Field to win games is a very depressing experience. Derrek Lee is pictured at the lower left].