Friday, October 21, 2016

Senior Night

It was Senior Night at the final home football game of Valley High School's regular season.

In addition to honoring the football seniors, recognition was give to senior members of Valley's student trainer/student manager staff, plus seniors among the cheerleaders, marching band and dance team.

Megan Maly [pictured at the left], the youngest of Ron and Maxine Maly's six grandchildren, was a senior on the student trainer/student manager staff.

Megan is in her fourth year as a Valley football student trainer/student manager, and will be a student trainer/student manager on  the Tigers' boys basketball team this winter.

She was a member of the trainer/manager staff on the Valley girls team that finished as the runnerup in the class 5-A state tournament a couple of years ago, and performed the same duties with the Valley boys basketball team that won the state class 4-A state championship last season.

Pictured belo is Megan with two other seniors on the football student trainer/student manager staff.

Valley's unbeaten and No. 1-ranked football team raced to a 42-0 halftime lead tonight and went on to blitz Marshalltown, 49-0, in its regular season finale.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In Other Words, the Chicago Cubs


noun jug·ger·naut \ˈjə-gər-ˌnȯt, -ˌnät\

Simple Definition of juggernaut
  • : something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and powerful and cannot be stopped

Drake Radio Shakeup


Being the curious guy I am, I sought out some explanation on news that was announced by Drake's athletic department.

John Meyer emailed me this story:

"Hunter Phillips and Randy Mauro will be the new radio broadcast team for the Drake University women.s basketball program on 1350 ESPN Des Moines.

"Phillips, who will perform play-by-play duties, graduated from Drake in May, 2016 with bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and history. He broadcast Drake men's and women's basketball, football and softball games for three years on the campus radio station, 94.1 The Dog, and served as the station's sports director his senior year. Phillips is a West Des Moines native.
"Mauro, who will serve as the analyst, coached high school boys basketball for 15 years at Dowling Catholic and Lincoln High Schools and has coached girls basketball for eight seasons in the local club program, the All-Iowa Attack."
I asked a guy who is close to the Drake program what he thought of this stuff. Here's what he told me:

"Ric Silvestrini, who was Drake's previous women's basketball play-by-play announcer, said he was too busy with his other duties at Drake, and Drake officials didn't want him to be gone on road trips.

"Color analyst Molly Nelson, a former Drake player, is expecting twins and opted not to do the radio this year. So they were scrambling for an analyst, and Randy Mauro was a suggestion from coach Jennie Baranczyk.

"This will be the first time in Drake history they have had a man serving as analyst.

"I can't believe they didn't reach out to Laura Leonard, who had been an analyst for more than 25 years, or reach out to other former Drake women's basketball players who live in the Des Moines area."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Who's Pitiful & Who Isn't


Well, I had good intentions tonight.

I tried to split my TV time equally between the Cubs-Dodgers playoff game and the Clinton-Trump presidential debate.

But, hey, it's a heck of a lot easier keeping track of a baseball game than a debate.
At least they keep score in baseball.

In politics, it ain't so simple.

I even asked for help after the debate.

One of my favorite tell-it-like-it-is political 
analysts texted: "I don't know who won. Both of the [two clowns in the debate] were pitiful."

At least, for a change, the Cubs weren't pitiful .

After going scoreless in two consecutive games, they came out of their offensive funk and showed that they weren't dead by walloping the Dodgers, 10-2, in Game 4 of the National League playoff.

It's good to know that multi-millionaire ballplayers can actually put points on the scoreboard.

So the series is tied, 2-2, heading into tomorrow night's game at Dodger Stadium.

I feel a lot better about the Cubs' chances now that they've rediscovered how to hit the ball.

As for Clinton and Trump, well....both were pitiful tonight and will likely remain pitiful tomorrow and the next day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016



This is not looking good.

The Cubs are giving all appearances of being dead.

They can't hit.

They can't score.

They haven't put a run on the board for two games.

Tonight Jake Arrieta couldn't pitch.

When that happens, you know it's bad.

The Cubs are making the Dodgers look like world-beaters in the National League playoffs.

I'm afraid people will very soon bring up the subject of black cats, billygoats and all the other negative stuff associated with a baseball franchise that hasn't won a World Series since 1908.

So sad.

Gouged At the Grlocery Store


I was talking to a guy I know.

I'll call him Frank because that's his name.

Frank had just gone grocery shopping with his wife Edna, and wasn't in a good mood.

Edna wasn't exactly feeling like doing cartwheels down Ashworth Road either.

"What's the problem?" I asked.

 "HyVee is my problem," Frank said.  "We buy most of our groceries at Fareway, and usually go to HyVee only for a couple of reasons--to try the free food samples they give away in the meat department and to buy some bread we like."

"What kind of bread?" I asked. 

"Well, it's a dark bread [pictured] filled with 
raisins and walnuts," Frank said. "It's made in the HyVee bakery. Edna and I think it's healthy, and we try to eat a slice or two every day to keep us regular, if you know what I mean."

"I know what you mean, Frank," I said. "Sounds good to me.  So give me some details on your trouble with HyVee."

"Well," Frank explained, " I went to the  bakery at the HyVee on Valley West Drive [35th Street] in West Des Moines this morning, and noticed that they were giving customers 6 cents off their gas price if they bought a loaf of certain breads. I've been paying $2.98 a loaf for the bread, and the 6 cents off on the gas for the old Subaru hatchback would make it a tremendous deal."

I agreed.

"The trouble was, when I checked my receipt I saw that they charged me $5.99 for the loaf of raisin-and-walnut bread,"  Frank said.  "I was pissed. So I went to the customer service desk and said I'd been over-charged by $3.01."

"That's quite a price hike, Frank," I said. "Did they give you a refund?"

"No. The lady at the customer service desk showed me that the price on the bread was correct at  $5.99," Frank said.  "So I went

back to the bakery to see why the bread cost $5.99 instead of $2.98. The sales guy said $5.99 was the new price. He didn't know, or didn't want me to know, why the price shot up so high. Last week the bread cost $2.98."

I told Frank I had never heard of a price hike like that on bread or anything else.

"I'm planning to write a letter to the HyVee manager," Frank said.

I hope he does. 

Frank and Edna were gouged and deserve better.

I didn't ask, but I'll bet they didn't get a smile in every aisle either.

As far as I'm concerned, Frank and Edna can sign my name to that letter, too. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pitifully Punchless


I'm having a difficult time figuring out how professional athletes, most of whom are paid millions of dollars a season, sometimes can't hit

a moving baseball often enough to score one run in a game.

I'm referring, of course, to the Chicago Cubs, who were held scoreless and with only two hits last night by Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League playoffs.

The Cubs, who lost, 1-0, permitted Kershaw to look like Cy Young, in whose memory an award is given each season to the best pitcher in the league.

As long as I'm writing about how someone resembled someone else, Kershaw made the Cubs look like Little Leaguers in the game at Wrigley Field.

Or, as one of the announcers [whose hair was dyed red] on today's local early-morning show on KCCI , kept calling it, Wrigley Stadium without anyone else on the program correcting her.

For the benefit of that uninformed announcer and her cohorts on channel 8, the Cubs' ballyard has been called Wrigley Field since 1927.

Anyway, I'm finding if very hard to understand why the Cubs couldn't score one run.

Or how Joe Maddon [pictured], who is being paid millions of dollars to manage the Cubs, couldn't figure out some type of strategy that would produce some sort of offense.

Like a hit-and-run.

Like a bunt or two.

The Cubs were totally unimaginative against the Dodgers, evidently waiting in vain for Javier Baez or someone else to hit a home run that would tie or win the game.

Shame on Joe Maddon and his punchless players.

It made for awful TV.