The world is upside down…

In a normal world, you would want the most talented, smart, ethical journalists working for your hometown newspaper. Sometimes, those people can be young. But many times, like in a lot of lines of work, having some experience serves the journalist – and the paper – well.

Apparently, that business model has gone out the window. I am reeling with anger and disgust over having amazing writers like Missy Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune, Mechelle Voepel of the Kansas City Star and Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun laid off (aka fired) to save money by their corporate parents. And those are just three off the top of my head….there are thousands more.

Every paper in this country has been diminished by the loss of amazing writers, copy editors, etc. And the bleeding of talent shows no signs of stopping.

What’s making me so angry is the lip service from the editors, etc. about how these losses won’t affect the quality of the paper, that better journalism is coming, we’re you’re local watchdog! Are we?

In a raw sense, how do you serve as a watchdog of anything when you have no dogs left and no money to do anything?

The public knows. They see what is happening. All I can do is pray for everybody who has been caught in this crossfire of a bad economy and greedy/incompetent corporate parents. I pray all of those who have been laid off will go on to bigger and brighter things, and I hope they know their loss is noted.

Chilling a bit…

Howdy – been off since last week, and have been trying to mentally recoup. And one of the ways is my staying away from computers 🙂 However, look for additions to the website in the coming days: I will be adding a Cats Meow page to show off my painting venture, some more additions to the land of lists, and some photos and links. All in due time. As they say, stay tuned. Or Hang Loose. Or whatever.

Who needs sleep?

… You’re never gonna get it….for those who know Barenaked Ladies…you get my joke. For those who don’t….good tune. Was I surprised Michigan State got smoked? No. Carolina is just that good. Some odd observations from the Final Four: 1) Ford Field has some amazingly unintelligent people working security. Some doors were wide open for access, others were acting like Jack Bauer and being too good at their jobs; 2) Why did they drop maize and blue confetti at the end? For TV purposes? Nothing says fun than trying to write on deadline while pieces of paper attack you from the sky; 3) The national media whines too much. I am sorry it snowed. I am sorry the shuttle busses were late. I am sorry for the potholes. I am sorry some of the rooms in the Ren Cen weren’t clean when you checked in. Carry on; 4) I worry for Tom Izzo’s vocal cords. I hope he can have a voice in like 10 years; 5) Ford Field makes really yummy oatmeal cookies; 6) Dick Vitale has a very big heart and understands he has had a blessed life; 7) 8 Mile is a mythical place for out-of-towners, seemingly disappointed when it’s not bombed out in on all sides of Detroit; 8) And I vow to get to bed before 2 a.m. and not work 7 days per week following tall people around and listening to their cliches. Seacrest out.

One shining moment…

So the Final Four has started here in Detroit, with Michigan State facing UConn. And where am I? After going down to the floor to see if I could find Billy Schrage – and I did – I decided to go back upstairs to watch on TV. I gave up my courtside seat to let my colleagues working the game have a better view. I am not writing on this game, doing the second game. I could go up to the press box, but watching a basketball game from 7 stories up ain’t fun. TV is better. So I am here, watching it the same way you do at home – on TV.

watching a curious scene…

Sitting here, again, too early in the AM, in yet another airport. This time Logan in Boston. Watching something interesting. This is apparently the last day Northwest will be known as Northwest. Delta everything kicks in today in Detroit and tomorrow elsewhere. A lot of the gate people here seem to be very sad. There is a lot of hugs going on, and some are wearing flowers on their lapels. They’re leaving this terminal in Boston and will all be Delta tomorrow. Mergers have a funny way of erasing the loser. It used to be Northwest Orient. Then Northwest. And now, only Delta. Northwest and I have had a love-hate relationship: love when they upgrade me, hate when they lose my luggage and never find it and never take responsibility for 5 months. But losing your company identity, especially if this is where you’ve worked for a while, is sad. Bye Bye NWA.

The hard side of the job…

Sports is about emotion. Winners, losers, the fans, etc. It’s fun being around people are so happy, such as the Villanova basketball team last night in Boston. They were giddy, with everybody from the coach to the players acting like little boys on Christimas. But being around the other side, the heartbroken Pitt team, was awful. The last thing they wanted to do is be dragged up on a podium, have bright lights trained on them, and have a bunch of reporters ask what went wrong a mere 15 minutes after they lost the game. You feel guilty. Or should I say, I FEEL guilty. You want to let them have their moment of agony in private. Instead, you have to be the person with the sharp stick poking them with questions. It’s the job, blah, blah, blah, and yes, the teams understand the drill. But it’s still a horrible moment to be a witness to. I’d rather stick with the happy people.

Uh, I am surprised.

I am the anti-NCAA Tournament bracket person. I’d rather enjoy the games for what they are, and I don’t gamble. I went and checked the aforementioned bracket I had to do for the paper’s online contest. Basically, I wanted to see how badly I may look against the other sportswriters/columnist/editors from the Freep and News, since we’re all pitted against each other. Guess what…I am winning! How did that happen? Take that! And I still don’t care! 🙂

One shining moment…

Sports writers are typically a hardened, sacrastic lot. We are there to witness, and often pass quick judgement on the winners and losers. Sometimes it’s fun to get to know the people, then have the chance to root for them from afar, maintaining my professional cover. I have to admit, in a very dorky way, how moved I was to see the Michigan State student body and men’s hoops team to rush the floor to celebrate the women knocking off No. 1 Duke. That happens all the time in the men’s game. Not that often for the women. And to see it happen to some people I knew a little, all the better. So I could sit in a hotel room in Boston and mist up a little. If I was in East Lansing, I would probably have been more worried for the safety of my body and laptop, as people may have been jumping over me to get on the floor. One thing that made me smile, watching the chaos on ESPN….seeing 6-9 center Allyssa DeHaan sticking out of the happy scrum. She can’t hide anywhere, even in a mob filled with basketball players.

Happy spring…

Nothing is better than seeing the tulips start to sprout, the crocuses bloom, and the birdies come to build their nests in my awnings. I don’t even mind. The kitties love to see the birdies, and I love to see them ushering spring for real. This has been such a disgusting winter. Too cold, too much snow, and just depressing. But no more. Bye bye winter. C’mon tulips!! 🙂