Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Field of Battle

Sometimes young boys become young men on the field of battle. Such was the case last Friday night for my nephew Max Nelson and the rest of the 2012 Manistique Emeralds high school football team.

They entered their last regular season game with a 5 and 3 record and a chance, if they won, to advance to the high school football playoffs for the first time in many years.

It had been raining off and on throughout the day and the field conditions were slippery. That did come into play a bit. Max, a sure-handed receiver, dropped a touchdown pass in the endzone. He wasn't the only player to do so during the evening. Both team moved the ball up and down the field before the other defense would stiffen and the ball would be turned over on downs. At the end of regulation play the score was tied at 6.

I'd never seen a high school game go into overtime. Each team gets it at their opponents' 10 yard line with four downs to score. Both teams failed to score and they went into a second overtime. That's when things got interesting. The Emeralds kept the Harbor Springs Rams out of the endzone, in fact backing them up in the process. When the Emeralds got the ball they were having a tough time trying to get the ball in the endzone and their quarterback was sacked on one play, but an opposing player stood over the QB and taunted him. The Rams were called for unsportsmanlike conduct and Manistique got the ball at the one.

On the final play the Emeralds faked the ball to their go-to running back and handed off to another. They scored and the Emeralds won 12 to 6. Parents and family couldn't have been more proud of those young men. The four captains linked arms when they went on the field for the overtime coin toss to see who would get the ball first. They celebrated on the field and some cried as they left it, including Max. They were tears of joy and perhaps fatigue over a hard fought win.

It was a defining moment for them and one that I am glad I got a chance to see. That's Max number 80 in the photo from one of his earlier games. He's a little older, wiser and stronger now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Robo Bob

I wish there was a Robo Bob for all the robo calls I've received this year. In fact I wish there was a Robo Bob for unsolicited calls wanting something from me that I'm not willing to give.

Recently I got a call from someone, phone ID said unknown number, wanting to know if I would contribute towards all the poor children on a Navajo reservation. I probably should have given more thought to my response when I asked the caller if there was a casino on the reservation and wouldn't they contribute towards the children's plight. She told me most Native Americans don't care for casinos. No contribution from me.

One thing about those calls is some are very persistent. I got three calls one day from the same number wanting to poll me on politics, something I won't do as a reporter. I said I didn't want to take the poll. They called back twice.

One day I got four robo calls about the upcoming elections. The first one I let voicemail pickup, but they didn't leave a message. Call number two I had just sat down to eat a meal. Call number three I was watching a movie I was looking forward to seeing. Call number three I was indisposed. So to sum up the days calls. For the record I'm fed up with those type of calls, so watch your step and quit giving me crap.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spitting Protestor

An 83-year-old woman protestor was asked to leave when she snuck into a Women for Romney event and spit in the face of a Romney supporter.

Monday, July 30, 2012

(Heart) Breaking News

Breaking News. As a news reporter I've used the term, but found the term doesn't say enough. In most cases it should be "Heartbreaking News."

Often that "Breaking News" carries information that is heartbreaking for someone or a group of people. Imagine for example how many people were affected by the movie theater shooting in Colorado.

I've learned from personal experience that most news stories affect someone or a lot of someones. A story about an automobile accident that claimed a life or lives can impact a lot of people.

As you become entrenched in a community you come to know more people and sometimes find yourself reporting on someone you know or someone you know knows them. I recently reported on the death of Fond du Lac County's Social Services Department Kim Mooney. We weren't friends just acquaintances, but she impressed me as someone who cared about the people she worked for and with. Covering a Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony I spoke to someone who knew her and was impacted by her death.

I was coverning news live at the scene of a deadly standoff in March of last year in Fond du Lac where Police Officer Craig Birkholz was shot and killed. I saw that day the effect it had on seasoned law enforcement officers and the way it affected the whole community in the weeks to come. That was "Heartbreaking News."

We saw the Fond du Lac County community rally behind a bunch of motorcyclists from Michigan when their group was hit by a Hilbert man driving on Highway 151 at the end of May. Lives were touched on both sides of Lake Michigan in the weeks and months since. "Heartbreaking News" that united people who until then knew nothing about each other.

The term "Breaking News" should be used judiciously because often it's accompanied by "Heartbreaking News."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tiny Voices

It's a tossup whether I like them or not, but the new Subway commercials featuring adults talking in child-like voices got me to thinking.

How much child-like behavior do you see in the workplace? Sounds like a strange notion, but not if you give it a little thought.

Remeber the kid that never put his or her toys away? Exhibit number one is usually a person's desk. Then there are those who literally expect someone to go behind them and clean up after them. Mounds of paper left anywhere no problem. Things left not where they are supposed to be, but where you would never guess.

The know-it-all. When you were a kid was there another kid who constantly said, "I know, I know, I know." When you grow up it's the person who thinks they know everything and constantly gives an unsolicited opinion. And they don't like anything or at least it seems that way.

It's unfortunate that a lot of kids today eat in front of the TV and don't sit down for meals because at least they would learn some table manners. The office pig is a person who for some reason only gets half of what they are munching on in their mouth. The rest ends up somewhere else on their person or on the floor. You can usually find them by following a trail of potato chips back to their cubicle.

Mr. or Mrs. Loud. Always the loudest kid on the playground, now the loudest in the office. I'm not sure sometimes whether it's intentional or not. You know that person the one you can hear no matter where you are in the office. Sometimes this can be a bad thing if they are spreading office gossip. Sometimes it's annoying and sometimes just plain funny. They must be a joy during the family Christmas gathering.

Honestly we can probably count ourselves lucky if we do still have a little kid in us. It keeps things fresh.

Monday, July 02, 2012


When it comes to radio talk-shows where are you more likely to find a "Diva" in front of the microphone or behind it?

I've interviewed thousands of people over the years on the radio and to be honest have rarely had to interview someone with "attitude." In fact only one person readily comes to mind. I could easily dismiss her as being a perfectionist and wanting to have things done just, so but I'm not the only one who thinks of her as having a "Diva" like complex.

That being said I have run into a number of radio talk-show hosts who are Divas in their own right. They bring their ego and opinion to the show and think that is why people are tuning in. Of course they may not be wrong. How many people tune in to nationally syndicated talk-shows because they love disagreeing with the host.

I however was referring to talk-show hosts I've worked with on the local level. I ran into one early in my radio career who had a higher opinion of himself than those around him. He was entertaining though and reminded me a lot of the Les Nesman character in the TV series "WKRP in Cincinnati." Another I worked with was simply better than anyone and let everyone know it.

More recently my "Diva" experience had to do with a colleague who 98 percent of the time was a very good talk-show host, loved doing interviews, and the people he had to talk to. Enter politics. That was his one obstacle. He hated doing political interviews. The interviews he didn't like doing were usually with someone whose political affiliation he didn't agree with.

I have to confess I don't enjoy every interview I do, but generally do enjoy the people I interview. Then again a good talk-show host will recognize that radio is about entertaining and informing. Don't be too quick to take a bow. It's a bad position to be in if someone is planning to give you a good swift kick.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What About Bob?

Apologies to those in the blogosphere for my lack of blogs over the last three months. I actually had some subject matter on several occasions, but didn't get around to it. Which probably begs the question "What About Bob?"

I've actually been cheating on my blog. The affair has been with Facebook and Twitter. Part of this can be blamed on work. When Twitter first started becoming popular I signed up for an account because we didn't have one for work. Later we were asked to sign up for Facebook so we could feature some of our brillant wit and insights for people who follow KFIZ.

Long story short I now have both a work and personal account, plus KFIZ has an account. I also have a work and personal account for Facebook, plus KFIZ has a page. So people have had a lot of opportunities to find out "What About Bob" on Twitter and Facebook.

Alas my fascination with both Facebook and Twitter is starting to fade a bit and I can rededicate myself to trying to post blogs again on a more regular basis. By the way when I did indulge in Facebook and Twitter it was never to excess.

I have two Facebook friends that I believe are in need of some serious counseling. When I do open my Facebook page their posts dominate. While I value their wit and insights I'm beginning to wonder what they do with their lives outside of work and Facebook.

Some food for thought if you have a Facebook page or Twitter Account and don't post to excess you probably have a pretty good offline life and the people you talk to face-to-face probably value your opinion much more than those who follow you online.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Good Knights in the Morning

My sister Kathy says they got a sign from my Dad when my Mom had surgery in Madison in January.

My brothers and sisters and I were a little nervous about it because a supposedly routine procedure she underwent in Marquette, Michigan during the fall of 2010 went wrong when they overmedicated her.

She had great doctors at UW Madison Hospitals to do the surgery that would help remove blockage in her cartoid artery. Still there was a chance she might suffer a stroke or worse.

Last Christmas we were all on pins and needles anticipating her surgery the next month. If it was to be our last Christmas together it was nearly perfect. She didn't admit it until later, but my Mom told me she was nervous about the procedure.

On top of everything else her surgery was scheduled the day after my Dad had died (he died in 1980). Needless to say we were also aware of that. But if my sister Kathy was right my Dad sent a sign to calm her and my Mom.

So the morning of her surgery came and they were preparing to leave from the hotel. Despite the early hour a group was meeting in a room on the ground floor. It was the Knights of Columbus. It was then that my sister Kathy and my Mom knew everything was going to be okay. My Dad had been a KC for years. He was an officer and loved being part of the organization.

The surgery went well. Thanks for the sign Dad!