"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's another sweep as MACA tops Montevideo

Put another 3-0 win in the books for MACA volleyball, adding to a long list. The first day of November brought the newest chapter: a 3-0 win in post-season play over Montevideo. Scores were 25-8, 25-21 and 25-19. Coach Kristi Fehr's squad is ascending in 3AA-North play. Fans at the home gym enjoyed the Tuesday success.
We're cruising with the top seed. Sooner or later, a sweep is going to be harder to achieve. Our next foe has the No. 2 seed. That's Litchfield. The Tigers and Dragons will battle in what promises to be a high-quality match at 7 p.m. Thursday at New London-Spicer. We're in the sub-section finals.
The playoff terminology has always confused me a little since the section format came in. For example, the sub-section finals are for all practical purposes the section semi-finals. We have to memorize whether we're "north" or "west" or whatever. So, you have to try to stay sharp.
Litchfield advanced Tuesday with a 3-1 win over New London-Spicer.
Two Tigers each had two serving aces in the success versus Montevideo: Karly Fehr and Ashley Solvie. These two Tigers each had one serving ace: Koral Tolifson and Riley Decker. Karly Fehr led in set assists and ace blocks. Her specialty of setting saw her perform 26 assists. And in blocking her total was three aces. Jenna Howden had two ace blocks, and Ashley Solvie and Jenna Larsen each had one.
Decker was tops in digs with nine, followed by Karly Fehr with seven and Brooke Gillespie with six. Brooke Gillespie and Jenna Howden led in kills with eleven and ten, respectively. Ashley Solvie pounded down six kills. Karly Fehr came through with three, Nicole Solvie had two and Jenna Larsen one.
Four Thunder Hawks each had one serving ace: Abby Olson, Molly Reeves, Sarah Sulflow and Ashley McKee. Kamren Saue put up 12 set assists. Olson topped Monte in kills with nine. McKee led in ace blocks with four. Molly Reeves was team-high in digs with nine.
The headline in the West Central Tribune was odd: "Morris/CA, Litchfield to tangle with 3AA-North volleyball title." Really? "With?" Of course it should be "for." I'm amused because I think I know what the headline writer was doing. He/she wanted to get as close to the right side as possible with each deck. In the old days when I took classes in this stuff, we'd talk about the "perfect count headline" as the ideal, where each deck went right up to the right side, perfectly.
Why was this taught? I'm sure it was because of mass communications teachers/professors wanting to assert their own importance. If they don't have myriad rules to teach, what good are they? Indeed, what good are they? Keep the students aspiring to all these rules like a rabbit chasing a carrot on a stick.
In the real world, no one much cares whether each line of the headline gets all the way over to the right side. I can prove this: How often do you see an online article where the last word of the headline drops down to the second deck, making it an "orphan" word in that deck? Sometimes the national media will display an online article for comment, and here we have this cute little "orphan" word in the second deck. Whatever gets commented on in the article, nobody comments on the orphan word issue. Of course, all that matters is that the headline makes sense.
Headline writers who strive for that "perfect count" ideal are more prone to misusing words and irritating the reader. A good example is the Wednesday Willmar headline about MACA volleyball. We're not tangling "with" the volleyball title, we're tangling "for" the title. Just write "for." Readers are smart and they know what you're up to.
David Brauer of Minnpost once told me that the orphan word thing can be caused by what browser you use.
What do you think of those super-large photos in the Willmar and Morris papers these days? It means less work, less writing, for the news department.
Papers serve their news departments only grudgingly these days. It's obligatory. It may even be with a wince. As newspapers increasingly struggle battling the Internet (i.e. people like me), their emphasis falls squarely on vacuuming as much money as possible from their legacy advertisers. They seek to hoist up those advertisers by their ankles and shake every piece of change out of them. We continually see those "sucker ads" like "we salute the pork producers." Do you think the real pork producers care about getting a gratuitous little salute from a small town paper?
Attention businesses: show more discretion with your money. The Morris and Hancock papers aren't even locally owned.
Did you see how a Morris newspaper headline writer misspelled a name in large headline type? They butchered the name of Ben Utecht, that former NFL player with head injuries, who came here to speak (but apparently not to condemn football). We saw "Utetch" in the headline on page 1. Maybe the writer was thinking of the word "wretch" from the hymn "Amazing Grace."
What if I had misspelled that name? What it comes down to is this: If the news department people of the fishwrap are in good standing with the leadership network of this community, there won't be a whisper of complaint. There's more likely to be complaints against someone like me who points it out. It's called small town politics.
My stock plummeted in this town when an incredible controversy consumed the town back in 1987 and '88. I never recovered in the aftermath of that. So if it was me misspelling "Utecht," I'd be crucified and been made to feel I was brainless. Can you imagine how Sarah Kissock would belittle me in a condescending way? I lived with that for years, just as I lived with all that secondhand cigarette smoke I had to breathe in, thanks to Kissock. She started out as an asset to the paper because she was the spouse of a UMM division head. Then she ceased to be the wife of a UMM division head. She produced virtual clouds of cigarette smoke at the old Sun Tribune building.
 
Voting on Tuesday
Our long national ordeal - apologies to Gerald Ford RIP - will be over Tuesday when we vote for president, ending the agonizingly long campaign. It will be hard for me to vote for Hillary but I suppose I'll have to.
I have worn a Gary Johnson pin, thanks to Jim Morrison, but it's hard "throwing your vote away" on a third party candidate. I might still vote for Johnson. I'll have to check my impulses Tuesday at the senior center. I wonder if the Trump campaign will have "poll watchers" there. No, it's probably just in non-white communities.
I swear I will never again follow, through the media, such a long presidential campaign. I learned nothing through the countless number of hours of media coverage.
Go ahead and vote for Donald Trump and we might become like the Third Reich. But it appears now he can't win. Maybe after the election, we'll all just go about our normal business in our lives and we'll be fine. Hillary will promote some progressive ideas. Maybe we can get Medicare to start covering dental expenses.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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