Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy Talk

Some positives today.....

I have to give credit to some of the businesses affected by the closure of the Highway 41/21 interchange closure--they are not taking that bad break sitting down.  Too often, small business owners presented with such challenges adopt the "bunker mentality" and figure they just have to sit there and hope that someone will battle through the construction and the detours to reach them.  Others (ironically, the more successful businesses) get aggressive--increasing their advertising to remind everyone they are still there (like Wally over at Robin's Restaurant is doing)--and then making worth the customer's effort. The McDonalds in the gas station has some food specials--and now they are doing a "frequent lunch" card--rewarding those of us who continue to come in despite the additional headaches.  Once the barricades come down--those businesses will be in much better position to get right back growing.

Best of luck to now "retired" Northwestern reporter Doug Zellmer.  He hung up the notepad last week after nearly 36-years covering local events.  Doug dates back to the era of "old school" journalism--where your priority was getting all the facts you could before deadline--instead of "tweeting" everything the minute you hear about--and when you had to have two sources to go with a story--rather than posting every rumor your hear in an on-line blog.  Doug will be missed on the local beat.  Plus, who else will I be able to tease about the 104-years of Chicago Cubs futility?

And my biggest thanks to the National Hockey League and NBC for giving us die-hard puckheads what we have been begging for for decades now--every playoff game televised nationwide.  No longer do we have to put up with the Penguins on one night and the Red Wings the next night--while I sit in my home office and listen to my beloved Boston Bruins on the internet stream--or watch a little dot go around on my smartphone.  And here's the amazing thing--when you let people see all of the games--THEY ACTUALLY WATCH THE GAMES!!!  Playoff ratings are up 40% this year.  It probably helps that physical play (or as we like to call it "Old Time Hockey") is dominating this year's playoffs.  Kind of shoots that whole "fans don't like fighting" theory out of the water.  Now if the league would just crack down on the cheap shot artists (I'm talking to you Penguins, Capitals and Predators)--things would be really great.

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