2009.04.01 Following the Bullfrogs

Written by David Green.


Agreed, there are already too many Bulldogs in the world (I’m talking about sports team mascots) and there are already plenty of Eagles.

But Flying Bullfrogs?

So far, that’s what they’ve come up with for a new mascot if Morenci and Fayette join their sports programs, as proposed.

I suppose it could grow on me in time. Because it’s unique and corny, it just might work, like Ann Arbor’s River Rats.

One plus is the existence of a German band by the name Flying Bullfrogs. They play some good hard-driving music that could be used before basketball games.

A good thing about the proposed merger is that Fayette and Morenci don’t compete much anymore and don’t have an animosity established. Imagine Morenci joining forces with Sand Creek, for example.

Morenci could definitely use more kids on the football team and Fayette’s always really thin in track, so why not give it a try? After all, Fayette is Morenci’s nearest neighbor—less than seven miles as the bullfrog flies.


Occasionally someone asks how things are in the newspaper industry. What? Don’t you mean the information industry?

A newspaper is just one of many vehicles of delivering information. And perhaps a withering one at that. A list published Sunday included 100 U.S. papers that have altered printing schedules, such as cutting out a day or two. Or seven.

If I were successfully transitioned into the new newsroom (note: I would never use the word “transition” as a verb in the old newsroom), I would say something bold like, “I don’t really care if the newspaper survives. My duty is to meet the information needs of readers and advertisers.”

A column I read recently about the newspaper dilemma provided this summary: “There are no silver bullets and no one knows where the industry will be in three years.”

At least we know one thing about the future newsroom: The cliché lives. Silver bullets for all.

The column quotes someone from Chicago predicting that two or three major newspapers will go out of business this year. If going out of business means no longer printing, then Denver and Seattle bring two deaths and another—the Ann Arbor News—is going in July. But Seattle and Ann Arbor, plus the Christian Science Monitor, aren’t really dying. They’ll try to survive with on-line versions. Best wishes with that effort. May your bullets all be silver.

The editor of the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette no longer uses that title to describe himself. He is becoming the information content leader.

“The information content leader works with content team coaches and team leaders using every journalistic resource available employing what he calls entrepreneurial Superbloggers” who will use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, etc.

That doesn’t bode well for the Observer.  If I were forced to serve as a content leader working with content coaches and team leaders and tweeting about it all, I might not want to go to work in the morning.

The executive of the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star hopes to begin using holograms. Holograms? I had to do a little research on that one and didn’t come up with much.

Holograms are those images that change when you look at them from different angles. Here’s what I found: “The newspaper you’re now reading one day may be done as a hologram. Allen says one hologram would be able to contain up to 200 pages of text, which could be accessed merely by tilting the hologram in your hands.”

There are holograms and then there are chunks. I read that newspapers must think of themselves not only as multi-platform packaged story providers but also as the information utility. The difference, the writer says, it revolutionary. Consumers must be allowed to create their own products based on “extremely granular interests,” chunks of data, not news stories.

Looking ahead, I don’t have any reporters to lay off other than myself and then what would I do with my time? I intend to continue creating chunks as I cover every event the Flying Bullfrogs are part of.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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