HOT SHEET: Football, Busch Light, ranch dressing and other pointless s***

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: The Iowa Beef Industry Council selected selected its best burger Iowa. It’s the Who Gives A Shit Just Eat Wherever You Like And Stop Being Such A Goddamn Follower served everywhere. It’s served with Busch Light and ranch dressing because Iowans really like these exceptionally dull things with a pointless fanaticism.

ITEM TWO: The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was pen pals with the director of the Des Moines Metro Opera, reports WHO-TV. As a nation mourns a pioneer for gender equity under the law and one of the most respected jurists of her time, we must also mourn the loss of the loss of the last active pen pals in the nation. Toast their special friendship with a Busch Light and dip something in ranch.

ITEM THREE: Hot Sheet predicts a 4-4 Big Ten season for the Iowa Hawkeyes with losses to Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin. The typist also predicts Hawkeye fans will drink lots of Busch Light and dip lots of things in ranch dressing.

ITEM FOUR: Unavailable due to coronavirus quarantine.

ITEM FIVE: Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos moaned about the tough draw the Cornhuskers received in the Big Ten schedule, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The Bugeaters play five preseason AP Top 25 teams. Ohio State plays one. Nebraska’s schedule is undeniably tough, but if they it can’t all be Busch Light and ranch dressing.

ITEM LAST: Players at 71 courts in Estonia made 114,357 free throws in 8 hours to set a Guinness Book of World Records mark and honor basketball’s 100th anniversary in the nation, the UPI reports. No word on how much Busch Light and ranch dressing was consumed in celebration.

OK. Let’s close the book on this one. Please donate if you can and, as always, behave and be kind. Especially be kind.

Daniel P. Finney shaved Monday and nobody noticed.

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way telling stories about his city, state and nation. No more metrics or Google trends, he writes stories about people and life ignored by the oligarchy.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.

HOT SHEET: Media makes 9-11 anniversary grief porn, the tyranny of consumer ratings, West Des Moines school overwhelmed by COVID-19, and the University of Georgia’s terribly worded sex advice for students

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Precinct Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: The typist seldom celebrates his exile from corporate journalism more than on the anniversary of 9-11. Hot Sheet concedes the relatively recent national tragedy deserves remembrance. One might assume a fairly broad line between respectful observation and a blatant exploitation as part of a desperate grab for eyeballs on screens. Alas, the trade is so lost it reflexively pimps suffering. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker still slung sentences at the 10th anniversary of 9-11 and was asked to call the half dozen or so Iowa families who lost loved ones in the attacks. What he was supposed to ask them, the typist did not know. Certainly they felt their grief, some more acutely than others. But after 10 years, some people had made their peace with the loss — only to be hassled about it by the media again because the anniversary had a zero or five at the end. One shudders to ponder the positively pornographic display of grief exploitation the Fourth Estate will put on for the 20th anniversary. The typist can only thank God that he not have to beg the bereaved for another quote.

ITEM TWO: A final 9-11 note: Ask yourselves, fellow media consumers, how many reports so brazenly replaying the World Trade Center collapsing made mention of the fact that the United States is still at war in Afghanistan — and will likely have a troop presence in that country with no end in sight? “Never forget” is the hashtag cry of 9-11, but the typist thinks most Americans have indeed forgotten their warrior class locked in a forever war.

ITEM THREE: Are you sick of being asked to rate every service or phone call you make? The typist called the cable company because of an internet outage. We got not one but two automated calls asking me to review the customer service performance. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker ordered some food delivered by a local restaurant. The delivery company asked us to rate both the delivery driver and the restaurant’s food. Hot Sheet bought a product off an online website and was asked to write a review. Companies? Just stop it already. The typist reviews society only in these columns and suspects most humans have better things to do than give ratings to every damn thing they buy. Dear business owner, you will know if the consumer enjoyed your product and service by whether they order again.

ITEM FOUR: A third of Crossroads Elementary School faculty have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine, multiple local news outlets reported. The West Des Moines school district has requested to move to online instruction. The typist wonders if this outbreak could have been prevented or curtailed if Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature had practice a modicum of flexibility on the matter of in-person instruction. Ah, but what is the suffering of teachers against the raw thrill of flexing political power?

ITEM FIVE: Hot Sheet offers its annual admonition against unnecessarily aggressive babble from TV football commentators. Weapons break things and people. Football players run, throw and catch exceptionally well. Football players are humans. Stop calling them weapons because you are not creative enough to describe the game and its great players without cliche.

ITEM LAST: Tyler Blint-Welsh of the Wall Street Journal’s Notes on the News column offers the following tidbit: “The University of Georgia posted guidelines suggesting students wear masks during intimacy, or to prioritize positions that limit face-to-face contact.” This typist has no further comment.

I guess we can close the book on this one. Go forth dear readers. Behave and be kind.

Artist’s rendition of Daniel P. Finney. He is presumed heavily opinionated and annoying. Do not attempt to approach.

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way poking fun at the passing parade.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.

HOT SHEET: #OldManStudent update, NFL notes, Iowa celebrates small COVID-19 gain, absentee ballot confusion and police success stories

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Precinct Station.

ITEM ONE: Update on #OldManStudent. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker takes all his classes online via Zoom meetings at Drake University. This format works better than anticipated, but there are pitfalls. Example: Your typist’s bathroom is about 12 feet from his computer. Always remember to mute your microphone when you answer nature’s call because mics will pick up certain sounds one would just as soon remain private.

ITEM TWO: Other Zoom meeting notes: No one looks good eating a sub sandwich on camera. If you happen to have the NFL season opener on in the background, mute the TV and make sure the TV is not in direct line of the camera.

ITEM THREE: The NFL season began Thursday. The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Texans. It still feels odd to say “defending champion Kansas City Chiefs,” perhaps the only good thing to occur in 2020. Then again, I’m old enough that it feels weird not to say Houston Oilers. The Bears also did well Thursday evening. The team owes this mostly to not having played.

ITEM FOUR: The typist turns almost all his sporting attention to pro football. His beloved New York Yankees cling to the eighth seed in the American League playoffs. This spot only exists because baseball executives expanded the playoffs to make up for the coronavirus-shortened 60-game regular season. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker questions the wisdom of Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman’s “protect all prospects” approach. The typist grimly notes the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals have won more World Series in the last decade than the Yankees. The Yankee batters may be “savages in the box,” but they’re sad sacks in the standings.

ITEM FIVE: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds held a press conference to celebrate Iowa dropping from No. 1 in coronavirus spread to No. 3. Wow. What an accomplishment. What did Reynolds do, bus some people to Missouri?

ITEM SIX: Just a day after Hot Sheet warned of absentee ballot confusion from well-meaning non-profits, two Iowa judges ruled absentee request forms that were pre-filled with the voter’s name and address were improper, per the Associated Press. The county auditors in Woodbury and Johnson counties sent the request forms to make it easier for people to seek absentee ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Again, the typist supports efforts to increase voter turnout. However, at some point people must take responsibility for themselves — especially in challenging circumstances. To quote retired Drake University professor Herb Strentz, “Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

ITEM SEVEN: Recommended viewing for the weekend:

  • Louisiana at Iowa State, noon, Saturday, ESPN. The Cyclones are playing without fans in the stands and the Hawkeyes aren’t playing until spring. Regardless of your allegiance in the Cy-Hawk rivalry, you might as well give ISU your eyeballs.
  • Philadelphia Eagles at the Washington Football Team, noon, Sunday, regional coverage. Hot Sheet knows no teams of regional interest play in this game, but we want to see how many times the announcers accidentally say “Redskins” and then fall all over themselves to apologize.
  • The Boys, Season 2, streaming on Amazon Prime: Superheroes with sex, blood and breast milk reheated with heat vision. I’m not making this up.

ITEM LAST: Lest we be cajoled into thinking the local constabulary only makes news in officer-involved shootings or amid racial tensions, Hot Sheet turns your attention to three items of note in the most recent Des Moines city news letter.

  • Chief Dana Wingert promoted Lillie Miller to captain, naming her the first Black female captain in the department’s history. Miller, an officer since 1999, was also the department’s first Black female lieutenant under former chief Judy Bradshaw.
  • Jeff Edwards, a former public information officer and DMPD Medal of Valor recipient also attained his captaincy.
  • Wingert recognized Senior Police Officer Scott Newman, a 21-year veteran and a member of the department’s tactical unit, with the DMPD Lifesaving Award. Newman rescued five people from a burning car wreck on his way home from work early July 5.

The typist takes a lot of heat from liberal extremists for his support of police. That’s fine. Honorable people disagree. And who gives a damn what dishonorable people think? The ol’ Paragraph Stacker recognizes every police department has problems. No one lives in a utopia. But the typist notes that no matter how bad things get, no matter how many people hate them — when the shit breaks bad and the citizenry cries out for help, the police come running.

OK. That’s it. Listen to our podcast. Be careful out there and, as always, donations welcome and appreciated.

Behave and be kind.

Daniel P. Finney hopes Rick will finally return him to Earth C-137.

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way poking fun at the passing parade.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.