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The [Friday] Papers

I'll deal with Robert Blagojevich on Monday, I didn't have time to finish my post this morning. I need a personal assistant, a wife, a managing editor, a personal trainer, a million dollars and a better couch to fall asleep on while watching bad late-night TV as part of my unique research habits. Inquire within.

1. The holdout juror speaks. Monday, people. Can't do the heavy lifting today.

2. I'll tell you who's doing the heavy lifting around here today - Mike Luce and Tom Chambers. Mike Luce - also known as Dr. Dude - is our resident college football analyst and if I can say so myself, I'm not sure there's a better one anywhere in the nation.

Mike - or, Dude - doesn't even get paid to know every nook and cranny of every college football program in America. Yet he does. And he's a joy to read.

We welcome Mike and his (twice-weekly!) College Football Report back today with the first of his two-part season preview: Coach Joker, Correspondent Kardashian & Coed Hostess Hotness.

I'm not a college football fan in particular but Mike is turning me into one. He has just the right sense of perspective for the beauty of the game within the romantic collegiate environment of drunkenness, tradition and raw athletic prowess and the absurdity of its corrupt, money-grubbing characters and their sleazy egos. Yay, Mike!

Today he sets you up nicely for the season to come; next week he'll get down to business at the betting window - because he's like that too, you know, also likes to play the ponies - along with the inimitable Beachwood Sports Seal and a Beachwood Bankroll.

Mike writes from the road a lot because he's always traveling on business but he produces more in a single column than Rich Roeper does in six months sitting at the same gates.

Among Mike's recent status updates: "DFW late at night. Not pretty," "Today's theme: Rage," and "yea, a Ute probably doesn't care about 'greener pastures' but whatever. just go with it, people."

Mike - we really just call him Luce, but I'm personalizing him for you - also famously reviewed the Beachwood Inn's current (and greatest) pinball machine.

Mike is in Dallas today generating revenue for the economy and I'm not sure if he'll be back in time to attend festivities at the Beachwood tonight, but if you're ever in the bar he's the guy with the short red hair tellin' travelin' stories and drinking High Life.

*

And if Mike's talkin' horses, then our man on the rail Tom Chambers is probably in the house. Like Mike, Tom writes about a sport - horse racing - that I don't follow closely, and yet I enjoy reading his TrackNotes column every week as much as anything else we do around here. Again, a pleasure.

Today Tom writes about The Travers Stakes, also known as The Mid-Summer Derby. He fills us in:

"[T]his is the one where they paint the colors of the winning stable on a carved canoe that's mounted in the middle of the infield pond. Cool."

See, Tom still loves horse racing - no matter how badly the sleazy egoists who run the sport treat it. Sound familiar? Like Mike and college football, Tom is still enthralled by the magic - even as he's keenly aware and viscerally outraged by the game's dark forces. See, we still believe around here. We believe in all that was once good and can be good again. Or maybe it was never good but it could be. You can be a romantic and still see the world for what it truly is.

"Whatever you want to say about Rachel [Alexandra's] record this year, she has run her race every time and nobody knows her like Calvin Borel," Tom writes today. "And no horse in the world has more heart."

You can find Tom at the Beachwood maybe once a month or so - he lives downtown; Mike lives between me and the bar - on a Friday night tellin' stories and dispensing gambling tips (for entertainment purposes only, of course.)

Tom is a throwback; he also loves boxing (actually goes to matches) and still calls it the sweet science.

Beachwood writers don't get enough attention and credit in this city, in part, I suppose, because we haven't redesigned this damn front page to look more like a front page instead of just this column. That's not out of my desire to not do so; it's a matter of logistics, money, priorities, technical considerations and so forth. We'll get there.

But I'll put Mike Luce up against any wanker in the sports media around here, and I'll put Tom Chambers there too. And that goes for everyone else who writes for this site. We don't just post anyone.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: On your behalf.



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Posted on August 27, 2010


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair.
POLITICS - Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year.
SPORTS - Canada Cuts Youth Hockey Injuries In Half.

BOOKS - America, We Need To Talk.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.


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