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The [Monday] Papers

Scenes from a tragic Chicago Marathon.

* "Pablo Hernandez, 35, of Chicago, said all along the route he kept hearing officials yell, 'Runner down! Runner down!'" the Sun-Times reports.

* "A fire official at 18th and Ashland said, 'Hundreds of people are dropping all over the city.'"

* "'Stop running, we're all out of ambulances,' Richard Harless, 30, of Washington, D.C., recalled a firefighter telling him at mile 16."

* "Runners described chaotic scenes of racers throwing up, passing out or being carted away on stretchers," the Tribune reports.

"'There were people falling all over the place,' said Rob Smith, 40, of Naperville, who was running his first marathon."

* "'I had no water until Mile 8,' said Blayne Rickles, 57, of Denver."

* "Erin Johnson, 24, of Kansas City, Mo., said the first several water stations 'were out or really low' and that she ran with her wax cup because competition for fluids was so fierce.

"'You're running thinking, Oh my God, I really need this water to get through this,' she said."

From "Death, Havoc and Heat Mar Chicago Race," the front page account in today's New York Times:

* "'I had no faculties whatsoever,' said Dawn Dowell, who was among the injured, having blacked out at Mile 19. Ms. Dowell, 37, of suburban Wheaton, said she could not provide her address or phone numbers in the minutes after she awoke with an emergency medical technician attaching an IV bag to her arm."

* "Police officers announced the end of the race from loudspeakers in their squad cars. Fire department officials announced it from a public address system as they flew over in a helicopter."

* "Dr. Martin Lucenti, an emergency room physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital where some of the patients were taken, said doctors saw runners with core body temperatures as high as 107 degrees. At those temperatures, Dr. Lucenti said, people are stuttering and mumbling, unable to answer simple questions. Brain cells may start to be destroyed when body temperatures are raised too high."

And sadly and most importantly, Chad Schieber was the father of three.


Dollar Bill Lipinski
Mark Brown exposed a political fund run by former U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski that is disguised as a youth program called the All-American Eagles on Sunday.

I wonder what his son, installed by the Lip as his successor, thinks of all this. Might be worth asking.

Meanwhile, Brown reports that "Lipinski could offer no explanation for why more of the money hasn't been spent on those seventh- and eighth-graders" the fund is purportedly for.

Great work by Brown, but I'd like to know just how Lipinski could offer no explanation. Did he stammer? Hang up the phone? Speak gibberish?

The nature of denials is often as important as the denial itself.

"Last fall, Chicago was Wal-Mart's hope for the future," the Tribune reported on Sunday.

"At the time, the retailer was planning to open a handful of stores in the city in one swoop, a blitzkrieg that would have established Chicago as its urban beachhead after failed attempts to blanket major cities as Wal-Mart has done in rural and suburban areas.

"A year later, the world's largest company is still stuck on the shore.

"It's single store on Chicago's West Side is doing 'good but not great.'"

You mean the mayor accused proponents of the big box ordinance of being racist for nothing? All that energy expended . . .

Bill Lipinski, Wal-Mart and Cubs fans might need hugs right now, but don't give those to them anywhere near Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park, where no hugging is allowed.

It's so classic.

"I see what they're doing," Paige Wiser writes. "Young people must be denied something, so that they can acquire enough angst and acne to graduate to full-fledged teenhood. You've got to admire their originality. At my school, they banned makeup (which led to smuggled pearly blue eye shadow). Other institutions banned Judy Blume books (which led to frank knowledge)."

It's a never-ending battle against the soulless killjoys of the world. It's a battle each generation must fight. It's a battle in which we must never retreat, never surrender to the forces of total lameness.

Tower of Evil
Speaking of which, buried near the end of a story on page 88A of the Sunday Sun-Times is this shocking revelation (here from WLS-AM because the Sun-Times story is not online) from former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth:

"The former commissioner also revealed that he invoked his all-powerful 'best interests of baseball' clause to block the Tribune Co. from demolishing Wrigley Field.

"'The decision had been made internally to . . . take it down and mvoe to a suburb,' he said. 'And I just - the best interests of baseball. I didn't permit it. You cannot do that.'"

Meanwhile, Phil Rogers reports that "[current baseball] Commissioner Bud Selig recently said that Tribune Co. has been dragging its feet on the sale [of the team]."

Every additional day that Tribune Co. owns this team is another day for Cub fans to legitimately worry about what stupid thing they will do next. Nothing is off the table with these guys.

Which is why I find Rogers less than convincing when he says that "what few realized was that the men like Madigan, Cook and FitzSimons really were trying to win."

They were trying to get rich - and then richer. Winning had nothing to do with it.




Always Next Year
* Angry German Cubs Fan, before the season.

* A Cubs Fan's Lament, after the season.

* The view from Green Bay: "An inferior but desperate Chicago Bears team popped the the Green Bay Packers' unbeaten balloon Sunday night."

The Beachwood Tip Line: Fight the tower.


Posted on October 8, 2007

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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