Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Arrogant - Who, Me?

Is "Stodghill Says So" an arrogant title for a blog? After all, does anyone really care what Stodghill has to say? Not that I've noticed lately.
So why the title? The story dates back to 1970, my first year at the Muncie Evening Press. I was a general assignment reporter covering all the various beats when the need arose and at other times handling whatever else came along. A week covering the county fair, for example.
The sports editor, the late Jerry Fennell, was always in need of extra help and that was right up my alley. Not only did I enjoy it but that 20 bucks for covering a game was a major incentive. In late August when the high school football season was fast approaching I looked over the previous year's editions to see what teams were good and what were not. I told Jerry that one thing was missing from the Evening Press, a column predicting the winners. I said that was a tried and true way of making sure that all fans would look at the paper before heading out to a game. I volunteered to do the job.
Jerry wasn't a man who appreciated innovation but he reluctantly agreed that I should go ahead. On the Friday morning before the opening games I handed him my predictions complete with a few lines of copy and the projected scores of the six games involving local schools. All told there were about 30 games in the area and I included them all.
Jerry was jittery about the whole thing. He didn't say so, but I knew he was afraid that some readers might believe that he was the one sticking his neck out. I would have a by-line, of course, but that wasn't enough to ease his mind. To remove all doubt about who was responsible, above the predictions he ran a kicker: Stodghill Says So.
The name caught on in a big way and for the next 20 years was a regular feature during the high school football and basketball seasons. But how did I do that first night? Even Jerry Fennell was impressed because I was correct about 80 per cent of the time. The icing on the cake came when I covered the Yorktown-Centerville game that evening. I had predicted that Yorktown would win 20-19. The final score was Yorktown 20, Centerville 19. People in Yorktown thought that was truly remarkable but they couldn't seem to decide if the new guy at the Evening Press was a genius or just another smartass.
But anyway, there was a time when people actually believed that someting must be true if Stodghill Says So. Posted by Picasa

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