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 08, 2009

Three Years of Blogging

In a few days there will have been three years of Stodghill Says So blogs. The title comes from the predictions I made on high school football and basketball games in the Muncie area from 1970 through the early months of 1990. For a number of years in the 1980s the paper ran a contest in which fans could try to outguess me. Many did some weeks.
The title dated to the very first day the predictions were published. I convinced sports editor Jerry Fennell it would be a good idea as it guaranteed that before hurrying out to a game, fans would pick up the Evening Press. Fennell was dubious, fearing readers might overlook a byline and believe it was he doing the predicting. To avoid that he ran a kicker above them - Stodghill Says So.
The name, and the predictions, caught on. For a few years I even predicted the scores of games involving city or Delaware County schools. That got things off to a roaring start when that first night I covered the Yorktown-Centerville football game after predicting Yorktown would win 20-19. Yorktown won 20-19. Fans were in awe, talking of little else as they left the field that night.
Things didn't always turn out so favorably. One year I was 1-9 on the outcome of Delta High School football games. They invited me to the team banquet, where I was presented a trophy topped by the south end of a northbound horse. The following year I was 9-1 on Delta games so they invited me back and gave me the other half of the horse.
Before a big basketball game I predicted Delta would lose. They won. When I walked into the newsroom the next morning the ceiling was covered with blue and gold balloons. Those Delta fans were hardcore.
Over the years I was right 75 percent of the time. The best year was 85 percent, the worst 72. Not bad when you didn't have inside information so were unaware the Elwood quarterback had broken up with his girlfriend a few hours before the big game with Tipton. Similar traumatic events sometimes affect high school boys in unpredictable ways.
So I was a star one week, a bum the next. The important thing is that it was fun for me and fun for the fans. You'd better believe that because Stodghill Says So.


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