And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that this is a surprising date, Dec. 10. Only two weeks until Christmas!
Thanks to global warming, we just experienced one of the coldest Novembers in recent history. Odds are even between cold and warm for December, we have been told.
I know the current politically correct term is climate change, not climate warming, because “they” say while some places warm, others get cooler. But they do not explain why some of the same changes were present long before modern man polluted the atmosphere. “Change” has a permanency about it.
I thought about that Thanksgiving Day as I drove to a cousin’s home to which I had been invited for a holiday dinner. Their home is just upstream from the Lansing power plant, so is a couple miles south of the town. As I came around the corner from the Columbus Bridge, I could not help but notice that one large tree on the Mississippi River bank held perhaps ten or a dozen eagles. It was almost as though it was decorated with black and white ornaments for the season! And from there to the power plant, and all afternoon long, we were treated to uninterrupted eagle viewing. It was the most eagles I have seen there since another holiday perhaps 12 years ago. The river was mostly open, but now and then an eagle would hitch a ride on a little ice berg and float down the river a ways. And good news for the future was that there were a lot of immature eagles in the group.
That many eagles on the river is change. When I told folks I was driving that way, a couple said to watch out for deer, since the rut is underway. And that is change, too. When I was a lad, a deer sighting made the newspaper, and eagle sightings were even rarer. The “way back when” news in this newspaper recently noted that a Lansing duck hunter had bagged a goose, and brought it around town to display it. Now, geese are so common they are sometimes pests. That is change, too.
And the upper Mississippi hosts large numbers of tundra swans, with pelicans and cormorants at times. My “bird book” copyrighted in 1939 doesn’t recognize that swan, says the pelican has little hope for survival as a species, and says cormorants don’t come within 1,000 miles of here. More changes.
This morning’s (Dec. 1) papers carried the news that Nebraska’s football coach Bo Pelini had been fired despite the fact that his team’s overtime victory over Iowa that weekend had given Nebraska a 9-3 record. That is the fourth best win total in the Big 14.
Iowa finished the regular season with a disappointing 7-5 record. That’s in a three-way tie for sixth in wins, with a loss to Maryland with that same record. There are two league teams with six-six marks, making them bowl eligible as well. So, ten of the league’s 14 teams may play in bowl games.
That’s ridiculous, and we can thank money-hungry television for the opportunities to watch bad teams play each other before disinterested crowds in games filled with television commercials.
About that Nebraska win over Iowa. Nebraska’s athletic director said that did not factor into his decision “because of what Iowa represents.” Rodney Dangerfield isn’t alone in getting no respect.