Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Brian Dugger

How about Toledo, Garth Brooks?


Brian Dugger

The Blade
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Dear Garth:

First of all, I want to take this time to thank you for inviting me to your news conference on Sept. 4 in Rosemont, Ill. I just got my email invite and ran around my house telling everyone that Garth Brooks loves me!

But then I was informed that I have a marching band fund-raiser that day, so unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to make it. I’ve been waiting for this “I’m-coming-out-of retirement” news conference for a long time too. I actually cried in 2000 when you said you were retiring. It breaks my heart that I won’t be able to be there, but, as you know, sometimes you’ve got to step up as a dad.

So, I’ve been thinking about what I can do to make it up to you for missing your big day, and after making a “Beer Run” (I LOVE that song) last night, I came up with the solution: You should come to Toledo!

I know you’ve got a string of sold-out shows to do in Chicago, and then you’ll be announcing the rest of the stops on your world tour, but, you know, save us a spot. I can almost guarantee you a sellout! Why not play at the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off next August?

You’ll actually be helping me out, too. The Blade sponsors this thing, and this year Ted Nugent came to town. He actually told the crowd that The Blade hates them. I don’t hate anyone, especially since you encouraged us to love one another in “We Shall Be Free.”

But there are probably some people out there who actually believed the Motor City Madman when he said we hate them! So this is what we do: You take the stage in Toledo with “Make Me Feel Your Love,” then I come on stage wearing a Toledo Blade T-shirt to sing with you! You’ll be kind of repaying the favor I did you when I bought that Chris Gaines album of yours.

Seriously, you’ve recorded a lot of stuff that’s pretty much hinted at you playing for me and Toledo. I mean, “The River.” We’ve got a big river that runs right through town, and you know what we in Toledo call the Maumee River? The River!!!

How about “Unanswered Prayers?” I’m a Cleveland sports fan. This is kind of my personal anthem. I’ve been praying for a championship for a long time. And those prayers have been unanswered. I mean, 1964 was the last title! That’s like two years after you were born!

Need more evidence that the universe is conspiring to bring us together?? Just a couple of weeks ago, I was driving around town looking for water after our water turned green, and I heard more than one person say, “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” Seriously, it was dire. Here in Perrysburg, we couldn’t even water our lawns because of the toxin, so people were pretty shook up.

In fairness, I should probably tell you that as a columnist I have no authority to book you for the Rib-Off, but if you want to come, I’ll put you in touch with the right people, and we’ll get this done. I look forward to talking to you soon. Your pal, Brian.

Contact Brian Dugger at: or on Twitter @DuggerCountry.

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