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Published: Tuesday, 11/13/2007

What We Talk About When We Talk About Blogs

TUESDAY

10 AM

Well, why not. TV always does these "behind the scenes" specials, after all. So here's the best up-the-skirt peek a newspaper denizen can offer -- these e-mails between my guest blogger last week, the one and only Mistuh Dave Hackenberg, Sportswriter-slash-God-Among-Men, and li'l ole me.

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FROM: dhack@theblade.com

TO: roberta@theblade.com

SUBJECT: I have fulfilled

my blogging requirements, and i might even opine i was da[rn]ed near erudite in doing so....

i wrote about tail-gating... about the migration north of now-dying african-americans... and the final installment challenges the university of toledo to take over cosi...

i might suggest there is considerable pressure on you now to maintain the blog at the high standards i have, in so short a period, created...

and, most importantly, i presume, we'll be in touch regarding my free lunch

yours in quality journalism,

hack

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FROM: roberta@theblade.com

TO: dhack@theblade.com

SUBJECT: quite possibly you

have outdone yourself (and certainly me) in matters of blogging. although i am a little worried now; when we first discussed you subbing for me, you were not the kind of guy to use either the word "opine" or "erudite." see what just three blog posts outside the realm of sports can do to a person? scary. if you start throwing around "hegemony" this week when you write about the osu-michigan game, we simply cannot be friends anymore.

liked your blog post topics, davey. i myself have never tailgated and, in fact, do not much understand its allure. but then, from the sound of your post, you weren t entirely sure about it, either. of course, without wanting to burst your bubble, let me just say that i ve made the same migratory observations about the generation that is now dying, but never mind; no one expects sportswriters to keep up. and as for your ut/cosi challenge, well, lemme know how that one turns out, dude.

most importantly, as you so astutely pointed out, there is indeed the matter of the free lunch you are now owed. (note: i'm confused. isn't the term "free lunch" redundant to sportswriters? i have seen the spreads put out for you scribes whenever you cover virtually any sportintg event, save ultimate frisbee, and even then i'm not sure. i can't help but think that, after a few years on the sidelines with notebook and pen, you sports types come to regard all lunchs -- and breakfasts and dinners -- "free" merely as your birthright, no?)

anyhoo, i believe there was some earlier mumbling about tuna sandwiches and soup at andre s, if memory serves. orrrrr we might have said something about steaks at mancy s. either way, i m expensing it -- aw, really, don t mention it, hack. it s the least I can do to show you my sincere gratitude.

(and keep you on the line for the next time i burn up some vacation. you know, i always take a week around christmas. but don t you worry your pretty little head about that now. we can nail down the exact dates over lunch. i'll call you,)

yours in eternal thanks (if undercapitalized and barely punctuated journalism),

bert



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