Jack Hall Blog
ESCANABA, MI--SEPTEMBER 16, 2014-1:47 A.M.
The National Football League is the most successful sports enterprise in our country.
The league's revenues far outpace that of every other sport, the TV contracts are enormous, and it remains the only legaue where you can see all of your team's games without having to buy cable or satellite television (although most of us here in the U.P. do.)

But this league has an image problem, and the "advocacy groups" are all-to-willing to pounce on individual incidents to make their political points.

The incident where Ray Rice punched his fiance in an elevator probably came as good news to the higher-ups at the National Organization For Women. Because the incident gave that group, and others like it, free publicity. It made these groups seem relevant on TV news.

Now we hear that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson beat his four-year-old son with a tree branch. And a Carolina Panthers player is in trouble for domeestic vilolence.

I have actually always hated those words "domestic violence". It's simply violence, or assault. In my opinion, the NFL has a major problem because it has been inconsistent on handing out punishments when players behave badly.

Rice gets suspended indefinitely while Peterson gets to play next week for the Vikings? Cleveland's Josh Gordon gets a year suspension for smoking a marijuana joint in violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy?

In my opinion, the NFL needs to revisit all of its punishments and make sure they fit the crime. And furthermore, I feel that the demands of these groups like NOW should be ignored.

---later, Jack

ESCANABA, MI--SEPTEMBER 15, 2014-1:20 A.M.
I was ready to see my Chicago Bears get destroyed once again on national television Sunday night.
After all, the Bears were playing in San Francisco, and the 49ers were opening their fancy new stadium.
And then, the Bears fell behind, 17-0. It was pretty discouraging.

But quarterback Jay Cutler threw one up to Brandon Marshall just before halftime, and Marshall caught it with one hand for a touchdown.
Then in the second half, it seemed like all of the Bears players went into Beast Mode, even though five different guys went down with injuries.
Charles "Peanut" Tillman is the heart and soul of the Bears defense, ever since Brian Urlacher retired. He got hurt in the third quarter, but the kid who took over for him, Kyle Fuller, got two huge interceptions. On the 49'ers final drive, Willie Young got two huge quarterback sacks.
Cutler threw four touchdown passes, three of them to Marshall. Cutler had been accused of being "soft" when he left the NFC Championship Game against the Packers a couple of years ago. But he took a devastating helmet to the chest last night.
And after that cheap hit, he not only stayed in there, but Cutler completed 15 of 16 passes, including his last eleven in a row.

It was sweet to see the Bears win this game, 28-20, after that disheartening loss at Soldier Field last week against the Buffalo Bills.

Most of you reading this are Green Bay Packers fans. I give the Packers credit for coming back from a 21-3 deficit against the New York Jets to win, 31-24.
And the Jets made the biggest mistake of the season (so far) by calling a time out as the Jets were throwing a game-tying touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. Turns out that it was the assistant coach who was yelling "time out" and the refs shouldn't have allowed it, since, by rule, only the head coach can call a "time out" and Rex Ryan didn't call for one.

Oh well, Green Bay is the better team anyway, and they deserved the win.

And for you Detroit Lions fans? Well, that was a tough chore going down to Carolina to face Newton and the Panthers. Detroit was leading in the third quarter, but things fell apart pretty quick from there. Next week, the Lions host the Packers. Should be fun.

---later, Jack

GREEN BAY, WI--SEPTEMBER 12, 2014-12:18 A.M. CT
Why must vacations come to an end?
Why do we have to stop spending time lounging around in hotel courtyards, or spending hours walking around in shopping malls, or relaxing with a drink or two in a restaurant or grill?

Well, I guess it's because that's how real life works!
And if you want to have money in the bank to pay for these fun things, then you have to go back and start working again! Yes, you can probably all tell that I have enjoyed this past week visiting with friends and family. I even enjoyed seeing the Green Bay Packers' new pro shop during a visit to Lambeau Field today (pictured). And I am NOT a Packer fan!!
But alas, Friday means time to go back to work! And a road trip to Negaunee to broadcast the Gladstone Braves football game against the Miners. Hope our boys can pull the upset and go to 3-0! Hope you will tune in at 7:00 on Kool 105.5 FM, NewsTalk 600 AM, and www.rrnsports.com on-line!

---later, Jack

Thirteen years have passed and I still remember exactly what I was doing the moment terrorists flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

I was in the RRN News Center finishing a routine Morning Show. All of a sudden, we saw that a plane had crashed into the Tower. But initial reports were that a small plane had crashed into the Tower.
Then, when the second plane crashed into the second tower, I knew we had a major story that would end every other thing that we were working on in news that day.

I remember the professionalism of my colleagues working with me that day. John St. Augustine used his contacts to get relevant commentary and information on the air. The late Peter Jennings was calm and professional in his reports on ABC News, which we carried on our stations.

And now, 13 years later, here we go again.
President Obama addressed the nation Wednesday night to talk about our plans to deal with the terrorist group ISIS. This is the horrible group that enjoys beheading people, including two American journalists.
The president has authorized air attacks in Syria, where this ISIS group is headquartered.
Personally, I support this move, although I feel that it should have been done weeks ago. Just as we did 13 years ago when we all rallied behind President Bush, we need to rally behind President Obama now.
Obama has appeared to be indecisive and confused through this situation, and I rarely agree with his policies. But this ISIS group has to be stopped before it gets strong enough to directly attack our country. We have to put aside our political differences and get ready for a battle, together.

Otherwise....I am enjoying my time away from the radio station on this vacation. I have still been updating our news and sports web sites from the hotel here in Illinois, but the vacation has been very relaxing.
Thanks to my colleagues for taking care of things back home!

---later, Jack

Having a great time on vacation here in northern Illinois.
It's good to take a step back and spend time with family and friends. Becky and I splurged a bit on a nice hotel room in suburban Chicago (pictured here). It has soft beds, good A/C, and wonderful Internet speeds.
By the time many of you read this blog entry, you may be underneath a huge rainstorm that could cause big problems throughout the southern Upper Peninsula throughout the day on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service says that remnants of Hurricane Norbert are coming up from the southwest, and those remnants are colliding with a large weather system coming from the Plains states. We are expecting as much as three inches of rain in areas like Escanaba and Iron Mountain that got that much rain last week as well.

That's why Flash Flood Watches are in effect. Please don't drive through areas where water covers the road. It could cause your vehicle to stall out and ruin your engine, like we saw in last week's rain. I am on vacation here in northern Illinois, so Don Curran and Susie Larson and the rest of the RRN News Team will heep you up to date, so tune in throughout the day.

And oh ya, we are getting the same nasty weather down here today, apparently, so I may be stuck in the hotel for a while. But hopefully, everyone stays safe back home and I know the folks at our radio stations will give you the important information you need.

---later, Jack

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulted his fiancee at a casino hotel last February. He was seen on camera in the lobby, dragging this woman along the floor. Disgusting.

Rice was suspeneded for two games, and ordered to enter anger management by the court. No jail time was ordered. Rice's victim apparently forgave him because she married him.
Rice began his suspension this past weekend and would also sit out this Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh. So, case closed, right? Nope.

On Monday, the television tabloid network TMZ released a video of Rice slugging his fiance inside an elevator that night. It pissed me off to see this man do this to that woman. It is completely against everything my dad taught me growing up. Never hit a woman, he told me.

Moments after this dispicable cable network released this video (I have no idea how they got it), the Baltimore Ravens organization terminated Rice's contract. And the NFL, two hours later, suspended Rice indefinitely. To me, this is complete bull.

What Rice is seen on video doing is completely against everything I believe in.
But in my opinion, the Ravens and the NFL are completely hypocritical here. "Oh, we never seen this video before today!", they tell us. SO WHAT!!! You knew that there was a physical confrontation that night. You suspended him two games. That was the punishment.
Rice followed the rules set forward in that punishment. But now that a tabloid cable TV network publishes a video, it is all of a sudden so much worse? Nope, the NFL was already in "damage control" and did not want women's groups howling at its doors.
This action taken Monday as all about money for the NFL, and being politically-correct.

Please don't misunderstand. I do not weep for Ray Rice. I do not appreciate him hitting his fiance who weighs at least 100 pounds less than him. What a man it takes to hit a woman.
But to me, the facts of the case did not change by the release of this video.
We knew Ray Rice bullied and mistreated his fiance. But, she married him, so that implies that she at the very least forgave him. The NFL handed down its punishment. In my opinion, that punishment should not have been changed just to satisfy public opinion.
---later, Jack

So, it's Vacation Time! It's great to be able to get away and just relax. Although, I must say, driving here in the Chicago suburbs is anything but relaxing.
I went to a sports store and saw these ESPN Sports Center pennants on sale for $3 apiece. I bought one for myself and for a couple of my friends.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish made me happy with a dominating 31-0 win over Michigan. Sorry, Wolverine fans. I love my Irish!
On the same night, the Gladstone Braves made me proud with a 41-12 win over Roscommon. The Braves are 2-0. No one is laughing at you guys anymore. Tough games ahead on the road at Negaunee and Menominee. But for now, be proud of your accomplishments, boys! That 0-9 crap is officially over!

I don't even want to discuss the Chicago Bears loss to the lowly Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Just embarrassing. I have been getting a lot of crap from my friends in texts and calls about that one. Some questionable play calling, I guess you could say. Well, everyone take care back home!
---later, Jack

As a Chicago Bears fan, I must admit that I smiled while watching the Green Bay Packers get crushed by the Seattle Seahawks. And as a Chicago Bears fan, I must also admit that the exact same thing would probably happen to the Bears if they went up to Seattle last night!

Big games in college football on Saturday. Michigan vs Notre Dame. GO IRISH! Also, a  Top Ten match-up between Michigan State and Oregon. And the Northern Michigan University Wildcats open their season on Saturday at the Superior Dome.
I will be broadcasting the Gladstone Braves football game against the Roscommon Bucks Saturday night at 6:00 in Gladstone. Hope to see a big crowd there! And I will be on the sidelines tonight taking photos and videos as the Eskymos take on Traverse City.

And finally, the thunder is still rolling as I write this at 2:00 Friday morning. It's been a stormy 24 hours around here. Personally, I like thunderstorms. I enjoyed laying on my couch listening to the heavy rain fall Thursday afternoon in downtown Escanaba.

But then, I had to drive in it. Wow was this town flooded! See the pictures below. Yes, one of them is an Escanaba City Snowplow being used to push water off of First Avenue North.

Have a great weekend everyone!
---later, Jack

Tough day for many people in Escanaba, and beyond, as a woman was stabbed to death in a home on Stephenson Avenue at 4:30 Tuesday morning. I hate reporting on this kind of stuff, but I realize that it is my job to do so. But, I'd rather be at a high school sporting event!

At any rate, I want to send my prayers to the family of the woman who was killed, and I feel especially bad for the two little kids that she leaves behind. As a news reporter, I can't say any of this "opinion stuff" on the radio. That's why I have this blog, where I can.

I also want to say that those of you who spread rumors on Facebook that a local credit union was robbed Tuesday should be ashamed of yourself. I ended up driving all the way out to the mill to check out this "tip", which turned out to be a load of crap.

Please, folks, if you don't have firsthand knowledge of something like that, don't post it on Facebook. It leads to rumors begetting more rumors, and someone could end up getting hurt.

If you would like to read more about the murder of this Escanaba resident, CLICK HERE  for my report. But as for now, I will simply log off.

---later, Jack

Many of you reading this probably think that the minimum wage increase that took effect this week in Michigan is a good thing. After all, what could be wrong with folks who are barely scraping by to have a few extra dollars in their pockets? That helps people, right?

Well, except for the young people who I know lost their jobs today in Escanaba because the business they worked for decided that it was too much to pay them the new wage.
That business owner decided to find other ways to keep things running....in part, by automating (using computers), and in part, by simply not having staff on hand at certain hours of the week.

I also know of people who work at other businesses in the area who have had their hours cut back this week. So they may be making more per hour, but these businesses are giving these people fewer hours. The businesses are adjusting and making do with fewer man hours.

So, the people that are supposedly being helped by the minimum wage increase are being hurt.
Oh yes, the Liberals will tell you that this is because the business owner is being greedy and could easily pay the higher wage. But, really, what did you think businesses...who have to make a profit or die...would do when they were told by the government that they had to pay workers more per hour?

Some of my Liberal friends tell me that the company managers and CEO's are making too much, and these companies should simply pay workers more and maybe cut the pay of these rich executives.
But that is not how capitalism works. People work their way up to become CEOs and Managers on the promise that they will make more when they reach those goals. So, they are supposed to just give it back because the government decides that people at the bottom of the pay scale should be paid more?
All this new law has done is cost people their jobs, and it will also lead to price increases for products and services at restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and other businesses that have a substantial number of people making minimum wage. Nice job politicians! Way to "help" the little guy.
---later, Jack

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