In the salute to Wayne Cody, the late sportscaster on KIRO-TV, Knute Berger wrote that "in anticipation of the importance of the software industry, Cody pioneered the use of computer predictions in his sportscasts, proclaiming, 'I don't like it; reverse it!' if he didn't care for the computer's call" [Mossback, "Mossbacks to Remember," Jan. 1].
Wayne was a friend of mine, and he certainly did change the perception of what a sportscaster could do on TV. However, he did not pioneer the use of computer predictions and did not come up with "I don't like it; reverse it!" I did that about six years before Wayne became sports director at KIRO. I was sports director at KIRO for about seven years. Wayne became sports director a year after I left TV. While I was sports director, the station acquired the computer football prediction program. We were one of a number of stations around the country that purchased and used the computer graphics. I came up with "I don't like it; reverse it!" the first week we ran the computer prediction segment and used it every week thereafter. (We had two and a half seconds to make a verbal transition from one prediction to the next, thus the need for a quick transition line.) In those days, I occasionally would hear some leather-lunged fan shouting that phrase at me, so I knew I had a good thing. I used the phrase and the computer predictions at least five years before Wayne became sports director.
Figuring I have about two and a half seconds left to wrap up this letter about Wayne's pioneering computer football predictions and authorship of that phrase, let me just say, "I don't like it; reverse it!"
WHO COULD FORGET DWYER?
I appreciated Knute Berger's farewell to people who influenced the Northwest that we lost in 2002, but I think that there was a blinding conspicuous omission—Judge William L. Dwyer [Mossback, "Mossbacks to Remember," Jan. 1].
Dwyer's accomplishments touch our lives every day across a vast spectrum of accomplishments as a lawyer, judge, author, and engaged member of our community. His accomplishments as lawyer and judge ranged from suing Major League Baseball (resulting in Seattle retaining a major-league franchise); ruling that the Metro Council was unconstitutional (violating the "one person, one vote" requirement), giving rise to a reformation of King County government; representing John and Sally Goldmark in their successful libel action against political interests that had labeled them Communists; and halting timber sales that encroached on habitat of spotted owls.
His legacy includes two wonderful books—The Goldmark Case: An American Libel Trial and In the Hands of the People: The Trial Jury's Origins, Triumphs, Troubles, and Future in American Democracy, a defense of the U.S. jury system.
Perhaps most compellingly, to the countless number of us from all walks of life that he befriended, we lost a huge force in our lives—one which memorably enriched each of us.
Henry M. Aronson
So Slade Gorton, the man who never met a clear-cut he didn't like, is lobbying for the Magazine Publishers of America for favorable telemarketing and postal legislation ["Slade's Slate," Jan 1]. To his long list of nicknames (my favorite being Skeletor), we'll have to add a new one: Trash Gorton, junk-mail king. From clear-cuts to strip mines, there seems to be no anti-quality-of-life issue for which Slade Gorton will not be the poster child. How long do you think it will be before the e-spam people get him? Nickname of future: Spam Gorton.
Geov Parrish is just plain wrong in "News That Wasn't" [Jan. 1]. To describe Israel's actions defending its citizens, including women and children, from terrorist attacks on buses and in pizza parlors as "butchery" is extraordinarily naive. The Hamas terrorist cell doesn't want peace—it wants to drive out the Jews from the land of Israel and wash the beaches with their blood. Like no other time in its 54-year history, Israel is fighting for its very survival. But some things are worth fighting for. Israel is the only democracy in the region. Women have equal rights. People of all faiths have the right to practice their own religion. So next time Parrish decides to take up a cause, maybe he should choose one that more closely reflects our values.
PAUL IS DEAD!
Oh, for god's sake! For the nincompoops who wrote that Paul Westerberg's CD was the best of the year, come on [Music 2002, "Album of the Year," Jan. 1]! Did they actually listen to all the other recordings out there this past year? How about Elvis Costello's return-to-rock CD? Not to mention the terrific new Peter Gabriel CD. I like Westerberg's work as much as the next guy, but to say that his CD is better than anything else out there this past year—please.
I've been a fan of the 'Mats for more than a decade, and I've gobbled up inches upon inches of copy written about them. The story about Stereo/Mono being record of the year was one of the most well-written, authoritative (particularly about Paul Westerberg's solo career), and insightful I've seen about Westerberg and his old band [Music 2002, "Album of the Year," Jan. 1].
It's a shame this great album has been ignored in year-end lists by nearly every publication but yours, but at least you did it justice with a great write-up. I'm hoping Stereo/Mono and Westerberg's stirring concert performances during last summer's tour mark the beginning of a career renaissance for a guy notoriously overlooked over the past decade.
COBAIN'S BITS AND PIECES
I enjoyed Tim Appelo's well-written article "Kurt Cobain's Last No. 1 Hit" [Dec. 25, 2002]. I did hear a story that hardens the point that Cobain had a "habit of picking the brains of various aesthetic mentors." The story goes like this: One afternoon Cobain asked a friend to help him take his personal inventory. Cobain explained that he had been going around to friends asking them in a sentence or two to "explain" him. Cobain asked the friend to contribute. The friend looked at the list and asked Cobain if he thought the list was accurate. Cobain thought it was. The friend then made his sarcastic contribution to the list—"I use bits and pieces of others' personalities to form my own." Cobain wrote it down and thanked him. I don't know if it's true, but it wouldn't surprise me.
SWISS HIT (NOT MISS)
This article reached us in Switzerland ["The List," Dec. 25, 2002]. I'd like to express my joy over the fact that your newspaper is not afraid to print a text that is as outspoken about the situation in the U.S. as this one is.
Having spent many years in the U.S., I have friends there and a special interest in what is going on. I have been observing the U.S. from our residence in Europe, and from our perspective, the developments of the media and politics have become very worrisome. Though there are many people expressing their concern and anger on Web sites and through private mail and mailing lists, the media have been trying (and partly succeeding) in painting a picture of the American people as fully supporting the Bush administration and its domestic and foreign policies. Obviously, these lies could not be held up forever, and the sooner the media revert to their original and most important task of informing rather than manipulating their audiences, the better.
Seattle Weekly seems to be benefiting from its decision makers' good sense—surely to the satisfaction of more Americans than the corporate media will let on.
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