And I thought I knew what it felt like to be caught up in the vortex of a media maelstrom with last week’s tornado and my photos of it – (which have been borrowed by the National Weather Service, believe it or not!) but that was just a little hiccup compared to the journalistic juggernaut unleashed by the story of the Shredded Tix.
Let me state first for the record that I’m the guy who realized that there was a story here. When Walter shared this story with me when I visited them last Sunday, I’m the guy who whipped out his camera and took pictures of the three Packers tickets and the ziplock bag with the shredded shards of the fourth ticket and then wrote about it in my blog for Monday the 14th.
And I’m the guy who received an email yesterday (Wednesday) morning from Tom Kertscher, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who has been on my morning show on several occasions, most recently to talk about his wonderful book about Brett Favre. The email, which was sent to about ten people who are in the media in various capacities, asked if any of us had a good story about Packers fans that he could turn into a story for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (You can imagine what a challenge it is to think of something new and interesting to say about Packerdom at this point in the season.) Anyway, I wrote him back to say that the best Packer fan story I had heard in a long time concerned some shredded tickets- and that he could read the whole thing on my website. He went there, checked it out, brought the ideas to their late morning editorial meeting, and the go-ahead was given.
And I’m the guy who gave Tom Kertscher Walter and Lynn’s phone number. . . and when they weren’t home, I’m the guy who gave Tom their cell phone numbers. And I’m the guy who called them both just ahead of Tom, so they wouldn’t have a stroke when he called them with the news that the paper wanted to do a “little story” about the shredded tix.
I’m also the guy who told Walter during Sunday’s visit that this story would be good to tell in his Parson to Person column in our own Racine Journal Times. And although I think he said that he was already considering it, I like to think that my encouragement is what tipped the scales and inspired him to actually do it. And when he turned in his column, someone at the Journal Times saw it and decided that this would make a good story on top of the column itself.
And that’s how our good friends Lynn and Walter ended up on the front page of both the Racine Journal Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today . . . and that’s also how the story got taken up by the Associated Press and beamed all over the midwest.
I just wanted to explain all of this behind-the-scenes stuff so that when they end up on the cover of Time, as a guest on Oprah, and as recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize because of all this, I’M THE GUY WHO STARTED IT ALL.
Well, actually no – I suppose the kind friend of the family who was manning the paper shredder on that fateful day is really the guy who started it all – – – and of course, not of this would have happened had not a certain someone put those tickets on the shredder in the first place. So I’m happy to share the glory here.
And by the way, it’s a happy ending- – – the ticket will be replaced. Now let’s hope for the ultimate happy ending and a win over the Giants in what is shaping up to be the second great Ice Bowl in NFL history.