Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Passing the quiz

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack paid a call at the Telegraph Herald on Monday afternoon, when he spent about 45 minutes with the TH Editorial Board.

I greeted him in the lobby and started to escort him to the conference room. "I have a quiz for you," the governor said as we hiked the stairs. "What do the Iowa Cubs ballpark and your building have in common?"

Let's think quickly here, Brian.

Both are sites where lots of errors are committed? That can't be it. Hits? No.

I knew that both have newspaper affiliations. Michael Gartner, the primary owner of the Iowa Cubs, is a former journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. But what does that have to do with the ballpark in Des Moines, Principal Park?

Before we reached the first landing, I had the answer, thanks to my attendance at an Iowa Cubs game a couple of seasons ago.

"The ballpark and our lobby both display The First Amendment," I replied. The governor did not say how absolutely impressed he was that I had the answer, but I'm certain that he was thinking that.

While it is not that unusual for a newspaper to display The First Amendment in its lobby, the same cannot be said for a ballpark. I wonder what the umpires think about that.

And I wonder if I can go back and write off my expenses for the ball game.

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