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Update: October 10, 2019

Last week, I wrapped up production on the passion project that has consumed my attention for the better part of a year: the podcast “Triangles: The Life and Times of an NFL Original Team.” The next to last episode in the series dropped this morning, and the series finale will release next Thursday. Please check it out at https://daytontrianglespodcast.com.

From my perspective, this is good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m very proud of myself for having seen this through to the end. The bad news is that almost nobody listened.

Part of the problem is obviously discovery. Apple Podcasts in particular seems to have dissed me big time. “Triangles” doesn’t even appear when you search for “Dayton Triangles,” nor does it show up when you search for “NFL original team.” By contrast, a search for “Dayton Triangles” on Spotify shows both the podcast and individual episodes.

Beyond that, there just wasn’t very much interest in a podcast documenting the history of one of the first NFL teams. If you Google “dayton triangles podcast” the podcast site shows up right there on the first page. The interest simply was not there.

So, that happened.

Back To Music

Having finished producing the podcast, it’s time for me to pivot back to music. Unfortunately, I have some issues there as well. I started working on some new material, only to find that the Windows 10 Build 1903 update broke the software driver for my Korg Microkey USB keyboard.

Now, this would not normally be a showstopper. I did a search and found where Korg had indeed updated the driver. I downloaded and installed the updated driver, and . . . nothing. I did some more searching and found a YouTube tutorial describing how the Korg driver had a bug that resulted in it not properly writing to the Windows Registry. The tutorial gave steps to write the entries you needed to the registry, which I did. And some of my other stuff broke. So I had to undo what I did so my USB mic would work.

Here’s the thing. Once upon a time, I was quite the IT tinkerer. That was back in the days when Windows installations were much more risky propositions than they are in 2019. But I’m not an IT guy anymore. I’m a musician (of sorts). When it says “plug and play” I want to plug, and play. I shouldn’t have to mess around compensating for someone else’s coding failure.

I am therefore in the market for a new (non-KORG) MIDI keyboard controller. I’ll let you know what I choose in a future update.

Changes coming

In the meantime, I’m prepping a new EP from material I’ve already done. This will be a little different from my other, instrumental music. I’ll be putting on my singer-songwriter hat for this one. There will be five tracks, and I’ll have more details in another post soon.

I also plan to tinker with this site over the next few weeks, so please pardon the dust.

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Update: June 5, 2019

This past Memorial Day, an EF4 tornado rolled through the neighborhood where I’ve been living north of Dayton, Ohio. The house where I was staying was badly damaged and will probably be condemned. Fortunately, no one was home at the time. I’m now living in Cincinnati and hope to stay here for as long as possible. After a delay of several days, I now have access to a spare room where I can continue to work on the Dayton Triangles podcast and other projects.

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Dayton Triangles Uncategorized Writing

The NFL’s First Replay Controversy?

The research for my Dayton Triangles book project took me into the period when Triangles player/coach/manager/owner Carl Storck continued to serve as an NFL executive after the sale of the Triangle franchise. This post discusses the first of two major controversies in Storck’s brief, stormy tenure as league president. My focus here is less on Storck’s role than on the historical significance of what I argue was “the birth of replay” — eighty years ago.

Time was running down at the Polo Grounds on December 3, 1939. The Washington Redskins and New York Giants were locked in a nail-biter. With a berth in the NFL Championship game on the line, the Giants clung to a 9-7 lead, but Washington was driving. With under a minute to go, the Redskins’ drive stalled at the New York 16-yard line. Kicker Torrance “Bo” Russell lined up for a relative chip-shot field goal to give Washington a 10-9 lead and probably the win. The snap came back, and Russell struck the ball. It sailed high toward the right upright as thousands of fans held their collective breath.

Referee Bill Halloran had the call. A well-respected veteran of gridiron officiating going all the way back to pre-NFL sandlot days, Halloran always called them as he saw them. This time, some observers thought he hesitated ever so slightly, while others thought he did not hesitate at all. Halloran waved his arms at his waist, a gesture known at the time as a “wigwag,” signifying that the attempt was no good. New York ran out the clock to win the game, and the division championship.

The game was over, but the controversy had just begun.

Many observers insisted the kick was actually good. Others insisted just as vehemently that it was well wide to the right. The angle from which the observer viewed the kick had a lot to do with the conclusion drawn. (One’s rooting interest may have played a role, too.)

After the game, fans, writers and photographers looked for visual evidence to either confirm or overrule Halloran’s call. Unfortunately, the available evidence was not very helpful. First, Russell’s kick had sent the ball so high that it might not appear in the photo frames of many shots. (Note 1.) The photo evidence that showed the ball suffered from the same disadvantage as human observers; depending on the camera angle, the ball appeared to be inside or outside the uprights. (Note 2.)

Sportswriter Gene Ward reviewed film of the kick taken at an angle behind the kicker and to right of the goal post. In his opinion, the visual evidence was not conclusive that the ball had actually passed inside the uprights. (Note 3.)

In the language of modern replay officiating, it was a “call stands.”

Part of the problem may have been a misunderstanding about the rules. In the modern NFL, a field goal is “good” if it is ” between the goal posts and above the cross bar, or, if above the goal posts, between the outside edges of the goal posts.” (Note 4.) [Emphasis added.] In 1939, though, you didn’t get the benefit of the outside edge of the goal posts if the ball was above them. Some players, coaches or fans may have thought getting any part of the ball over the upright was sufficient for the kick to be good. It wasn’t.

Dr. B. A. O’Hara, a league official in attendance but not in the officiating crew that day, explained to sportswriter Dan Parker:

The officials of the National League were called to Pittsburgh before the season opened for a rules interpretation meeting. Stress was laid on field goal kicking and it was drilled into us that in professional football all parts of the ball must be inside the plane made by the imaginary lines drawn straight up into the air as an extension of the goal posts.

Parker, Dan. “Dan Parker Says”. Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), Dec. 5, 1939, p. 20 https://www.newspapers.com/image/480447668.

In the weeks after the game, proposals surfaced to assist the on-field official. One idea, similar to horse racing’s “photo finish,” would use a set of synchronized cameras to photograph the ball from different angles. In the event of a review, the film could be developed on the spot to determine if the kick was good. (Note 5.) Another proposal would use an electric eye to automatically rule whether the kick was good or not. (Note 6.)

None of the 1939 proposals gained traction, and it would be decades before the NFL instituted a replay rule, but Bill Halloran’s “wigwag” set events in motion that eventually led to the modern replay regime.

And what of Halloran’s infamous call?

Harry Dayhoff, a college referee who had worked the Holy Cross-Boston College game the day before, was sitting with sportswriter Dan Parker and NFL official Dr. O’Hara behind the opposite end zone — at the perfect angle to judge the kick’s accuracy. After the kick, and before Halloran’s signal, Dayhoff said, “It’s wide, Doc.” O’Hara agreed, adding that in his view no part of the ball was in that imaginary plane required for a good kick. (Note 7.)

And on the field, holder Frank Filchock turned his back to the play and disgustedly snapped his fingers. (Note 8.)

Notes:

(1) “Pictures May Not Help”. Philadelphia Inquirer, December 4, 1939, p. 23. https://www.newspapers.com/image/168042486.

(2) Hartford Courant, December 6, 1939, p. 13. https://www.newspapers.com/image/367367264.

(3) Ward, Gene. “Redskin Faces Ban For Life, Plus Fine”. New York Daily News, December 5, 1939, p. 352. https://www.newspapers.com/image/430134249.

(4) Goodell, Roger, Commissioner. 2018 Official Playing Rules of the National Football League. https://operations.nfl.com/media/3277/2018-nfl-rulebook_final-version.pdf.

(5) “Foto-finish In Football”. New York Daily News, December 12, 1939, p. 37. https://www.newspapers.com/image/430185633.

(6) United Press. “Plan Electric Eye To Rule On Field Goals”. The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), December 19, 1939, p. 7. https://www.newspapers.com/image/279780142.

(7) Parker, Dan. “Dan Parker Says”. Courier-Post (Camden, New Jersey), Dec. 5, 1939, p. 20 https://www.newspapers.com/image/480447668.

(8) Menton, Paul. “Important Points”.The Evening Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), December 7, 1939, p. 44. https://www.newspapers.com/image/369606012.

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Happy Simple Intro

This is upbeat, uplifting opening music for wholesome, family-friendly podcasts, ads and other media. Key is G Major. Tempo is 172 bpm. Available in :30, :15, bumper and loopable edits.

30-Second Edit

15-Second Edit

Bumper Edit

Loop Version

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Welcome to the Site

Hi there! I’m glad you made it to this new version of my website. As I write this, the site itself is under construction. Please pardon the dust.

After the news came down that Google was going to shut down Google Plus, I did some serious thinking about my existing Google (Blogger) blog that was tied into that. I uncoupled my blog from Plus and found that blog views seemed to diminish. (They’ve since come back somewhat.) I decided anyway that it was time to do something more with this site, or else let the domain lapse altogether.

In creating this site, I hope to generate enough content to make the site interesting from an SEO perspective. To that end, I’ll be adding lots of pages for my items so you can search for stock music that fits your moods here, rather than going to the marketplaces. I plan to include lots of tags for musical moods, so if you want ‘happy’ music you can click on that tag and get access to all my ‘happy’ stuff, and so on.

Meanwhile, I’m also working on a non-fiction writing project that I hope to see published in the next two years. The project is a comprehensive history of the Dayton Triangles, a professional American football team that was a founding member of the National Football League. In my initial research, I found lots of information, but I wanted to tie the threads together into a single story that stretches all the way from the first kids playing sandlot ball before 1910 to the last direct Dayton connection to the league, Carl Storck, who stayed with the league after the franchise folded and became its last president in the late 1930s. Also, I want to write about more than just the game. I want to find out about the economics of it, the media and social situations in play at the time. Finally, I want to pay tribute not only to the players and coaches, but to the unsung heroes as well.

The first game between teams in the National Football League was played within walking distance of my childhood home, and I didn’t realize it for many years. Now I want to try to tell the story of that history, a sort of love letter to my hometown. I haven’t talked about it much up to now, but with this site I hope to be able to tell more of the story of that work in progress in addition to my music. I hope you’ll stay around for the ride.