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Hello Hillsboro: Fans bowled over by Super gaffe
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Will there ever be a more thrilling ending to a Super Bowl than Sunday’s historic climax? If you didn’t see the game or spent the weekend in China, you might as well skip the first item in this week’s Hello column.

After a thrilling football battle, the climax was certainly a shocker that will likely deflate all the recent hysteria about Ballgate. We’ll probably never know if the soft football mystery was more of a fumble than a plot because after the Super Bowl shock, nobody really cares anymore.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll will spend the rest of his life explaining why he went to the air from the half-yard line rather than hand the ball to his star running back, Marshawn Lynch, who could have bulled for the winning touchdown in his sleep.

However, that wasn’t the worst call in the telecast. That “honor” is reserved for an insurance company that somehow thought it a good idea to sponsor an ad about a youngster who didn’t have any great memories because of his short life.


Millions of partygoers all over the country are enjoying an afternoon of cheering and groaning over THE football game of the year, and suddenly their thoughts are switched to a tragedy that totally dwarfs the importance of football, or any other game for that matter.

Whoever made that decision should be put to work deflating a few hundred footballs by himself in a secret room!

(NOTE: Nationwide Insurance issued a statement Feb. 2 that the purpose of its message was to “start a conversation” about preventable injuries around the home, which are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. “While some did not care for the ad,” the statement concluded, “we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen [sic] for children everywhere.”–Editor.)


Here’s a quick update on our backyard squirrel and bird banquet hall.

Tuesday afternoon I noticed one busy customer was single-handedly taking about a dozen peanuts off my unusual outdoor cafe. He kept carrying them to his secret storage place in his jowls after removing the shells.

I was impressed at his work-ethic, all by himself on a frigid day in a snow-filled yard. When I checked again and took the time to reload the feeder, I noticed a blue jay sitting on a branch and sort of “casing the joint.”

Sure enough, he dive-bombed the feeder and grabbed a peanut before fleeing the scene of the crime.

The squirrel knows that feeder has a mysterious way of restocking itself, so he wasn’t upset. But I suspect he did, at least, point out the seed-filled bird feeder as the jay flew away to find a place he could enjoy his peanut in peace.

A little while later, three sparrows stopped by the bird feeder and “filled up” without paying any attention to the peanuts next to it.

Good thing, because that hard working squirrel most likely still had some storage space to fill inside his neighboring tree condo.


A Chicago friend just took the time to send me this great thought.

When people see a cat’s litter box, they always say, “Oh, have you got a cat?”

Just once, I want to say, “No, it’s for company!”