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Wally Watch: May 8 and 11, 2008

Wally Watch

Wally Watch: Where we read Wally Hall so you don't have to.

May 8, 2008: Hitting to all fields as summer draws near.

Primary Theme: Wally decides to write about baseball.

Irony Alert: While taking half of his column to meander to his baseball observations, Wally spends a little time detailing how much e-mail he receives this time of year and a lot of time describing one of his regular e-mailers. Included among the detours is this bit of praise for some of those who write him frequently: "They understand brevity and getting to the point."

Ward Cleaver, Eat Your Heart Out: Wally's need to make the people he admires sound like they stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting or a 1950s sitcom is on full display in the following passage, which describes Doug, an "e-mail pal" of Wally's: "He's married to his childhood sweetheart, and they are as much in love today as the day they met. They attend church regularly. He's very, very proud of his children and grandchildren. Doug leads an uncomplicated life that includes breakfasts with his friends, lunches too, generally at the North Little Rock Corky's, where he almost always gets the ribs."

Godliness, food - it's all there. Seriously, does it get any more Wally than that?

Wally Comes Not to Bury Caesar, but to Praise Himself: "This time of year, as the dog days of summer approach, the e-mails start to slow down, dropping from around 275-300 per day to 85-100. Almost all are answered."

Jarring Closing: "Now, that may not be enough baseball news to cause my friend Doug a stroke, and hopefully it won't, because your scribe has been there and done that, and it's not fun."

Our Analysis: Being Razorback bloggers, we can empathize with Wally's difficulty in finding something to write about during this time of year. However, as we stated a while back, we don't write about baseball. Wally shouldn't either.

May 11, 2008: Plenty to love about Hillis despite strange fall.

Primary Theme: Peyton Hillis was drafted lower than expected, and the reason why will probably always be a mystery.

Interesting Fact: "Josh Melton, a four-year letterman on the Razorbacks' offensive line, called Sports Animals on Arkansas Radio Network last week, unsolicited, to say he believed [Houston] Nutt had told scouts there were character and injury issues and that Hillis is tough to have in the locker room."

God Watch: Wally seems to like Peyton, so, per an obscure federal statute, Hillis must be described as a man of faith: "Yet, while he could be outspoken at times and almost critical of some coaching decisions after tough, emotional losses, he's a young man who now always talks about God and how important he is in his life."

And no, we didn't lowercase the "h" in "he." Wally did, and he'll have to answer to the man upstairs for that one.

Choice Analogy: "Hillis is tougher than a claw hammer on a pecan."

Our Analysis: To be fair, this isn't a bad column. It's blessedly free of descriptions of Wally's recent meals and contains only one groaner of an analogy. And Hillis' apparent fall from scouting grace is an interesting subject. It doesn't sound like Wally has the sources to provide anything more than speculation and second-hand information, but - grading on the Wally curve - this is an above-average effort.