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Wally Watch: July 5 and July 8, 2009

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Wally Watch

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

July 5, 2009: Football prognosticators ready to fire up fans

Primary Theme: Recapping the Arkansas preview in the Phil Steele's College Football magazine (with the usual Wally flourishes).

Prepare for a Crime Wave: Wally opens his column with "In the next few weeks, there will be no shortage of information on the coming college football season. No shortage of arrests, either..." which leads us to believe that there's some sinister correlation between magazines releasing their season preview issues and criminal activity. What does Wally know that we don't? Is he in on it? Either way, lock your doors and keep your guard up.

Folksy Simile Alert: "Football magazines will be blooming like spring daffodils on Wye Mountain."

Win a Bowl Game? Now You're Just Talking Crazy: "...which should mean improvement and a bowl game, maybe even a victory there..."

Summary: Pretty much a straight-up recap of what Phil Steele had written, although it does end on an intriguingly melancholy note when he writes "Summer seems especially long this year." Hang in there Wally! You'll have more topics to write about soon enough...in the meantime, keep dreaming of those spring daffodils.

July 8, 2009: AAU national tournament worth all the work

Primary Theme: The AAU tournament going on in Little Rock is pretty much the best thing ever.

We Hear Beaver Cleaver Has a Nasty Crossover Dribble: One of Wally's favorite literary conceits is to portray anything he likes as almost impossibly wholesome. In this column we're treated to the sportsmanship of the Minnesota Heat fans, encouraging parents (who videotape the entire game, not just their kid) and coaches who are not just "knowledgeable and patient" but "probably all" are good guys.

Talk About Going Off on a Tangent: "Kids who are about as familiar with a razor as they are college geometry."

Folksy Simile Alert: "His cell phone battery, like his body's battery, is charged to its fullest each morning."

Local Name-Dropping Alert: Henry Forrest, you're today's lucky winner!

Summary: Wally's "cheerleading for a local event" columns are a staple of his writing, and this hits all the usual high points - talented & hard-working kids, national coaches stopping by to recruit, selfless volunteers, etc. We do wish he'd taken the time to recommend a Mexican restaurant or two for out-of-town visitors, though.