Author Archive for Tim Dumas


Never let the truth get in the way

The cover of TIME is an obvious fabrication.

The picture of the little girl crying next to President Trump is not a single shot. The two are edited into one – to make it appear as though the POTUS is looking down at the girl who is upset because she is being separated from her parents.

It is a misleading photo, and TIME magazine’s editor-in-chief has been defending its use in the wake of critics. But right or wrong, true or not, it sends a message, grips the reader, get a reaction. That’s most likely what TIME wanted.

That’s entertainment.

Same goes for movies. The truth usually takes a back seat to whatever makes a better story.

I watched “The Sound of Music” with my daughter this weekend. (Weather was horrible; needed to kill 3 hours). I enjoyed the movie; the songs continue to resonate from when I used to watch it as a kid. But I hardly recalled the plot.

After Georg and Maria marry, I thought it would be “happily ever after” and that’s it. Then came the Swastika and talk about Hitler and The Third Reich.

The family eventually heads for the hills (which were alive with the sound …) and into neutral Switzerland. Movie over.

My daughter then Googled what really happened to the von Trapp family. They actually traveled to Italy, she discovered.

I told her that movies typically will switch out fact for fiction in order to improve the story line.

Sometimes it works, as in the case of Roy Hobbs in “The Natural.” Or rather it’s believable. But read the book, and you’ll find no feel-good ending with lights exploding. Who wanted to pay good money and spend two hours of their precious time to see Roy Hobbs strike out?

I remember watching Frank DeFord’s “Four Minutes” about Roger Bannister’s quest to run the first four-minute mile. The TV movie was compelling in that few thought at the time that such a feat was possible. But what ruined it for me was that Bannister had a girlfriend (sorry, love interest) in the film, which wasn’t true. That storyline didn’t make the film any better; made it worse, actually.

But DeFord must have thought “Four Minutes” required such treatment in order to attract a larger audience. That’s probably why you don’t see the film aired on ESPN. It wasn’t very good.

These examples remind me of what former NFL coach Jerry Glanville told me when I interviewed him about 12 years ago when he was coaching at Portland State.

Many a time while watching his teams play (he coached the Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons) on Sunday afternoons, the announcers would say Glanville routinely left tickets for Elvis Presley at the box office, even though “The King” was dead.

I asked him about it, and he said he left tickets for Elvis only once. It wasn’t every week.

But he never tried to debunk the notion. The reason?

“Why ruin a good story,” he reasoned, “with the truth.”

Continue reading ‘Never let the truth get in the way’


Capturing the runner’s high

I’m still feeling the buzz; it’s been four days.

There is no drug available that can keep me on a high for this long. Yet there’s no hangover. Withdrawal is possible, however.

If anyone wants to know why I run, just look at this photo (third image in the gallery). Continue reading ‘Capturing the runner’s high’


‘Dad, wanna go for a run?’

Here’s Nina, in green, after finishing her first 5K.

Words I thought I’d never hear.

It was close to six on Saturday evening. I had just stepped out of the shower, toweling off after a long day in the sun. The day started with a morning run (doesn’t it always?), continued with yard work and ended with a walk with the dog.

Nearly dry and clean, I was thinking about putting on the stove for dinner.

Two taps on the bathroom door changed my plans. Continue reading ‘‘Dad, wanna go for a run?’’


Boston 2017: Time to look back

Constant, forward, motion. Or, confortion, as I like to call it.

The process of running a marathon is all about looking ahead. All the training goes “into the bank” for the big day. When that comes, plans are made for travel to the start, when to get there, when to start hydrating .. all with a nod to the future.

For this year’s Boston Marathon, one of my goals was to look back. It would take some time to get that point, but you never know when you’ll be back. Continue reading ‘Boston 2017: Time to look back’


This one tops ‘em all

For Too Many Men on the Ice, there’s Bruins 5, Maple Leafs 4.

For Roughing the Passer, there’s the Greatest Comeback in Baseball History.

For Game 6 in ‘86, there’s the Greatest Comeback in Super Bowl History. Continue reading ‘This one tops ‘em all’


More to this Challenge

They were either running long distances or traveling them.

For the week, they ran more miles (183.4) than hours (168).

On Sunday in Sydney, 32 runners completed the World Marathon Challenge – running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

Some are probably thinking they have a screw loose or just wanted to scream “look at me!” to the world. Continue reading ‘More to this Challenge’


Boston 2016: Thrills, chills, kisses and hugs

kirstenNow for the really hard part; how best to sum up a day of exhilaration, misery, heat, chills, cramps, kisses and hugs. Actually, the process of running the Boston Marathon is never about one day. Or one runner. It’s about months of training and the support you receive after countless (endless?) solo miles. Continue reading ‘Boston 2016: Thrills, chills, kisses and hugs’