FOR THE first time in years, there's a press war at Johns Hopkins University. An upstart weekly, the Hopkins Standard, has published four issues and has diverted some reporters, advertising revenue and attention from the 96-year-old News-Letter.
The Standard was founded by senior Ethan "Juice" Skolnick, who spent the summer organizing a staff, finding a printer and seeking advertisers. It's a tabloid, deliberately different from the News-Letter's broad-sheet format. It comes out on Thursdays (when it comes out on time), a day before the News-Letter. Both are distributed free around the Homewood campus.
Both papers publish the usual college fare: campus happenings, restaurant reviews, sports, editorials, previews of coming attractions and some investigative work. The warfare thus far hasn't been out in the open, but Standard staffers last week were muttering the News-Letter's "Bizarroscopes" ("This is the week for you to think about your sexuality") were stolen from the Standard's "Horoscopes" ("Clueless: Confusion falls out of the picture.")
Thus far, the Standard hasn't achieved the News-Letter's bulk -- 12 tabloid pages Sept. 23 versus the N-L's 22 broad-sheet pages Sept. 24. Standard editors were hoping last week to corral some of the advertisers who said they would withdraw from the News-Letter to protest an offensive cartoon in the same edition.
But despite its smaller size, the Standard has been showing some lively writing, particularly on sports. And the News-Letter is a better newspaper than it was last spring, proving once again that competition is a healthy thing.
* * * THE TENTH anniversary of Orioles glory cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed during this post-season season.
It was exactly ten years ago that the Birds walloped the White Sox in the American League playoffs and pulverized the Phillies in a grand World Series that featured four victories in a row after losing an opening-game heartbreaker.
Those were the days of the great John Lowenstein-Gary Roenicke outfield platoon; of a pitching staff featuring Jim Palmer, Mike Boddicker, Storm Davis, Mike Flanagan, Tippy Martinez and Scott McGregor; of an infield with Eddie Murray at first, Rich Dauer at second, Cal Ripken at shortstop (the only guy still around) and Todd Cruz at third.
But mostly it was Rick Dempsey's World Series. After batting only .167 in the playoffs, the Bird's all-time No. 1 entertainer hit .385 in the Series to win a richly earned MVP award.
On many a family-room wall around Baltimore, you can find a black, orange and white triangle emblazoned with the message "World Champs 1983." Plus the whole team roster.
There hasn't been anything like it since, but just wait till next year.