Julia Ziegler could charm a charging Jaguar to stop in its tracks. Or in her case, a Nittany Lion.
As a former student at Penn State and a current season ticket holder, Ziegler said it’s an all-day affair. “I have to wake up early. I have a friend who has a house near the stadium,” Ziegler said. “We get up at 4 or 5, then drive up on game day, stay the night after the game. I’m a big fan of 3:30 kicks.”
Ziegler said her obsession with football was in full swing in college. “When I was in school, I was one of those people camping out and waiting in line to get good seats.”
Apparently, each year in school, you progressed to better seating. The freshman got the tunnel, and upperclassmen got the 50-yard line, the first couple of rows. “I spent many nights out in the freezing cold with my friends to get good seats. It was a lot of fun. Great memories of Penn State moments.”
Ziegler recalls a Nittany Lion experience that has stayed with her all these years. On September 23, 2000, while playing in only the fifth game of his college career, Adam Taliaferro sustained a career-ending spinal cord injury while tackling tailback Jerry Westbrooks during Penn State’s game versus Ohio State. The game was being held in Columbus. It was parents’ weekend at Penn State, so Ziegler and her friends had gathered to watch the game.
“Even though it was on television, we watched him get carted off the field,” Ziegler said. “It was his sophomore year, and I was a freshman.” Taliaferro would beat the odds. A year later, he walked back on the field at Beaver Stadium for Penn State’s game against Miami.
“We were sitting in the tunnel for that game. It was so emotional.”
She grew up in a Penn State family.
“I had a lot of relatives who went to Penn State, including my grandparents. My mom really wanted me to go to Penn State. It was a great school, and it also meant cheaper in-state tuition.” As a defiant teen, she says she didn’t want to go for those reasons. She had also been accepted to NYU, Boston University, and Syracuse.
It was an official tour to Penn State that sold her. “It was that visit that made me want to come here. I remember telling my mom it wasn’t because she told me to, but because I really wanted to go. I’m so glad I did. It made me who I am today.”
“Penn State is a huge football school, so that was icing on the cake when I decided to go there,” Ziegler explained. “Just the feeling of being in that stadium. The most we’ve ever had is 111,000 people. I have been there for some of the loudest games. Everything reverberates.”
Ziegler had one of those cutouts they used to fill the seats at games during Covid. A big photo of herself. “They allowed you to buy it after the season. I thought, ‘I’ve got to get that.’ We decided to hang it up in my office and face it toward the newsroom. With our glass office walls, you can see it when you walk by my office. Cracks me up all the time.”
She began her radio career at WTOP in 2003 and has held many roles within the company during that time, including managing editor of WTOP.com’s sister station, FederalNewsRadio.com, for seven years.
In 2019, Ziegler was named WTOP’s Director of News and Programming. From 2015 to 2019, she served as WTOP’s Digital News Director. Ziegler was also part of the WTOP team that created and produced the award-winning true-crime podcast, 22 Hours: An American Nightmare.
“A few years back, two of my reporters were covering the trial of a man accused of killing a family and their housekeeper in the family’s home. The story had many twists and turns – not all of which could fit into our headline news format on the radio. The reporters asked if they could do more with the story. So, I told them to start recording every conversation they were having about the trial. After the trial, we decided a podcast would allow us to tell the story of this tragedy in the most complete way it had ever been told. That was important to us. We didn’t want to retell it and potentially open wounds for the family if we couldn’t offer new information. When the podcast launched, it took off like crazy. Ended up hitting number 2 on the Apple charts. Number 1 among their crime podcasts.”
Ziegler said you just don’t know what is going to take off when it comes to podcasts. A viral tweet can send it to a higher trajectory. There are podcasts that land somewhere in the middle. It can take years for one of them to grow. You’ve also got to determine the revenue side if you can sell ads.
In 2022, WTOP launched its latest podcast venture, DMV Download. Think the local, D.C. version of The Daily from the New York Times or Up First from NPR. Two WTOP staffers now host that show.
“We like the idea of having two hosts on our podcasts for a couple of reasons,” Ziegler said. “We have that built-in backup if one goes on vacation or gets sick. The other aspect of two hosts is there is more of an on-air dynamic. Conversations. You want to have that camaraderie. We’re in that startup phase right now. Seeing where it will all go.”
As a kid, Ziegler said she was ‘normal.’ She was on the cheerleading squad and also played Lacrosse. “I took school seriously; I was always a busy kid. I also had a job in high school.” Ziegler said she worked her way through high school and college under the Golden Arches.
“There is some statistic that talks about the large number of successful people who have worked at McDonald’s,” Ziegler said. “I think every person in the world should be forced to work for a while in a restaurant or service industry. The number one thing I learned there is customer service. Good customer service is so important. I learned a lot about how I operate from my time at McDonald’s. How to multitask, how to think ahead.”
Ziegler doesn’t appear to put on heirs. “You roll the way you roll. I just try to be me and be authentic,” she said. “I am genuinely happy. I feel lucky. I love my job. The people I work with. This is not an easy business and I think it helps if you love what you do. But Covid has been rough for everyone. Doesn’t matter if you’ve worked here for 50 years or a few weeks, it has been hard.”
Ziegler said she’s always enjoyed working at WTOP, and I believe her. “From the top down, it’s a great place to work. Mission driven work. All after the same goal. We enjoy each other’s company. Cool place to work. Top down. Not blowing smoke.”
She credits Penn State Professor John Sanchez for a lot of her success. Sanchez still teaches at Penn State. When he worked at American University, just down the block from WTOP, he would send interns to work at the station.
“My internship was the summer before my senior year,” Ziegler said. “I kept in touch with the managers in the newsroom and as graduation was approaching, I asked if they needed any help.”
They told Ziegler they had some freelance work available. It wouldn’t pay much, and there were crazy hours involved. “I said, ‘when can I start?” She knew the power of a station like WTOP. “I got my foot in the door and worked my ass off. I trusted the process, and I loved what I was doing.”
“Jim Farley came to me and asked if I wanted to help start a new station,” Ziegler said.
Ziegler answered in a manner consistent with her nature. “Sure! Why not?”
“It lasted about two years,” Ziegler said. “I was producing. When the partnership ended with the Post, we kept it a talk station for another year. When that ended, Jim Farley told me since I’d gone on that journey with him, I’d always have a place at WTOP.”
But, for multiple reasons, Ziegler’s journey next took her to Federal News Radio, where she produced and oversaw the website for the next seven years.
With Washington Post Radio, Ziegler said it was fascinating to be just 24-years-old, and on the ground floor of a startup. It was an expensive venture. “Ultimately, we didn’t get the ratings we’d hoped for. I appreciate that Bonneville was willing to try something different. Hubbard is that way too. They’re not afraid to try new things.”
Even early in her career, Ziegler was never really on-air. “I’ve never been an anchor,” Ziegler said. “As a reporter, I dabbled here and there. It’s funny; almost every journalist out of school wants to do on-air work. After I started at WTOP and realized what went on behind the scenes, I was hooked.”
Ziegler said if you asked her mother, she’d tell you she always knew her daughter was going to be a journalist or a writer in some way. “I loved the English classes much more than math and science. I worked on the high school newspaper, the college newspaper. Oddly, I didn’t work for our radio station in college.”
The Ziegler family was always interested in news. “My parents, for as long as I can remember, read the newspaper every single day. It was part of their morning routine. A few years back, they told me they had canceled their subscription to their local paper. I was so upset when they decided to do that. I couldn’t stand it. I told them they had to have a newspaper in their house. I got them a subscription to the Philadelphia Inquirer.”
Because of the number of years she’s worked at WTOP, Ziegler knows the place inside and out, which she says helped when the pandemic hit just three months into her tenure as Director of News and Programming in 2020.
“I’ve worked for this organization; I’ve seen how everything works operationally. I know where the bodies are buried. Going into the pandemic was obviously uncharted territory, but I felt like my operational strengths really helped during that time. We had to train some of the anchors to work from home, get them equipment. Thank god for our technical team.”
During Covid, she recalls thinking, ‘how do we operate a newsroom when we don’t have a newsroom? To facilitate internal communications, they set up an open conference line. Everyone working from home called into the line each day. In the newsroom, another conference phone sat on the producer’s desk.
The producer dialed into this every day as well, which allowed those working from home to hear the conversations going on in the newsroom just as if they were there. In a way, it was a newsroom. Anybody could chime in at any time with a question or answer.
“I was proud of the product we put out,” Ziegler said.
From covering Covid to the racial justice protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and January 6, Ziegler says it’s been a tough few years.
“It was like running a marathon within a marathon every day. You passed off the baton every few hours to sleep. I couldn’t be prouder of the team. What we were able to accomplish.”
While reporters and the web team were asked to work from home during the pandemic, that was not an option for everyone in the newsroom. Producers and associate producers had to work from the office.
“Some of our anchors worked from home too, but others never left the building,” Ziegler said. “The thought of working from home and trying to produce a great broadcast. There was a lot of anxiety with that. Everybody’s journey has been unique. We respect that, and we have tried to meet them where they are.”
“When I go back and listen to some of those broadcasts, I tell my staff how incredible our coverage actually was. I’d say, “Damn, that was good.’ We got the news out quickly, succinctly. We helped people. That’s our mission every day; to help people.”
While most employees have returned to the WTOP offices, Ziegler said the pandemic has taught WTOP some good lessons about working from home. In the past, if someone had a contractor or delivery coming to the house, they might have to take off work for the entire day. But that’s not the case anymore. Most employees are now set up to work from home if and when the need arises.
The Cost of “Thoughts”
Jack Del Rio made a classic mistake of wondering aloud about topics that people in public positions aren’t allowed to think about on Twitter.
The first recorded use of the expression, “A penny for your thoughts,” was made by Sir Thomas Moore precisely 500 years ago (1522). But, no doubt, a penny went much further in the 16th century.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that inflation continues to increase above expectations. The current annual rate of 8.6% is the highest since 1981. The cost of thoughts, or at least saying them aloud, well, saying certain things in a public forum, has gone up far more than the CPI.
Jack Del Rio, defensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders (formerly known as the “Washington Football Team,” and before that, the Washington Redskins), made a classic mistake of wondering aloud about topics that people in public positions aren’t allowed to think about on Twitter. Specifically, his Tweets compared (what he called) “the summer of riots” to January 6th at the U.S. Capitol. As the late, great Alex Trebek would say, Del Rio’s comments were “in the form of a question.”
Faced with media scrutiny about his Tweets, rather than back down, Del Rio referred to January 6th as a “dust-up at the Capitol.”
Can I tell you a trade secret of press flacks? They all have a small can of lighter fluid and a pack of matches within reach behind a piece of glass with the words “break only in the case of emergency” scrawled on it. Certain phrases or words will cause a press person, at great personal danger and sacrifice, to break the glass, douse themselves with the accelerant, and strike a match before flinging their immolating body in front of the podium. Okay, not literally, but I guarantee the Commanders’ public relations director would think this alternative less painful than hearing those words come out of Del Rio’s mouth in front of the press gaggle.
The controversy that followed was swift and certain: as was the reaction from Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera. He promptly assessed a $100,000 fine on Del Rio for his comments.
Two points here: First, this is not a sports story. Talk Radio observers should be far more concerned with the consequences of this story than NFL or sports fans. Second, it doesn’t matter what you think happened on January 6th. You should still find the fine issued by Rivera chilling, whether you call it an insurrection or a dust-up.
I used to believe that comedian Bill Maher and I were about as far apart on the political spectrum as any two Americans could be. Maher and I, however, hold similar views on freedom of expression.
On his HBO show, “Real Time,” Maher defended Del Rio by saying: “In America, you have the right to be wrong. They fined him; the team fined him $100,000 for this opinion. Fining people for an opinion. I am not down with that.”
Because this is where we meet, I’d like to buy Bill Maher a drink and have a laugh over all the times he’s been wrong, or we can share that drink and a smile for understanding that freedom of expression IS the foundation of democracy – no matter who’s right or wrong. Freedom of expression is an issue where liberals and conservatives must find common ground.
The football team currently known as the Washington Commanders may need another name change. Perhaps the “Comrades” would reflect the team’s philosophy better? Levying such a hefty punishment for stating a political (and non-football) point of view because it is out of step with what is apparently official policy seems more reminiscent of the Politburo’s posture than a free society.
Del Rio’s words are understandably offensive to many. At the very least, they were ham-handed for someone who has been in the public spotlight for so long. But a $100,000 fine? Stifling political opinion is far more dangerous than anything Del Rio said.
Taking the Del Rio incident into context with the “Cancel Culture” of the past few years, Talk Radio hosts should look over their shoulders. Del Rio is also an excellent reminder to think twice before posting a politically unpopular opinion on social media.
Inflation has eaten away at the value of a penny and increased the cost of making politically incorrect statements, including on the air in recent years. What inhibits individuals from expressing their thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and emotions is a threat to Talk Radio and democracy.
Joe Pags’ Dream to Work In Media Started Early
Pags knew a career in media was for him ever since he was ten years old, even before his vocal chords did.
If you’ve ever been required to interview someone for a segment or article, you know pretty quickly when it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Joe Pags was answering my initial questions as freely as Ebeneezer Scrooge hands out Krugerrands. Teeth have been pulled from the human head with greater ease. It just wasn’t happening.
After a few minutes, I think I grew on him.
I discovered we actually had a few things in common; both of us lived in Lake Worth, Florida, we knew a lot of the same places and faces, and we both understood that summer heat in Florida is like purgatory.
However, Pags and I will both have a fond devotion to The Noid. We will always share the memories of being a manager at Domino’s Pizza.
“I worked at Domino’s when pizzas were delivered to your door within 30-minutes, or it was free,” Pags said. “After a while they went to 30 minutes or three dollars off the price. Too many people were getting into accidents trying to beat the clock.”
What Pags did not mention was that even when you legitimately made it in less than 30 minutes, you had people questioning your delivery time. I guess that’s human nature.
Soon, pizzas were just for eating, not working; Pags started his radio career in 1989 in Palm Beach County, Florida.
After that, it was a stint as a television anchor from 1994-2005 in Saginaw, Michigan, and then Albany, New York. From there he was called back to radio and landed at the Clear Channel Talk Flagship, WOAI, in 2005. The Joe Pags Show has been a fan favorite since its debut in 2005.
For Pags, the media dream started early on.
“I grew up listening to talk radio at a very young age and was determined to make my living doing it one day,” Pags says. “I actually have a tape somewhere on which I erased the DJ’s voice and recorded mine over the songs.”
Pags is probably thrilled that the tape will never be released.
Years later, he found he could pay the bills doing something he loved. “I’m lucky enough to work with great people on both local, and national radio and television,” Pags explained.
“I also remember Steve Cain, Rick, and Suds on that station,” Pags said. “It was a lot of talk radio, but it was fun. It was entertainment. Rush Limbaugh was doing the politics stuff back then.”
Pags knew a career in media was for him ever since he was ten years old, even before his vocal chords did.
“When my voice changed at 13, I developed more of a bass tone; I knew I was on my way. I had a New York accent and had to shake that.”
Before he embarked on a career in radio, his music career was going well. Pags played French horn and saxophone; apparently, he was pretty good.
He played gigs at the prestigious Breakers Hotel, among many others. “I used to play at the Backstage lounge adjacent to the old Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter,” Pags said.
No word on whether Reynolds ever caught Pags live or not.
As a kid, he played baseball. Pags said he was pretty good. What took center stage for Pags was music. It was the French horn and saxophone that captured his heart.
“I played professionally on the Empress Dinner Cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway,” Pags said. “I also did gigs at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. We made some good money.”
Before Domino’s and radio and music, it all started with a strong desire to succeed. That often comes from your family’s belief in you. Sometimes it’s not there.
“I knew that if I worked hard enough, if I showed the love for the work I was doing, then I’d succeed,” Pags said.
His family lived in Lake Worth, Florida, from 1973-74, and Pags returned every so often. “I got back to Florida recently when I went to Mara Lago and watched 2,000 Mules.”
San Antonio has been home for the past 17 years for Pags and his family. “I’ve been here at WOAI. I’ve got my own studio in a great area.” His daughter Sam is his executive producer. I asked Pags if there was any nepotism when it came to hiring Sam.
“Darn right, there is nepotism,” he said. “This is Joe Pags media. I get to hire whoever I want,” he quipped. “Sam has always had a love of broadcasting. When I became syndicated in this business, I told her I trusted her more than anyone else I knew and asked her to produce my show.”
The other day I spoke with Will Cain for a piece. He told me if I visited Austin, I should also see Texas. So I asked Pags what Cain was trying to say. “He means Austin is a city like Portland; only it’s in Texas. There’s a lot of homelessness in Austin. A lot of crime. The University of Texas in Austin goes far to the Left.”
Where does Pags’ tough demeanor come from?
“My father was 100 percent Italian. We had some good pasta dishes around our house with my grandparents around,” Pags explained. “We didn’t have a good bakery in Lake Worth, so I remember my mother and aunts bringing great bread recipes over from the homeland.”
Pags has always been interested in what takes place on the periphery, not just the core of matters. He’s done a lot of things throughout his life. That experience has helped shape his radio show. Pags said his show tends to be white-collar, but he grew up blue-collar all the way.
“I liked the Superman movies. I enjoyed Rocky,” Pags explained. “As a car-buff, I loved the Burt Reynolds films with Smokey and the Bandit. Stuff like that.”
Lake Worth, like a lot of other Floridia areas, has been known to be a little rough and tumble. Just watch Cops for a week if you don’t believe me.
Pags said other than a little shoving match at the bus stop, he didn’t encounter much rough stuff. “I was a musician, I wasn’t in that mix. Perhaps a scuffle in little league.”
When he was a teenager, he thought music would be it. “I’d played with some big-hitters at the time, like The Coasters,” Pags said.
“Music career opportunities really didn’t come along as I’d hoped. In some ways, people in the industry were full of it. I still did some freelance work on the saxophone.”
Pags said he was always willing to work for what he got. “I poured coffee and ran errands for $4 an hour,” Pags said. “I had my car repossessed, and got evicted from my apartment. I still kept at it. I never was deterred from what I wanted. I knew what I wanted, but never really expected things to happen the way they did.”
Pags said if some youngster asked how to be what Pags is today, his answer was succinct. “Pour coffee, run errands, whatever you have to do.”
I asked Pags what he does in his downtime? Let’s just say he’s not running to tee-off at 7:00 am with the guys at the club on his day off.
“I’m a domestic sports car guy,” he says with pride. “I’ve got three Corvettes, a Camaro Super Sport. My Camaro was a 1967, red with white stripes. I sold that car so we could afford to adopt our daughter. I got the better end of that deal.”
He doesn’t do any weekend racing on local tracks like other aging Indy wannabes. “I like to look at those cars in the garage,” Pags said. “My dad was a big car guy. My dad is probably why I’ve succeeded in my life and career. Not for the reasons you’d think.”
Pags’ relationship with his father had the typical ups and downs. Same as it is for most men.
“My father didn’t think I’d amount to anything and had no problem relating that to me,” Pags said. “Conversely, my Mom was always extremely supportive of my interests and goals. I knew if you were good at what you did, people would take notice.”
Pags said his father excelled at being a naysayer. A glass is a half-empty kind of guy.
“He was so negative. He thought I’d never succeed at anything,” Pags explained. “I was out of the house at 17, and I was determined to become something. To prove him wrong.”
Before his father passed away, Pags believes his father became aware of a lot of things.
“A light went on in his head, and he was just so surprised I could make a living doing what I did,” Pags explains. “When I became a big enough success, he recognized my drive and determination. I’m still not sure if he was hard on me because he thought it would help me in the end. Whatever his reasoning was, it gave me the drive and determination to see things through.”
Pags’ father became so proud of his son that he’d tell friends Joe was going to be on Fox News and how they should tune in.
“It was my mother, with her ultimate support, that really made me want to succeed. For her,” Pags explained.
“I learned that if someone disparages you or makes you feel small, you have choices. You can go into a shell and take it. Believe what people say. Or you can go out and knock down some doors. If you want me to do something, tell me I can’t do it. Soon I will be syndicated on 200 stations. All that came from believing in myself. I’ll prove it to iHeart. To other broadcasters.”
Pags said at some point; you’ve got to find some kind of edge.
“I knew I wasn’t going to agree with things my father believed and said, just to shut him up. I had to stand up for my own beliefs.”
I can relate to a guy like Pags. He’s got a tough exterior, not easy to crack. But like me, I know in the center is a soft, creamy nougat.
Where Is the Good Stuff?
By the “good stuff, I’m not even referring necessarily to the happy or “feel good” tales of human kindness, child wonderment, or cute puppies.
A couple of stories about bears actually brought me to this declamation of sorts.
What you’ll see (or read, actually) is nothing new and certainly not any type of original complaint or assessment, but as I spend my days digging, crafting, and stacking stories on double homicides, house fires, high gas prices, and low voter turnout, it’s becoming that much more difficult to balance out a newscast with the good stuff.
By the “good stuff, I’m not even referring necessarily to the happy or “feel good” tales of human kindness, child wonderment, or cute puppies. I’m really just talking about the low end of the meter things; an innocuous bill passing, a road-widening project, or maybe even an upgrade in consumer technology somewhere.
We all realize if a show rattles off an unending laundry list of death, destruction, corruption, and high pollen counts, the only winners are therapists, pharmacies, and liquor stores. But it’s no longer as easy as it once was; I mean, I may be overstating for dramatic effect, but at the end of the day, it really does seem like not only are there fewer accounts to raise the serotonin levels, but those we do find cannot sufficiently dilute those newscasts from their continual tales of woe.
To expand my point, I return to the bears.
Over the years, I have come to count on bears, and for a good reason. Most bear content consists of the giant creatures, often with their youngsters in tow, doing things we find cute, intriguing, thought-provoking, and/or hilarious.
If you have never seen a giant black bear rumbling around inside an SUV they’ve just illegally entered or busting into someone’s kitchen and raiding the pantry or the garbage shed, can you even say you have truly lived?
Well, the short answer is you probably can, but I’m the one on the keyboard at the moment, so roll with it for now.
True, those stories often come at the expense of some weary camper, homeowner, or utility worker, but for the audience, it’s generally rejuvenating, even medicinal. A simple Google or social media search will lead you to an overflow of the best of bears in news content. Therefore, as you will see…they trend.
But here’s what has happened of late to turn those stories in a downward direction. Here, in this part of New England, our news stories about bears recently have revolved around them being killed. They destroy some crops or a garden and move on towards somebody’s house, and they get shot. They break into a shed and don’t run off; they get shot. They are euthanized; their cubs get tranquilized for relocation and then don’t wake up. It’s certainly a shift.
Suddenly, we are back to where we started with our content. What was once a sure thing is now added to the dark category of story selection. Still, it is often viable content because it’s a pro and con topic; it has angles and follow-up potential.
Now know this; I am not proposing a referendum involving bears, but rather just offering a long-winded metaphor of sorts.
We do not know when the time-tested default stories are going to turn on us. I do think it will usually happen when our backs are turned. That probably means the digging we do has gone even more profound than before. We cannot always count for all those elements in a story to be out in the open.
Like most of us, I read or at least do a hard scan of a lot of reports, releases, summaries, and everyone else’s take on what’s happening. Fortunately, I can sometimes find fundamental components dropped down further than they ought to be or not allotted enough attention due to time or space constraints.
In police work, these obscure details would often lead to another suspect, another criminal charge, or even an exoneration or a new investigation.
I find little difference in this present position:
A hi-rise building fire is brought under control when the alarm’s sprinkler system douses much of the flames just as fire crews arrive. Now, that’s great, but there’s a bit more upon looking a little deeper.
The sprinklers knocked out the elevators, and firefighters carried a disabled burn victim down 14 flights of stairs.
Part of their job?
Sure, but worth peeling the layers off that onion.
Drivers going the wrong way is another big thing around here. On the interstates, the highways, the local roadways, it’s happening a lot and often, as you might guess, with tragic results. So a driver is taken into custody after going the opposite way on not one but two different thoroughfares within like fifteen minutes.
Good story, good arrest, good write-up.
How did they catch the wrong-way driver?
The trooper turned directly into the driver’s path and took the crash impact to stop him.
Where did we that aspect of the incident?
Paragraph four or three-quarters through the stand-up.
Now, of course, all coverage and treatment of stories is subjective, and the intent here is merely for me to find a way to say I’m not seeing enough or finding enough “good stuff” to balance out my newscast, so I am going to loot and gut everything I can when necessary.
And that’s just on the local side. Do not get me started on the national beat.
I hope it’s not that people are starting to slip on their quota of good deeds, but it has forced me to think and work just a little harder.
It’s disappointing when I cannot even count on the bears anymore.