The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa has grown in popularity since it was created by two newspaper writers back in 1973, and with the exception of the four years that it was banned by the county after a man died, the event has been big for state tourism and the economy in general. Businesses in the cities that make up the 2013 event’s route – beginning in Council Bluffs on July 20 and ending in Fort Madison – even organize their own special promotions and events to attract new and old customers alike.
Case in point, the Longest Yard Sports Grill in West Des Moines will host Minnesota’s Rock and Roll Wrestling promotion when the cyclists pass through town on July 23, but it turns out that the city council and residents in general aren’t pleased with the Longest Yard’s main event – dwarf wrestling.
“Midget wrestling sounds more like a carnival event — not an afternoon, evening community event,” [City Councilman Terry] Gibson said. “It may play into stereotypes of certain people, and I don’t know if we should be promoting that.”
Mayor Mitch Hambleton said the council had heard complaints regarding how the show could affect the image of the town.
“There’s just general concern on how the community is viewed by others,” Hambleton said. (Via the Register)
As for the bar’s owner, he naturally disagrees.
“We were just looking for something different for entertainment,” said Brian Filloon, owner of the Longest Yard Sports Grill. “I didn’t think we were starting anything.” The event promoter called complaints “ridiculous.”
First of all, if I were a city councilman in Des Moines, my first question to Filloon would be – “How do you own a bar and not call it Filloon’s Saloon?” That just seems like common sense to me.
But more to the point, if people base their opinions of your city on what happens at one bar, then your city has much bigger problems than dwarf wrestling. Unless, of course, this is like the Double Deuce in Jasper, Missouri, and someone like Brad Wesley has a stranglehold over all of Des Moines.
Either way, they should just agree to have Peter Dinklage hula hooping, because that would be much cooler.