The headline over theDenver Post
's February 1story
about the closure of Bruce's Bar, a Severance, Colorado, landmark known for its signature Rocky Mountain oysters, reads: "UNFATHOMABULL." A pun that's been tortured within an inch of its life? Sure -- but it's also emblematic of a welcome change in the
's approach to headline-writing that's become increasingly noticeable of late.
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For many years, the Rocky Mountain News has employed punny headlines on lighter articles and features, whereas the folks at the Post have tended toward more straightforward -- and, therefore, blander -- banners. Recently, however, Posters are loosening up -- and that's all to the good.
Because some readers either won't like or won't get certain jokes, there are risks involved in this strategy. Take "Black Power," a headline on a January 21 sports piece about Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith, the first two African-American head coaches to face off in a Super Bowl, which struck one of my regular correspondents as offensive. (To me, it merely felt forced.)
Still, I'll happily accept the occasional clunker of a headline -- hell, I've written plenty of them in my day-- if it means others demonstrate a spark of wit. And that's no bull.-- Michael Roberts