More Messages: Woody Rumors

Yesterday, the Internet grapevine sprouted some particularly strange fruit involving Woody Paige, the veteran Denver Post sports columnist who put his print career on hold a couple of years back in order to ink with ESPN. A note on a website called declared that Paige "is returning to the Denver Post. They totally screwed Marc Spears, by the way. They had him trying out to be a columnist, and then they decided to hire Woody back. Don't know in what capacity."

This information soon leapt to a couple of other popular sites, (find the Paige item here) and (whose blurb can be viewed here). These last two pieces suggested that Paige's impending move portended the end of Cold Pizza, a morning show whose January shift to the 10 a.m. Eastern weekday slot struck some observers as a precursor to cancellation. Not Cold Pizza regular Paige, though, as he declared in a December 2005 edition of the Message.

How much truth is there in this gossip? None, says Paige, who responded to questions about the assertions by cell phone during one of his regular strolls around New York City; at one point, he mentioned passing Trump Tower. According to Paige, he still has one year left on his ESPN contract, and he's already had a conversation or two about extending the deal. Moreover, he insisted that Cold Pizza's ratings are healthy. Hence, he doubts the show is going anywhere.

As for how rumblings about a return got started, Paige had a guess or two. He visited Denver for the first time in two years on his way to the September 25 Monday Night Football matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, the first game at the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina struck. His main reason for the stop was to grapple with storage units filled with books and Southwestern art that have been m0ldering since he relocated to NYC. However, he also dropped by the Post's fancy new headquarters, where editor Greg Moore gave him a tour of the newsroom and he chatted for a few minutes with Post owner Dean Singleton. But the call was strictly social and had nothing to do with a possible Denver comeback, Paige says. Not this time, at least. Although he thinks he'll wind up in Denver again eventually, he doesn't have an estimated time of arrival, and he continues to enjoy his ESPN duties.

And that's how the Paige turns. -- Michael Roberts