Why did you ever give permission for our beautiful city to be featured in Last Chance U? How can we minimize the damage it will do to our reputation? Thanks for your question; I know that a lot of people share your concerns. First, the city commission had nothing to do with the decision. This decision was made by the management and staff at ICC. Having pointed that out however, I believe that it was the right decision and I would have supported Last Chance U being filmed here if I had been given the chance. In case you haven’t watched any of the show yet, the language is crass, and harsh. My father-in-law lives with Annie and me, and when he cusses he still says, “Fudge.” Or “Fiddle-de-de.” This show is probably not for him. Or anyone else who prefers not to hear foul language. Will Coach Jason Brown and his language give the college and city a bad reputation? Well, it’s true that his language on the show is difficult for me to listen to. However, I have met Jason on several occasions, and he seems like a great guy, a great coach, and a coach that truly cares about helping his players. In all our conversations I never heard the f-word even one time, so it seems that he reserves it for special occasions. Okay, maybe not special occasions, but perhaps he uses it when he deems it to be appropriate and effective. When Annie and I raised our kids in Baldwin City, we lived right next to Baker University’s football practice field and the language of the coaches there was pretty much the same. It’s true that Independence is not painted in its most favorable light. I’ve only watched the first two episodes so far, but I’m pretty sure there were rundown buildings shown that are not even located in Indy. There was also a clip of a horse drawn wagon that I’ve never seen here. I think the producers of the show were trying to make the city look like a place that no one would want to live, otherwise, the name Last Chance U would hardly make sense. I’ve also heard concerns that the show may hurt ICC’s enrollment. The answer to that appears to be a definite no. I’m told by ICC employees that the phone lines lit up on the day the program was released; the college received more than a hundred calls from students who had seen the show and were requesting information about enrollment. These students were all interested in attending ICC simply from watching Last Chance U. I don’t believe that a single student cancelled their planned enrollment due to the show, although I have no way to confirm that. Financial impact? The college sold more ICC T-shirts, visors, etc., in the first two weeks after the program’s release than they sold in the previous 12 months. So preliminary indications are that the financial impact may be very positive. Not to mention the financial impact of having the crew spending money in our town for the five months or so that they were here. You’re certainly not alone in thinking that the show will harm our repu- tation. But let me ask you this. What reputation did Independence have with the typical sports fan across the US, and across the entire world, before the show was released? I would have to say that we had no reputation at all, so I’m not sure that our reputation could get any worse than zero. Oscar Wilde has been quoted as saying, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” While I’m sure that his was a “tongue in cheek” statement, it does seem to me that, in this case, the advantages of being on the national and international stage likely outweigh the disadvantages. [Ask Your Commissioner is a weekly feature of IDR. To submit your ques- tions to the Independence city commis- sion, email them to askyourcommish@ gmail.com and check for the columns in our Friday editions.]