Aug. 29, 2005

More random praise, complaints, and rhetorical questions:

[ No. 196 ]

Aug. 23, 2005

This one’s going to be all over the place, so bear with me.

[ No. 195 ]

Photo credits: Yahoo!

Aug. 17, 2005

The NCAA recently prohibited universities with “hostile and abusive” mascots from hosting championship sporting events starting in February 2006 and from even competing in national title games as of August 2008. Their biggest concern: 18 heartless institutions of higher learning that “continue to use Native American imagery or references.”

First of all, doesn’t the NCAA have anything better to do? Many of its student-athletes seem to have trouble managing their dual responsibilities — they struggle in the classroom, fail to graduate, or commit serious crimes off the field. But with all of those pressing problems on its plate, the NCAA is preoccupied with potentially insensitive mascots?

According to ESPN columnist Ray Ratto, the NCAA decision against Native American mascots could set a dangerous precedent. What’s next, a lawsuit filed by PETA against Penn State for its cruel Nittany Lion?

And most importantly, what about the caricature of my own fair-skinned people from the Emerald Isle? For decades, the University of Notre Dame has proudly featured a belligerent leprechaun as its symbol:

The Notre Dame logo features a side view of the [leprechaun] figure with his dukes up, ready to battle anyone that comes his way.

After all, they’re not just the Irish, but the Fighting Irish. If that’s not “hostile and abusive” toward a specific culture, I don’t know what is. (Seriously, the Notre Dame leprechaun doesn’t really bother me. But it’s pretty easy to see the inconsistencies of such an absurd policy.)

[ No. 194 ]

Aug. 12, 2005

This is all I’m going to say about the Terrell Owens controversy.

If you’re in the press, can you please take a break from filming, interviewing, and talking about T.O. for, say, an hour or two? The guy needs attention like the rest of us need oxygen. Don’t encourage this egomaniac.

If you’re on the team, stop adding fuel to the fire by answering questions about T.O. at press conferences. Figure out some way to bury the hatchet, do it off-camera, and do it quickly. Sixth-graders can settle their differences more quickly than you so-called professional athletes.

If you’re T.O.’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, you can go directly to hell. By convincing your star client that he doesn’t need to honor his signed, multimillion-dollar contract, you’ve helped to create this monster. Thanks for nothing.

And if you’re an Eagles fan, don’t get your hopes up. I’m sure the practice sessions have been distrupted by the T.O. media circus, and the Eagles’ only other experienced wide receiver, Todd Pinkston, is out for the season with an injury. The Eagles’ season opener is still a month away, but it’s already safe to say that it will be difficult for the Eagles to return to the Super Bowl this season, let alone win it for the first time — with or without Terrell Owens.

[ No. 193 ]

Aug. 10, 2005

I like to think that I’m fairly open-minded when it comes to trying new kinds of food — I really try to give everything at least one taste test.

However, I have at least one exception to that policy: I absolutely refuse to even try scrapple, the breakfast meat that’s strangely popular in eastern Pennsylvania. Here’s my reasoning:

  1. The quality of meat in scrapple makes hot dogs look like filet mignon — and although I like hot dogs, I already have to ignore what they’re made of.
  2. Scrapple would not be entirely out-of-place during a gross-out competition on Fear Factor.
  3. Most disturbingly, the word scrapple contains both “crap” and “scrap” right in its name.

[ No. 192 ]

Aug. 1, 2005

Much like Pennsylvania, the state of New Jersey offers a wide selection of special-interest license plates for one’s vehicle. Each type of plate contains a decorative graphic and a two-letter abbreviation next to the plate number.

As I walked into the parking garage after work today, I noticed a car with a specialty plate for the USS Battleship New Jersey. The plate displayed the word BATTLESHIP along its bottom edge, but the abbreviation for that word, “BB,” seemed a little strange at first.

Then it hit me: the most logical abbreviation would have been “BS” — and that probably wouldn’t have gone over well with some people.*

* Update: Actually, it turns out that “BB” is an official naval abbreviation. A reader by the name of Ed Angiolillo informed me:

The US Navy classified battleships as BB, not BS. That’s probably why the license tags are the same way.

Makes sense to me. Thanks for the clarification, Ed!

[ No. 191 ]