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AMAZON TO SELL CLASSIC NOVELS IN NEW EASY-TO-READ TWITTER VERSIONS

December 30, 2009 1 comment

WHY SLOG THROUGH LITERATURE WHEN YOU CAN BANG THROUGH “TWITTERATURE”?

Joe Bodolai, All rights reserved

Amazon.com Chairman of the Board Jeffrey Bezos announced that the popular online retailer would now make available what he termed “the ground breaking novels of literature, the classics that everyone should read but really don’t have that kind of time for. That’s why we’re making these world-famous novels available in new easy to read versions, and what’s easier to read than Twitter?“

Pointing out that reading a novel like War and Peace could often take months to slog through for people who actually read, the new ”Classic Twitterature “ could be devoured as easily as texting. ”This is the way people read today,“ he said,” and we have to adapt. Imagine reading “Moby Dick” in half the time it takes to drain out a brew in the restroom.“

Bezos also said that Amazon would offer the classics to schools at a discount for each teacher or student who also purchased a Kindle adding ”we are also exploring sending the books directly to cell phones with a 3G push service. Parents who have been concerned about what their kids are looking at on their phones can now rest assured that they will now have access to great books without getting their fingers covered in ink.“

Although the PowerPoint presentation was delayed nearly an hour when Windows 7 crashed, once the audience (made up mainly of literature professors from America’s most prestigious party schools) saw free samples of the novels sent to their cellphones, one reporter described their reaction as ”fuckin’ epic dude.“

The preview alone, said Bezos, would ”give students a Harvardish education at a Wal-Martly price.” Some of the offerings:

The Grapes of Wrath:@Steinbeck.com

Dude, wtf  sup w this dust? Can’t grow shit, bank’s on my ass. I’m so outta here!

Moby Dick:@Dickword.com

Aaar mateys! Harpooning now and using my big one… ttyl

Crime and Punishment:@trutv.com

I swear to god I’m going to kill someone. I mean it dude. I got mad skillz fo’ sho. Can’t bust me yo. 😉 Maybe I’ll kill myself.

Finnegans Wake:@Irishpub.com

Dude, where the hell are you? Finnegan wake up. Hit me back.

Pride & Prejudice:@weareallchelseahandler.com

This guy is being such a jerk! … He’s hot though! … omg he just asked me out! gtg!

Categories: Comedy and Satire

”YEAR IN REVIEW“ AND “BEST OF THE DECADE” TOP TEN LISTS TOP TOP TEN LIST OF LAME IDEAS

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

YOU DON’T NEED WISDOM, YOU ALREADY HAVE “CONVENTIONAL WISDOM”, LIGHTER AND EASIER TO USE, JUST LIKE AEROSOL CHEESE

By Joe Bodolai

What is easier than a Top Ten List, especially at year’s end? Writers and bloggers staggering from holiday parties put their normally gin-addled brains into even deeper hibernation and do what they do best. Steal already bad ideas and badify them even more. Of course, editors seize on these as Pulitzer Prizeworthy, just as the word “Prizeworthy” is clearly prizeworthy, especially when compared to the Nobel Peace Prize which is now apparently awarded as a scratch-off ticket.

I would never sacrifice my journalistic integreosity and standards for these cut and paste recaps. I would actually do original typing, which alone is prizeworthy these days. Instead of cutting and pasting, I would actually change some of the words and order of things to avoid getting sued. And I would certainly not confuse my readers any more than I already do by ignoring journalism rule number one, the writer’s secret weapon: “Conventional Wisdom”. Just tap into this muse by doing a Google search. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone. I should save that for my interview on NPR, or as I call it ”the secret undisclosed location of American media.“

Type this into your Google search bar (or search engine of your choice, results may vary, and search is performed by a professional blogger on a closed network): “Top Ten Stories of the Year”. In exactly 0.25 seconds the Google beavers beaved up 152 million hits. Now I’m not gonna do the math because, quite frankly, neither are you, but it came from a computer, duh! Then I filter these results through the infallible lens that is late night talk show host monologues.

Now I could actually do the research and watch all the monologues or get an intern on craigslist to do it but, hell, isn’t that what Google does? Or maybe it’s YouTube. I’m not sure but, hey, it’s computery and no question Google would kick Bobby Fischer’s chess playin’ bony hermit ass back to Iceland in 0.18 seconds. You need more than that?

So, I didn’t have time to actually count the references but I’m sure Google did because it’s frickin’ Google and they have the power of Wikipedia on their side. I just “Command-C” and “Command-V” the shit out of it, use the thesaurus in my computer to change a few words to bigger words, and Bob’s your uncle. Well, not literally. I actually mean ”you’re Google’s bitch“. I didn’t even read a lot of the stuff I wrote but, judging by my Late Night Talk Show Host Monologue Filter, everybody already knows.

And there is Rule Number One of American television: ”Never say anything people don’t already know“. Except if it’s a celebrity death, which is excused under the rubric of ”breaking news“, nothing that an endless loop on CNN can’t fix.

So I’m not going to give you a Top Ten List that includes Tiger Woods, the Northwestern Pilots, and… I forget. A bunch of other stuff  I don’t have to mention because you already know it. Just watch Jay Leno. I think he should call the show News At Ten. Oh wait, the venerable “grey lady” that is E! already has “The Daily Ten”. All I know is, it’s too bad Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow didn’t have Google. If they were alive today they would be two clicks away from knowing who the Kardashians are. Two clicks!

Put that in your pipe Mr. Murrow. So in the amount of time you spend yakking about one story that doesn’t even have celebrities in it, I can give you ten star-laden nuggets of pure infotality and possibly even nipple slips or Brittney’s limo vadge. With those old school guys it was a ”Top One List“. Don’t get me wrong. I have a great deal of admiration for them. They invented the sign off catchphrase.

But I’m not going to cheapen myself by doing a Top Ten List. You already know it. Talk amongst yourselves class. I have Dr. Martini waiting and Miss Bucket o’ Wings beckons.

World’s Supply of Band Names Expected to Run Out in 2012

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

NOTE: This article first appeared in The National Post of Canada in 2005, years before a less-funny version appeared in The Onion in 2009

By Joe Bodolai

Teens thrashing out tunes in their parents’ garage and established rockers breaking up and reforming will face an unprecedented crisis in the near future, experts say. “At the current rate, the world’s supply of band names will be completely exhausted by early 2012”, said Ringo Springsteen of the Band Name Research Institute of Beverly Hills.”This may not happen if the world ends like it’s supposed to so there’s no immediate reason for alarm, but just sayin…”

With the proliferation of easy musical creation software and what he termed “a precipitous decline in musical standards”, bands are forming and reforming at unprecedented rates. “This means that nearly all combinations of words that can be used for short catchy band names have already been used. Unless bands want to get into complete sentences or fragments from poetry, the traditional two or three word band name as we know it will be extinct. I fear that to create a band name it will be impossible to fit into the 140 character limit of Twitter, which could cripple the emergence of new talent. If it’s unTweetable it may as well not exist.“

With band names already using seemingly random combinations of words, such as “Death Cab for Cutie” or “Modest Mouse”, “it won’t be long before we have band names like “Velvet Revolver” or “Maroon 5”… oh wait, we already do.”

The crisis has already affected hip hop artists, where the overconsumption of terms such as “Dr.”, “D.J.”, “M.C.” “Dogg”, and “Murder” has led to what experts term “confusion in the marketplace as artists’ names are practically indistinguishable. I mean, are you getting a “D.J. Murder” CD or a “Dr. Dogg” joint? What’s the difference?”

According to the Band Name Research Institute, the following names are still available:

  • Pink Freud
  • The Ringtone Millionaires
  • Six Hookers in a Town Car
  • Ladyboner
  • Westboro Baptist Sex Hounds
  • Revenue Canada
  • The Sex Pigeons
  • The Rolling Stools
  • The Crotch Bombers
  • Sonny & Cheryl
  • URL Jam
  • The Whom

Oral Roberts’ Brother Anal Dies of Staph Infection

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Oral Roberts’ Brother Anal Dies of Staph Infection

By Joe Bodolai

Columbia, S.C. – Just weeks after his family suffered the loss of its patriarch , Anal Roberts, the flamboyant homosexual brother of late televangelist Oral Roberts, died today of a staph infection at his home in Columbia. He was 83.

The outspoken gay rights advocate was known for his colorful attire, often tending toward open-ass leather chaps, 18th Century Admirals’ hats and wooden clogs.

He is survived by his long time partner, Jerome “Scatman” Williams, head of the African-American Transexual Coprophilia Foundation.

What if Obama Had Won the Election?

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

WHAT IF OBAMA HAD WON THE ELECTION?

As President McCain Heads into His Second Year, What Might Have Been Different?

By Joe Bodolai

In the wee hours of election night 2008, the promise of change did indeed seem possible until Senator John McCain’s stunning last-minute surprise upset. While some were rightfully suspicious of the results, the McCain camp explained their triumph as “unpolled Americans came out in force and expressed their preference in the privacy of the poll booth rather than risk being called ‘racist’.

After President McCain’s first year, filled with angst, turmoil, and more of the same, I have decided to speculate on what America would be like today had Senator Obama won the election which so many assumed he would.

First of all, there is no way an Obama administration would have turned the economy into shambles with a massive bank bailout. ”His populist voter base would never stand for it,“ I wrote just a few short months ago. “Obama stands for change we can believe in, and this is far from it.” Senator Obama announced his alternative, which was greeted with huge enthusiasm, according to the 86% of Americans who “strongly approved” of his bold plan to pay off all consumer credit cards instead of money going directly to financial institutions.

His rousing speech at the Mall of America’s food court level with over 100,000 Minnesotans below him braving minus 23 temperatures and reminding Americans of the glory days of ”shopping. Not just for flat screen TVs or other necessities. My plan would relieve Americans of onerous debt while still providing lenders with plenty of profit and not to mention a real stimulus for consumers, with balances due looking at zero balances, fresh new credit limits and rolled down interest rate caps to allow them to spend again, thus creating jobs for American workers, given my stipulation that all new credit card expenditures be spent within the United States for American cars, American products, and American vacation destinations.

Instead we have the McCain Administration’s failed “Cash for Clunkers” automobile buying incentive, which Senator Obama hilariously ridiculed on Late Night with David Letterman with his quip that “okay, I’ll admit the President did indeed give cash for clunkers, but those clunkers are the big banks and desperate failing automakers, lobbyists for special interest groups, and brokerage houses. Clunkers if I’ve ever seen one, and I should know. I drive a Pacer.” The video clip of Obama and Letterman driving around Wall Street and Harlem in the Pacer for the interview has been downloaded over 95 million times on YouTube.

Vice-President Palin, in one of her numerous gaffes since taking office, denounced Obama as “on the wrong side of the financial equation, like reparations for slavery there should be no free lunch!”

President McCain’s continuation of the Cheney-Bush foreign policy agenda is surely something that an Obama Administration would not accept. No Obama administration would consider sending more troops to Afghanistan such as President McCain has announced. While admitting “it takes some time to change the direction of a mighty cruise ship (but) I am committed to finalizing our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and repairing our image with the rest of the world”. Likewise, President McCain’s continued unconditional support of Israel would be counter to a President Obama’s promise to strive for peace and a moratorium on settlements and saber-rattling toward Iran. McCain’s celebrated taunt to Iran regarding their supposed nuclear weapons program – “bring it on!” – would never be countenanced by a moderate Obama Administration where negotiation would be favored over confrontation.

Likewise, President McCain’s confusing health care initiatives, which are considered by most Obama supporters as more profit for the private sector, would never be tabled by an Obama administration. Obama won overwhelming praise for his much simpler, more clearly defined health care plan – “Medicare for All.” He won another huge swell of popular opinion by pointing out that the bonuses and salaries paid to 50% of the CEO’s of the largest pharmaceutical and health related industries would provide insurance for every man, woman, and child in the country while keeping their corporations profitable.

Democratic Senator John Conyers (D-Michigan) inadvertently aided the cause by being caught on tape aired on The Daily Show admitting that he had not even read the 1,000-page bill saying “who has time for that?” Stewart’s dry reply “I feel you bro.“ led to thousands of t-shirts, cardboard signs, and late night talk shows on an upswell of gratitude for a new catch phrase.

Of course, the scandal over the resignation of Vice-President Palin for her celebrated gaffes would never be made by the more experience Joe Biden. It is hard to imagine Biden saying something as stupid as Palin’s “send the homeless to Afghanistan. They need jobs. It’s a win-win.”

Finally, America today would not be so polarized. As 450,000 people marched on Washington last week, with countless taser arrests (15 of the 22 deaths attributed to controversial use of the 50,000-volt device, new weapons directed by SWAT teams to ”disperse unlawful assemblies“, aerial surveillance, and addition of thousands of innocent names to the ever-expanding terror watch list, Senator Obama said in his catalyzing speech at the Lincoln Memorial, “the First Amendment is the founding principle of the Bill of Rights and cannot be trampled by government. Behind me stands the symbol of the blood that was shed to keep this country free from all enemies, foreign or domestic.“ Clearly a President Obama would not approve the continuation of torture. The backdrop of the serene Lincoln was an ominous metaphor for the American divide, today not regional but along class and other lines.

Clearly had Senator Obama won the election, America would likely be a different, more benign place with a respect for the people and not for the oligarchy that the McCain Administration considers its constituency.

Alas, in the words of the late Robert F. Kennedy, “there are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Categories: Comedy and Satire

WORLD’S FIRST PENIS REDUCTION CLINIC CLOSES AFTER JUST ONE WEEK

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

World’s First Penis Reduction Clinic Closes After One Week

By Joe Bodolai

“I guess we just misread the market big time,” said Dr. Pi-Lein Wang, founder of “Wang Magic”, the world’s first clinic devoted to penis reduction surgery. “We learned the hard way that there are no men who think their penis is just way too big.”

Reggie Bush and Trojans Thrown for Another Huge Loss

December 28, 2009 7 comments

REGGIE BUSH, TROJANS THROWN FOR ANOTHER HUGE LOSS

Court Disallows Motion to Sweep Illegal Sleaze Under the Illegal Rug in His Parents’ Illegal House

By Joe Bodolai

ESPN reports that a California court has denied a request by Reggie Bush’s legal team for confidential arbitration in his dispute with the controversial sports agency that allegedly provided him and his parents a house, cash, gifts and other benefits that have been conservatively estimated in excess of $300,000. Not a bad haul for a college undergraduate and his array of off field gold bangles (formerly called ”bling“) explains why Bush was called a ”flashy“ running back.

The case will now proceed in open court. This time there was no ”Bush Push“ for a victory. Nor were Emerald Bowl officials involved in the ”review“ process.

Lloyd Lake and his partner Michael Michaels provided cash and gifts to the USC tailback, who some claim actually won the Heisman Trophy over Vince Young, in order to sign him to their marketing firm, New Era. Brian Watkins, Lake’s attorney said this was Bush’s last-ditch attempt to keep the case out of the public eye.

Let the truthiness begin!

In a year of suspicion and setbacks for USC, this could be the opening of a Pandora’s Box for not only the football program but the entire university. The NCAA, which has been spinning its wheels investigating the Trojans for this and other apparent violations cannot ignore what surely will be a harsh light of truth on the soft-focus image Pete Carroll projects. It is also worth noting that ESPN and USC are business partners, as is seen in their website ”WeAreSC.com“. So, grain of salt recommended when watching ”the worldwide leader.“

It must cause some concern at USC that Bush’s illegal benefits (not criminal but a major violation of NCAA rules) are well in excess of salaries for many tenure track professors at the school. Of course, Pete Carroll earns more than entire departments, Nobel candidates, and research budgets with a salary of $4.4 million annually.

Geez, if the NCAA is gonna go hardass on Bush, Pete may have to buy his dreamboat Matt Barkley a house out of his own pocket. Maybe up there in Malibu where, in a real-life ”wtf“ moment, Charlie Weis said Pete’s shacked up with a graduate student. While most people thought Weis was taking an uncalled for cheap shot allegation against Carroll, experts (okay, just me) realized he was just protecting his coaching fraternity brother. Everybody knows Barkley’s not a graduate student!

This article also appears on Erie View, Dan Goldberg’s new sports blog at http://dg7007.wordpress.com/

Categories: Sports Comedy

The Case for College Football: Better Than the NFL

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

AFTER THE EXCITEMENT OF SATURDAY IT’S HARD NOT TO FALL ASLEEP ON SUNDAY

By Joe Bodolai

After watching more than a dozen weeks of both NFL and college football for the gazillionth year in a row, you can’t say that I haven’t done my homework. So I can unequivocally state that when it comes to football, this is a blowout. College football is clearly more exciting and entertaining than the NFL on the field and off. It’s not even close.

I don’t mean just the youthful exuberance of student sections, bands, and cheerleaders who cheer not audition for rich husbands. Let me break it down in this handy chart that I suggest you print out and put in your wallet the next time you get in one of “you don’t know what you’re talking about” bar debates, which, if you’re like me, you do.

1. Passion for the Game

Not just the students, but the players. The only million dollar contracts are for the coaches and merchandising and EA Sports. The players get scholarship checks, and even when they get extravagant and illegal benefits such as Reggie Bush’s house, the total amount of booster slush money is pocket change compared to the Pacman Jones “make it rain” environment of the NFL. They go to classes, they often come from poor homes, and are trying to make a difference for their families and their futures. Many will never make in their lifetime what an NFL journeyman makes in one season.

2. The Rules

The NFL has three rules that are absolute kill shots to the head of exciting football.  First is the ludicrous “two minute warning”. In close games the result may be coming down to the wire but not before a pointless energy and momentum killer stops the game and forces us to watch commercials while players stand around. When we are now “back to the action” it’s hard to feel the momentum and energy. It’s like a sprint to the finish line and then, “okay everybody, snack break.” If you have to be “warned” that there are two minutes left then the only people this would actually make sense to are the parking lot attendants who have to make sure the stadium exodus is efficient.

Second is the the NFL’s “oh hell, let’s just toss a coin” in overtime. I am tired of exciting close games turn into an obvious advantage to the team that wins the coin toss resulting in a boring and conservative drive and then one of the most boring plays in sports, the field goal. So, let me see, instead of equal opportunities to compete on the field, as the last sixty minutes have been, the ultimate win or loss is determined by someone’s guess of random chance! Hell, why not have the opposing coaches just play Indian Poker? This alone devalues every single great moment and decision of regulation time. The game has been played by individual players and coaches earning those advantages by great plays and great decisions. Why not flip a coin instead of video reviews. “Was that a touchdown or was he down. Dallas, call heads or tails.”

In college football, each team has the same chance to score and the stakes get higher and the degree of difficulty increases the longer the game goes. Teams can no longer kick a PAT but must go for two. Proof of concept: Ohio State’s double overtime win over Miami for the National Championship, considered one of the most exciting games of all time ranking with, oh yeah, Boise State’s win over Oklahoma and Vince Young taking down the Trojans. Name one NFL game with that much excitement and emotion.

Third is the clock control at first down. In college football the clock is stopped after a first down. This not only makes narrative sense such as announcers use in describing drives, but allows for teams to make comebacks. In the NFL, the result is a foregone conclusion in the final few minutes in an overwhelming percentage of games. I do not, however, like the new “ready for play” rule that forces college teams into an artificial hurry-up offense, but this was done for a stupid reason – to shorten game times. Come on, who on earth wants shorter college football games? What are you going to do now, click over to Spike TV?

The other rules that divide the games are basically safety issues, such as the ”in the grasp rule“ of the NFL, where a quarterback does not actually get tackled to end the play. This is designed to protect marquee players. In college, these guys take their hits. On the other hand, in college, when a player falls down without being touched he cannot continue to advance the football and the play is over. On another safety issue again the sports are different. In the NFL, a receiver can land with only one foot in bounds, while college rules demand both feet be in bounds for a catch. The one foot in bounds is a marketing decision to make for more ”spectacular“ catches but has resulted in more serious injuries. If you’ve seen North Dallas Forty you know how the NFL deals with injuries.

Finally, in college every play is ”under review“ unlike the NFL where the coaches must gamble on throwing the challenge flag. The college system is unquestionably more fair but clearly not foolproof, judging by two jaw-droppingly bad reviews in favor of USC to basically give them their win over Boston College. Clearly these were the worst on-field calls in a major game in a long time. Let’s pretend I didn’t mention it.

3. Pageantry and Atmosphere

Again, it’s a blowout win for college football. NFL tailgating is a made-up event that copies the populist tradition that is real tailgating. Stadiums and games are played in hometowns, and pre-game events reflect the local customs, cuisine and style of their town. Oh sure, you can say that Green Bay serves up those bratwursts, but, come on, they were a staple of Badgers’ tailgating even before there was an NFL. College tailgating has  boosted the popularity of many local restaurants and unique menu items that are not ”the official Cheesesteak of the Philadelphia Eagles.“

Stadium atmosphere is again nolo contendre. Each school has its unique atmosphere, whether it is Miami’s smoke for the players’ entrance, Ohio State’s tradition of ”dotting the I“, Auburn’s incredible war eagle stadium entrance, the exuberance of the student section, the bands punctuating the action on the field with music that reflects the emotion of the game. It’s exciting and not a focus group creation

Halftime shows in college are spectacles, corny as some may be, that are actually unique to their setting, not homogenized corporate NFL bathroom breaks and beer runs. Nobody leaves their seat for the Ohio State band and videos of the Grambling and Southern University highlights are all over YouTube. Not the game, the spectacular bands.

Everything that surrounds the college game is more exciting than the NFL game. ESPN’s College Gameday is a national event, traveling to the location of one of the biggest games of the week. The background show alone with cheering students, handmade signs, and hot cheerleaders upstaging the hosts Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, and the goofy Lee Corso. NFL pregame shows are sterile studio shows artificially amped up by Fox’s ”Transformers“ animations.

4.Traditions and Rivalries

Do you actually try to convince me that Dallas-Washington, Cleveland-Pittsburgh are actual rivalries? Exhibit A: Ohio-State Michigan. This is not a weekend of war, but a year-round battle with twelve months of emotions defined by the result of the game. So powerful and real is this rivalry that ESPN famously created a commercial that began with one of the most shocking scenes ever on sports television. A guy in a Michigan sweatshirt was making out with a hot girl in an Ohio State t-shirt. My jaw dropped and then the graphic appeared: ”without sports, this wouldn’t be disgusting.“ If you don’t believe me that college rivalries are longer standing, more part of the social fabric than any made up NFL rivalry, just go to the Alabama-Auburn game or Texas-Oklahoma. And don’t wear the wrong color. The NFL is a season long TV event. College football is a way of life year round.

And finally…

5.Cheerleaders

Again, sorry pro sluts, girls next door win. NFL ”dance teams“ are made up of ex-beauty pageant contestants and amateur dancers. They wear patent leather thigh-high boots and midriff baring tops that resemble real cheerleader outfits the way that nurses outfits on Halloween resemble real nurses. As much as I utterly despise USC, the sight of the sweater girls in their innocent young white sweaters and flouncy white skirts makes me wish I were an undergraduate again and could hit on them.  And if you wanna see sexy without sleazy, guess whose uniforms are sizzling hot yet not in the Catholic schoolgirl way. Of course, the gold standard in uniforms – Oregon. Yowza girls. Bring it.

Now why do I think cheerleaders are relevant in this discussion? Because it embodies the moral characteristics of each sport. Like the game and the traditions, college cheerleaders are part of the student body. The NFL girls are shipped in and, since the Dallas Cowboys created the brand, they are a corporate sideline event designed for network TV cutaways and promotional appearances. While Boise State’s quarterback famously proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend by running into the stands after scoring the winning touchdown in the monumental upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, it was a genuine moment that embodied the promise and optimism of college life as they made a future. They got married before money, not because of it. I’m not going to name names here, but powerful guys with money and bimbos in sexy outfits are not always a genuine personal and emotional connection. It’s more of Tiger Woods kind of thing and I suspect lawyers and pre-nups are involved.

I’ve watched the full slate of Sunday games, the carcass of what was Monday Night Football, and the snoozefest studio shows and their ”fantasy focus“. I realized that with point spreads and fantasy teams the NFL has successfully shifted much of their audience’s focus to issues that are not about unbridled loyalty and passion for the teams and the performances on the field but to ”I’ve got the Saints giving seven and I’m sitting Ladanian Tomlinson this week. He killed me last week. Can we switch over to the Vikings game? I’ve got Peterson.“

That is a far cry from one sentence that sums up college football for me. Listen to if screamed in unison by over 100,000 people at each game. It’s a moment of unity between the players, the students, and the fans that the NFL will never have.

“We are…Penn State!”

I rest my case.

(This article also appears on Erie View, Dan Goldberg’s new sports blog at http://dg7007.wordpress.com/

Rose Bowl Matchup: All About the Pants

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

DRESSING LEFT IN A DRESS RIGHT WORLD

Trousers Reveal Why Bowl Games are Home Games for the Sunbelt

By Joe Bodolai

While pundits are enjoying reveling in the differences in the style of play between Ohio State and the Oregon Ducks, the Buckeyes’ arrival in Los Angeles made headlines over pants. Yet, it is precisely the issue of trousers that most clearly becomes a metaphor for the two teams’ wildly different styles.

Oregon is famous for its over three hundred possible uniform configurations for each game. One frilly though hot Los Angeles ”sports reporter“ asked Ducks’ coach Chip Kelly what uniform combo they were going with for the big game. They actually have a uniform coordinator to ensure that one player isn’t wearing a silver duck wing on the shoulder when everyone else is wearing green duck wings with a drop shadow. (”No! It’s the green duck wings with the drop shadow, not the green duck wings with the silver highlights.“) When they talk ”throwback“ uniforms they mean last week.

The Buckeyes, on the other hand, wore throwback uniforms this season but who knew? The scarlet and gray has been the scarlet and gray since the colors were created when the earth cooled.  Ohio State can wear exactly two possible uniform combinations, road scarlet jerseys and home white while the pants remain the same.

The uniforms actually do showcase the differing styles. Ohio State’s conservative approach and tradition is a polar opposite of Oregon’s flashy America’s Next Top Football Model approach. Season highlight films for the Ducks look like an anthology of different years. Some say there are actually sportswriters and fans in the Emerald State who can precisely remember what game and what year a clip is by the uniform! Or maybe not. We’ll  take that one to Snopes.

The event that made news was coach Jim Tressel’s dress code. When the players were boarding the bus to head to Lawry’s, a popular tourist restaurant, quarterback Terrelle Pryor and two other players were not allowed to go because they were wearing jeans. The Buckeyes were a nattily dressed bunch as the defensive line devoured slabs of prime rib as if they were Michigan quarterbacks. And they couldn’t have seemed more like outsiders. Coach Tressel apparently does not know that jeans are actually formal business attire in many Los Angeles circles. I have even seen Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger walking into a Starbuck’s on Ocean Park Boulevard in jeans!

The pants issue made me aware of the many little things that add up to ”home field advantage“. There are many little things, such as feeling like an outsider on the bus trip to Pasadena while Trojans players know the shortcuts. And bowl games, all played in warm weather locations, are clearly a home field for teams such as USC, LSU, Texas, etc.  The biggest home field advantage is also highlighted by the weather.  The Big Ten is finished playing at the end of November and has to practice for their bowl games at indoor practice facilities while USC, LSU, etc. can actually practice on their actual home fields. Indoor practice and a six-week layoff before the big games in January are a huge disadvantage for the Big Ten and has been a factor in the Buckeyes’ two losses to Florida and LSU. One prominent coach described indoor practices as ”like driving 30 miles an hour on the freeway“. (Actually, that’s probably an even faster speed than driving on the 405.) USC, LSU, Texas, and the rest can practice in the same weather and pump in crowd noise, etc. to get the players closer to the actual experience of the game environment.

So, until Ohio State and the other cold weather states adopt the other conferences’ ”dress codes“ regarding schedule, and embrace the bowl location environment they will always be wearing ”the wrong pants“.

(This article also appears on Erie View, Dan Goldberg’s new sports blog at http://dg7007.wordpress.com/

MOSTLY FAKE YET STRANGELY TRUE

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment

MOSTLY FAKE YET STRANGELY TRUE

COLLEGE FOOTBALL CONVERSATION STARTERS, BAR BETS, AND MAYBE ONE OR TWO THINGS TO SAY TO CHICKS BUT PROBABLY NOT

By Joe Bodolai

  • Inappropriate Headline of the Night: “Blood Pressure Monitor Runs Up Score on Meyer”.
  • How about this? Gators Hire Bobby Bowden. Mrs. Bowden to FSU: “Kiss It!”
  • USC Trojans Visit Alcatraz, somehow allowed to leave.
  • True: A certain Mr. Alexander plays for Florida State? What’s his first name? Not Jason. I told you, it’s “Mister” Alexander. “Excuse me Mrs. Alexander, can Mister come out and play?” “You mean my husband or my son?” Calling Lawyer Milloy.
  • Not true: Nebraska denies nickname ”Cornhusker“ is a euphemism for “mohel”, the term for the rabbi who performs circumcisions, but agrees nickname would be “mad kickass if there were any Jews in Nebraska.”
  • True: Youngstown is big in the BCS. Former Cardinal Mooney high school teammates are now opposing head coaches in the Rust Bowl. I mean the Holiday Bowl. Mike Stoops takes Arizona to San Diego to face Nebraska’s Bo Pelini. I pick Nebraska since he has one more Youngstown coach on his staff, his brother Carl. Okay, not really. Nebraska has Ndamakong Suh and the rest of the world doesn’t. Rest of World overmatched.
  • Why are the Pelinis in Nebraska? When’s the last time you’ve been to Youngstown? And doesn’t the phrase “ Two Pelinis in Nebraska” sound really dirty?
  • True: The 1910 Big Ten conference championship was won by one of the conference’s founding members, The University of Chicago, who won seven titles under the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg.  The Maroons also gave us Jay Berwanger, the first ever Heisman Trophy NFL bust in 1935, followed 70 years later by NFL bust Reggie Bush.
  • “It is what it is” named college coach cliché of the year. Related: Mike Leach’s “phat little girlfriends” speech (okay, tirade) engraved in stone at entrance to Texas Tech stadium. Located somewhere in Texas. I’m pretty sure.
  • More great names: Utah teammates Sausan Shakerin and Shaky Smithson flummox delivery boy from Shakey’s Pizza.
  • True then Not True: When pre-sliced bread was invented in1928 Joe Paterno was already two years old. In Italian his name means “fatherly”. It is not true that Buckeyes’ coach Jim Tressel’s name means “railroad bridge”. It means “almost as gangsta as a railroad bridge.”
  • How many women have scored in men’s college football (on the field) during a game. Ready? Three. Liz Heaston kicked three extra points for NAIA Willamette; Ashley Martin also had two PATs for Jacksonville State and Katie Hnida had two as well for New Mexico in 2003. Post college careers soured when Playboy decided “Girls of the NCAA Men’s Football Programs Special Teams PAT Kickers Fourth on the Depth Chart Playing in Garbage Time” wouldn’t fit on the cover.
  • Nebraska’s Ndamakong Suh is the first defensive star to win the AP Player of the Year Award. Okay, it’s only been given out since 1998 and don’t get all up in my business about this Tebow. There hasn’t really been any defense since 1958.
  • Revealed: Jim Tressel’s grandson’s letter to Santa: asks for ”field position and special teams“.
  • True: In his senior year at USC, Matt Leinart took only one course – ballroom dancing. Dancing With the Stars are you reading this? What’s that? Oh, you only cast actual “stars”? Never mind.
  • True or false? Canadian college football, unlike its almost-semi-pro CFL counterpart, actually has four downs but, since they’re Canadians, they punt on third down “just to be safe, eh.”
  • Related: CFL all time leading punter Bob Cameron of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers has a book on Amazon’s Top Ten list, called “Going Rouge”. Maybe that’s a typo. Nah, it’s gotta be right. Who wouldn’t wanna read a CFL punter’s autobiography?
  • True: The University of Hawaii changed their teams’ nickname from “Rainbows” to “Rainbow Warriors” to sound “a bit more butch”, especially compared to St. Bonaventure University’s “Bonnies”.
  • Related yet charming nickname info: Delaware’s teams are called the Blue Hens, including the men’s teams. It’s the reverse of terminology used at, say, Tennessee, where the women’s teams are called “the Lady Volunteers” as opposed to the men’s teams, which are the gender-neutral “Volunteers”. I guess that when a guy takes his clothes off to dance for money he has to be referred to as a “male stripper.” Obviously, a penis doesn’t clear this up.
  • NCAA names that could be used for sexual innuendos: “Did you see the pair of Pelinis on that cheerleader? She can husk my corn any time.”
  • True or false? Women in Alabama refer to their periods as “The Crimson Tide” and the university adopted this vernacularism to terrify their opponents. Oh, come on! That can’t be true! It’s Alabama! They think “crimson” is jerky made from dehydrated possum meat.

(This article also appears on Erie View, Dan Goldberg’s new sports blog at http://dg7007.wordpress.com/

Categories: Sports Comedy
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