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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Saturday, March 13, 2004

"Gee, Chief, The Game Was Great Until..."

Last night I'm working, trying to keep tabs on something like five different conference tournaments at once, and this is not easy, because most of the games aren't blowouts. One of these games was the Maryland-Wake Forest ACC quarterfinal.

While Maryland pulled off the upset, the heated competition was suddenly interrupted by a report that a gunshot had been heard in the arena, just a few rows behind the Wake Forest bench. Well, the first reaction to this has got to be "Why the hell is a gun being fired in a crowded arena?"

There are two explanations that readily come to mind. First, in this day and age, is that some nutcase snuck a gun into Greensboro Coliseum and started firing. This is way more possible than it should be. Some arenas will swipe you with a metal detector on the way in, but even if the thing beeps, they usually won't pull you aside to frisk you or anything. It's never happened to me, even if I've got a cell phone, keys, change, belt buckle, glasses case, etc. in my pocket. I think you'd have to wear aluminum foil boxers to set the thing off sufficiently. That's a scary thing.

The other thing I thought might have happened was that a cop was shooting at a criminal. All I have to say about that is that if this is the case, there better be a really freakin' good reason for that, because there's 20,000 plus people in the building, and you better be preventing a murder or something before you start shooting guns in that kind of crowd.

Well, neither was the case. Turns out there was an off-duty, out-of-state police officer who for some reason completely uncomprehensible had a loaded gun on him. And this policeman shot himself in the ass.

Not sure whether this was Officer Cheddar Bob from Detroit or State Trooper Forrest Gump from Alabama.

They took the cop to a hospital, and I assume he'll be okay. After they remove the bullet from his butt cheek, I assume his worst injury will be to his pride. I mean, how's he going to explain this one to his superiors?

By the way, that incident isn't doing much to help the stereotype of Southerners.

***

Apparently, the athletes at Colorado haven't learned much from the rape allegations circling the football team. After the basketball team lost to Texas Tech today in the Big 12 tournament, placing its selection to the NCAA tournament in jeopardy, center David Harrison had this to say:

"If we're not selected, I think it'd be a tragedy."

Let's get one thing clear. If your team doesn't make the tournament, it's a disappointment. It's depressing. It sucks. But it is not, in any way, shape, or form, a tragedy.

The athletic community seemingly still places greater emphasis on wins and losses and postseason success than it does on the quality of life for students and the Boulder community in general. Rape, murder, those are tragedies. Settling for the NIT is not.

***

Catholics who have tickets to Opening Day at Fenway Park are getting their panties in a bunch because the game falls on Good Friday, and they can't eat meat on Good Friday, which apparently will create a huge conflict when it comes to watching the game. Oh no, what are you going to do? Watch the game and eat popcorn instead of a Fenway Frank?

This apparently has become such an issue that Catholic fans have actually asked the Boston Archdiocese for a dispensation so that they can eat meat at the game. Obviously, everyone's missing the point. Now I'm not Catholic, but as I understand it, the point is deprivation. So if you're going to the game, you're probably not following the spirit of the holiday anyway...

Fortunately the Archdiocese considered Opening Day a flimsy excuse, which it should. But a spokesman for the Archdiocese actually called out MLB for scheduling Opening Day on Good Friday. He said that he hoped it was just an oversight, and that the scheduling is "insensitive to the huge number of people who are Christians and fans."

Come on, get over yourself. Opening Day is always around this time of year. MLB wasn't trying to trivialize the crucifixion of Jesus. Besides, I've been to games on Passover, and you know what I do? I don't eat the hot dog buns. It's not vital to the enjoyment of the game. Or you could go like Annie in Bull Durham and convert to the Church of Baseball.

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