Not counting Slippery Rock, Butler and Gonzaga are probably my two favorite colleges. And I've never set foot on any of the campuses. Doesn't matter. I always root for them, though I haven't seen or heard of Slippery Rock lately. Hope they're OK out there in -- where else -- Slippery Rock, Pa. They even have a mascot named Rocky and call themselves the Rockets. Evidently they have a thing about big stones, or is that getting stoned in a big way? I dunno. Like I said -- never been there. Or maybe I was and can't remember.....
Idle thought: Yeah, few expected Gonzaga to actually win the NCAA championship, but how can they finish the regular season ranked #1 in the nation, but then Louisville is named the #1 overall seed in the tournament before it even starts?
Alas, both Butler and Gonzaga went down while trying to reach the Sweet 16. Perhaps the problem is as simple as their nicknames.
Butler calls it team the Bulldogs. So who ever heard of a bulldog being a butler? Those critters don't know anything about hanging up coats. That team should rename itself after the most famous butler of all. The Butler Lurches. Think about it. Lurch was a really tall dude, usually a good thing in basketball. Even better, when a visiting team trotted out onto the floor of Butler's home arena, a huge gong could sound, the entire crowd could rise up as one, and in their deepest voices somberly intone, "You Rang?" to welcome them. How cool would that be? Throw in cheerleaders with REALLY long hair called the Itts, do the "wave" with hands only and rename it the "Thing", change Hinkle Fieldhouse to Fester Fieldhouse, and that program would start shaping up in a hurry. Besides, ahem, education, college is supposed to be about having fun, right? So what kind of blue-chip prep hoops star wouldn't want to go there?
Sadly, Butler lost to Marquette. Marquette used to call it's team the Warriors, but in 1994 they changed it, possibly due to the name being deemed insensitive to native Americans, which was faddish at the time. It wasn't cool to call yourself the Warriors -- unless, of course, you're a pro basketball team in Oakland, Ca. That was OK. "Indians" was definitely out of the question, but evidently the major league baseball team in Cleveland (aka the "Tribe") got an exemption. And if anybody can explain the political correctness of the Washington Redskins name -- then let me know -- because I'm obviously missing something here.
At any rate, Marquette now calls itself the Golden Eagles, which is also the name of a casino in Mt. Pleasant, Mich, which is the home of Central Michigan Univ, which still calls its team the Chippewas, which is not that far away from Eastern Michigan Univ, which used to be called the Hurons, but switched over to the Eagles about the same time Marquette did because of native sensitivity. If all that's confusing, not to worry and join the club. I got lost trying to keep up with all that hypocritical nonsense a long time ago. Apparently, where you stand depends on where you sit -- or something like that.
Formerly #1, sort of, Gonzaga just got bounced by Wichita State, which calls itself the Shockers. Maybe they got that name from the old Glen Campbell song Wichita Lineman, because linemen run the risk of getting shocked during the course of their duties. Could it be?
Gonzaga also calls itself the Bulldogs. Earlier in the year, they lost a squeaker at Butler. Something bad is bound to happen when there's that many bulldogs in the same place.
And who's to say bulldogs don't have sensitivities too? Even more so with eagles. Humans have a lot of nerve calling certain eagles bald, when they just have a white patch of hair on their heads. Besides, even if they had no hair up top, there's no such thing as "bald" anymore, remember? They would be "follicly challenged" eagles. Get it right.
Maybe even rocks have feelings we should respect. Stop throwing them around, sit down for a heart-to-heart talk with one and maybe you'll get a whole new appreciation of a world you never knew before. After all, it wasn't that long ago we used to adopt them and shower them with love and attention. Surely you remember "pet rocks".
Some of them can be slippery, though.
And I think that's where I came in.