Lent Day Sixteen
Thursday, March 20, 2014 – Spring is just moments away. It is 11:47 am. My Final Four for the men’s basketball bracket are: Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wichita State with Florida becoming National Champion. Of course on my sentimental bracket, I have Stephen F. Austin playing Baylor for the National Championship. My Final Four for the women’s basketball bracket are: any four teams NOT from Connecticut, or Fort Bend, Indiana or Louisville. So in the first round games, let’s go Prairie View, and Robert Morris and Idaho. The Prairie View Tigers will eat the Huskies and the Idaho Vandals will vandalize the Louisville Buggers. I know it is the Cardinals, but remember last year? There is a reason Coach Kim Mulkey has to sit out the first round game for Baylor. And the Robert Morris Colonials will beat up on the Irish. Hmm. That sounds rather historical, doesn’t it? The colonists beating the Irish. If you read the comments (and thank you very much) it appears the Iowa Hawkeyes mascot does come from James Fennimore Cooper’s historical novel The Last of the Mohicans. Hawkeye was a frontiersman and a hero in the novel. What was Hawkeye Pierce’s name on M*A*S*H? Spring has sprung. Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce.
Lent Day Fifteen
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 – Got your NCAA Division I Women’s basketball bracket completed? If you really want to do the math, Sheldon, go ahead. For the rest of you, I somehow came up with 65 five teams, rather than 64, and that is close enough for government work. That means if you try to count it, it will not add up. The school mascots represented in the women’s bracket are more complex than those in the men’s. Using the same categories of Birds, Cats, Mammals, Humanoids, Other and “What in the hell is a …,” we find eight birds, seven cats, fourteen mammals, nine Other, five “What in…” and twenty-two humanoids mascots. There are two weather patterns – Cyclones and a Red Storm. There is a Blue Demon and a Blue Devil, and a Sun Devil. I categorized the Iowa Hawkeyes as Birds. I do not think it means the mascot is Hawkeye Pierce. The mammal category is populated by dogs with three bulldogs, a huskie and a Great Dane. I was undecided whether to place the Boilermakers in the humanoid category or the Other, as the drink. I went with the humanoid. And this category held the largest number of mascots. Included, are The Irish, the Colonials, the Commodores (not Lionel Richie and the singing group), Cowgirls, Raiders, Volunteers and Mountaineers. There are Spartans and Trojans and Quakers and Raiders. Some Pirates, an Indian and a Matador. In the “What in the hell…” category, there are the Shockers and Flyers, and the color Orange. I hope the MOCs are short for moccasin, because I know people who cannot say moccasin and it would difficult for them to cheer for that team. If you are happy with the mascot titled Vandals, who am I to apply a tag, but Idaho, you might want to think of something a bit less antiquated.
Try Raiders. I wasn’t sure what a Hilltopper is and I am too lazy to look it up. But Good Luck to all the teams. Gig ‘Em Aggies and Sic ‘Em Bears. That would be the Baylor Bears and not the Golden Bears. And please Lord; do not let the Oregon State Beavers play the South Carolina Gamecocks. There are too many jokes waiting to happen.
Lent Day Fourteen
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 – Got your bracket filled out for the men? I did a relatively accurate analysis of the mascots of the schools and organized them into the following categories. Birds, cats, mammals, humanoids, other and last, but not least, “what the hell is a …?” Assuming the Kansas Jayhawk is a bird, there are eleven bird mascot schools, including Stanford Cardinals. So explain to me then why the school with the brightest minds of the universe, past and, present, have a tree wearing sewn together green patches as a mascot. There are ten schools with a cat as a mascot, and 50% of those cats are Wildcats. The cat category includes the BYU Cougars. They are not the BYU Mormons. There are sixteen mascots classified as mammals including four dogs, three bears, two buffalo, a wolf pack and a wolverine, a badger, two horses, a ram and a bovine. OK. It’s a Longhorn, but it is still a bovine. The humanoid category is defined as a human in a mascot costume. There are two colonels, a cavalier, a Spartan and friar. Also, included are a lumberjack, two minutemen and a volunteer. There is an aggie, a Sooner, a cowboy and an Indian. There is Ragin Cajun and a cornhusker and one Orange man. In the Other category, there are two devils. One is a sun devil while the other is a blue one. There are two weather patterns – a hurricane and a cyclone. The last category is the “What the hell is a …?” These mascots include a jasper, a buckeye, a flyer, a crimson, and a tar heel. And the best of category goes to a billiken. I would love to hear some of those cheers. The jasper mascot of Manhattan College comes from Brother Jasper who founded the college. And a billiken is a good luck charm. It really is worth Googling. Oh yeah, there is only one mascot from the reptile family and it is a big gator from Florida. This mascot can pretty much eat the others. So the bracket completion strategy based on which mascot can eat the others may prove equally as sound as the highly researched, statistical analysis and both will achieve the same national champion results.
Lent Day Thirteen
Monday, March 17, 2014 – Top of the mornin to ye, Lads and Lassies. Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, and all that blarney. Tis St. Paddy’s Day where the whole world celebrates being Irish for a wee period of time. Bars are filled with individuals celebrating with green beer and boiled potatoes – the national food of Ireland. Wouldn’t it be more fitting to fast on St. Patrick’s Day since the British almost starved them into extinction? You know “another martyr for old Ireland; another murder for the Crown; the British laws may crush the Irish; but cannot keep her spirits down.” That is from Kevin Barry, an Irish revolutionary song. This history of Ireland is a sad one. No wonder the Irish are known for drinking. And you may know some of the words of this song. Here is the first verse to sing along.
Over in Killarney,
Many years ago,
Me mither sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low.
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good ould Irish way,
And I’d give the world if she could sing
That song to me this day.
Hush, now don’t you cry!
That’s an Irish lullaby.
So true. So true. I hope you are wearing green and that Irish Eyes are Smiling on you today. Nevertheless, I still do not want Notre Dame to win!
Lent Day Twelve
Sunday, March 16, 2014 – OK- a word of warning. If you do not like college basketball, then you should probably stop reading this Lenten log now because there is going to be a lot about basketball in the next few weeks. I realize Lent is a religious observance, but to some of us, basketball is a religion. The NCAA basketball tournament is the great equalizer in sports. Smaller Division I schools have just as much of a chance to win as the large perennial power houses. That is one of the reasons I enjoy watching. The difference in a game may lie in a foul and a made or missed free throw. And who doesn’t like to watch buzzer beaters? The men’s brackets come out this afternoon and the women’s tomorrow. I fill in several brackets. One is based on which school’s mascot can eat the other school’s mascot. One is based on school colors. I might pick all schools with the color red. Of course I also do a carefully calculated bracket based on multiple statistical variables. And one bracket is my sentimental bracket. I pick teams based purely on sentimental factors. This year on the men’s sentimental bracket, my championship game is between the Wichita State Shockers and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. Of course, SFA is my one of my several alma maters (Given ‘Em the Ax ‘Em Jacks). These two teams hold the best won-loss records in Division I men’s basketball. I will pick both to go far into the statistical bracket also. On the women’s bracket’s I have any school save Notre Dame and UConn in the championship game. I might pick the USC women because they have red in their uniforms and are coached by Cynthia Cooper. Sometimes I complete a bracket because I admire the coach. So as we dribble through the next weeks, don’t say I did not give you fair warning. Don’t make me call a technical foul on you.
Lent Day Eleven
Saturday, March 15, 2014 – Beware the Ides of March or Idus Martii in Latin. This is the notorious day that marks the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. Before the assassination, March 15 was just another day on the Roman calendar. Romans celebrated March 15 with the Festival of Anna Perenna, a Roman goddess of the year, which featured plenty of drunken debauchery and a carnival like-atmosphere. Sounds like Mardi Gras or game day in the SEC. But on the day in 44 BC, the soothsayers warned Julius Caesar to beware of the day and he was indeed stabbed to death on the steps of the Roman Senate lead by his close friends Brutus and Cassius. This just goes to show you that there are no friends in politics. The assassination was a result of Caesar becoming Dictator Perpetuus, or Dictator for Life. Before he got too big for his toga, he reformed the calendar to have 365 days, making January 1 the starting day of a new year for everyone in the world and added a leap year. When you are dictator, you can do whatever you want. Caesar’s assassination gave us such phrases as “Et tu, Brute” and others in Shakespeare’s play accurately entitled Julius Caesar. From this work, we also get phrases such as “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears,” and the phrase “It is Greek to me” meaning “HUH?” I am not certain if the assassination is the origin of the Caesar salad or not. Perhaps in their grief or celebration, depending on which side you were on, somebody developed a plate of Romaine lettuce and added some goat cheese in honor of Julius Caesar and named it after the Roman statesman. However, since Caesar salads seldom have tomatoes, I guess it would not have a Roma tomato. Get it?
Lent Day 10
Friday, March 14, 2014 – This television program aired in March 1964. What is Jeopardy? Perhaps a more accurate question would be “What is one of my all-time favorite TV game shows?” Our Final Jeopardy answer today is Art Fleming. While the Final Jeopardy theme song is going through your head and you know it is, we shall move forward. Or backwards as the case may be. I love to watch Jeopardy and have since the Jeopardy boards were blue cardboard squares with all five categories housed in a larger box of some type. When a contestant selected a topic in a category for an amount, the dollar amount card would suddenly be pulled upward as if by magic to reveal the answer. Sometimes the dollar card would not fly out in a flush manner and would jam, revealing only a few words of the answer. Then you would see a hand reach over and pull the card upward. Funny. Yes, yes, I know I could be a contestant on Jeopardy, but I figure you only get one game show per lifetime and mine is going to be TPIR – The Price is Right. I dream of hearing my name “…Come on down.” I have watched TPIR since Bill Cullen was the host. Not Bob Barker and he was the host for decades. But I watched Bob Barker also. Jeopardy might have appeared after TPIR. It may have been after Concentration. Maybe it on before Twenty-One, before the scandal. But it was definitely on before Beat The Clock. But now, let’s see what you wrote down – Who was the host of the original version of the television game show Jeopardy, which aired on NBC from 1964 until 1975?
Lent Day Nine
Thursday, March 13, 2014 – “All you wanna do is ride around Sally. Ride Sally Ride. Mustang Sally, her’s name.” Thank you Wilson Pickett. Here’s to an original Mustang Sally – Gail Wise, who obviously is very wise. She bought the very first production of a Ford Mustang in 1964 at age 22. She paid $3,447.50. It is baby blue. Notice the present tense verb. Ms. Wise still owns it. The Ford Mustang turns 50 years this year. The first one rolled off the assembly line in March 1964 and debuted the following month at the New York’s World’s Fair. I fell in love with the Mustang the first moment I saw one when I was fifteen years old. That love continues today. While I do like all Mustangs, including today’s models, it is the classic Mustangs from 1964 to the 1970’s that makes my heart beat a bit faster. When I see a classic Mustang on the road, ignoring all traffic, my head turns to follow it. I will stop in parking lots if one is parked there. I look at the vehicle wishing I owned one. Ted D. received a forest green Mustang for high school graduation in 1967. I would leave for school early so I could see Ted’s car in the parking lot. Larry L. had a 1967 red Pontiac Firebird. Mostly because those two were of only a few who had cars, but the cars were always parked side by side. It was the Mustang I longed for. I am certain both Ted and Larry wish they still owned those cars. I am sure they are both worth considerably more than $3,447.50 today. When I win the lottery I am going to buy a classic 1964 Mustang convertible. What am I thinking? When I win the lottery I will buy several classic Mustangs and maybe a Firebird too.
Lent Day Eight
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – Late again. It is SXSW in Austin. It is probably one of the largest festivals in a city that is running out of days of the year to hold festivals. SXSW is a showcase of cutting edge technology, music and film. It is when hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world descend upon the city. They fill all of the hotels, clog traffic for miles, take all of the taxis, crowd into eating establishments and walk along the many blocked off streets drunk and/or stoned. Reduce the number of people and it is pretty much like Austin all the time. But Jimmy Kimmel is in town and producing his show live from The Long Center. Last night his guest was the longest reigning governor on the Lone Star State – Rick Perry – aka Captain Hairspray and Governor Good Hair, as the late, great Molly Ivans referred to him. Jimmy Kimmel’s guest Monday night was Snoop Dogg and his people. Governor Perry had the same green room on Tuesday as the Snoop Dogg entourage had on Monday. Jimmy Kimmel apologized to Governor Perry for not being able to have the room fumigated and was sorry if it was still ripe from Snoop Dogg’s “show time preparations.” When Captain Hairspray came on, the crowd’s reception was a bit chilly to say the least. When Jimmy Kimmel asked him “Why do these people hate you?” Perry’s analogy was “that Austin and Travis County are like the blueberry in a bowl of tomato soup.” I did not know Rick Perry played drums. And a film clip showed he is not bad. I think he should pursue that route rather than continue in politics. The governor was actually pretty amusing. He giggled a lot. Kimmel asked him about the shooting of the coyote while jogging. He asked if he always carried a gun. Perry said yes. It is a concealed handgun and he especially has it when he is on talk shows. That green room must have been really ripe. Thank God Kimmel did not have the governor in the green after Snoop Dogg AND Willie Nelson.
Lent Day Seven
Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Late Lent post. I said I would write something every day and I still have a few hours left in this day. My apologies for the delay. So we are off today with congratulations to the Lady Bears of Baylor for winning the Big 12 NCAA Women’s basketball championship last night. You can put the trophy next to the one you won in football. I bet you did not think Baylor would be “other” school when Texas A&M left the Big 12 Conference, did you? I feel certain neither did the Texas Longhorns. Speaking of The University, I see where their former football coach Major Applewhite is “spending time with the family.” We all know this is a euphemism that means “no one has hired me.” Trust me, Major, I know what you are going through. Maybe you and Vince Young could hold quarterback camps for promising young football players. I know several schools are in need, including your alma mater and mine. If you have to do something to feed the family, may I suggest getting a job hawking beer at Texas sporting events? I understand an eight ounce plastic glass of beer sells for $8.00. Let me do the logistics. I can sit in the hot sun at DRK Memorial Stadium or Disch-Faulk Field or McCombs Field and drink one beer for eight dollars. Or I can sit in my air-conditioned living room, watch the game on The Longhorn Network and drink all six beers in a six pack for eight dollars. Two six packs if it is Pearl Beer. And I never have to wait in line at the Women’s Room. But good luck, Major and do not rule out selling beer. The University of Texas has got to pay for that new medical school somehow.