October 14, 2004

_____ of the Week

Some stuff that got my attention this week ...

Headline of the Week

From ESPN.com:


It took 25 years, but Seattle finally has another champion.

Turns out that headline, which sat atop ESPN.com's front page for parts of both Tuesday and Wednesday, was referring to a team called the "Seattle Storm" that beat a team called the "Connecticut Sun" for the 2004 WNBA championship.

I've long been fascinated by ESPN, ABC and NBC (back when they had basketball) cramming the WNBA down our throats with tons of commercials and featured programming. Of the many hardcore sports fans I know and speak to on a daily basis, I've never heard a single one talk about the WNBA in anything even resembling a positive way, yet the league is tied in with the NBA on TV constantly, it is made a part of the NBA's "All-Star Weekend" every year, and it gets top billing on ESPN.com.

Even more than that, the thing that struck me from the above headline is the amazing audacity of the ESPN.com headline writer who wrote that "Seattle finally has another championship" when referring to the WNBA. It's like putting "Boston finally ends World Series drought after 86 years" front and center on ESPN.com after a team from Massachusetts wins the Little League World Series.

Now, before you send me those angry e-mails, I just want to say that I have no problem with women's sports. I have two young female cousins who are great athletes and make sports a big part of their lives, and I think it's wonderful. However, I do have a problem with a product being repeatedly forced on us, year after year, despite the fact that the viewing public has made it quite clear that, relatively speaking, we're not interested.

The WNBA just isn't the NBA, no matter how many coed shooting contests we're forced to sit through before the dunk and three-point contests come on. The "Seattle Storm" winning a championship isn't going to make the city of Seattle feel like any sort of drought has ended, because the majority of the people there couldn't care less about the WNBA. In fact, I didn't even know there even was a "Seattle Storm" until I started to complain about that headline.

Story of the Week

From Yahoo! News:

WASHINGTON (Oct. 12) - The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday sought to fine 169 Fox television stations a total of $1.18 million for violating decency standards when they aired an episode of "Married by America."

The FCC said it proposed fining the stations $7,000 each for airing in April 2003 an episode of the matchmaking reality program that showed sexually explicit and graphic scenes at a time when children were likely to be watching.

The agency voted 5-0 in favor of fining the stations after receiving 159 complaints. Not all Fox affiliates aired the episode.

I didn't see "Married by America" and, for all I know, it was the single worst and most offensive show in the history of television. I really don't care, since I clearly wasn't forced to watch it. What bugs the hell out of me in regard to the FCC is the fact that they are handing out huge fines for a nationally televised show on a major network because they received 159 complaints. One-hundred and fifty-nine.

I don't know the exact figures, but I'm guessing even the least-watched primetime shows on FOX get more than a million viewers, which means fewer than 0.1% of the people who watched "Married by America" filed a complaint. Why exactly are we basing decisions on the 0.1% of people who can't handle watching something they don't like on TV? What about the 99.9% who watched the show, either liked it or didn't like it, and then went on with their lives?

I really hate the way the country is going in this area.

Quote of the Week

From one of my journalism teachers:

The Twins really sucked last game and the reason is that Johan Santana wears women's underwear.

It's clearly better if I leave out the context for that quote, so I will.

Campus News of the Week

From my favorite student newspaper that won't hire me, the Minnesota Daily:

The Interfraternity Council, which governs fraternities on campus, has suspended the University's Chi Psi chapter from the council for "several violations of (its) alcohol and risk-management policy," the council president said Tuesday.


University and city police have been called to the fraternity's house at 1515 University Ave. S.E., a total of 24 times since Jan. 1, 2001, according to police records.

I'm not even sure if I've ever been to the Chi Psi house or not, since I've gone to a few frat parties simply by following the trail of alcohol and women without regard to where I actually was, but it sure sounds to me like, to quote Dean Wormer, they're on double-secret probation.

DEAN WORMER: Greg, what is the worst fraternity on this campus?

GREG MARMALARD: Well that would be hard to say, sir. They're each outstanding in their own way.

DEAN WORMER: Cut the horsesh---, son. I've got their disciplinary files right here. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.

GREG MARMALARD: You're talking about Delta, sir.

DEAN WORMER: Of course I'm talking about Delta, you twerp!

Today at The Hardball Times:

- Mount St. Louis Erupts (by Brian Gunn)

- A Harder Comeback? (by Ben Jacobs)

- Respect (by Larry Mahnken)

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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