“That guy” & Lennie – VOL. TWO

January16/ 2000

……. Rarely have back-to-back columns generated such reader response.  I should write with my eyes closed while listening to Tom T Hall on my Ipod more often.  Who knew?  The response to both columns reached Obamic levels (oops, sorry about that polit-slip!).  BobLee peels the “that guy” and “who’s Wilt” onions a few more layers.

 EVERYONE had a favorite “that guy”.   96% are dead or molting away in an Old That Guy Asylum.   The best “that guys” lived on the fringe of sanity any way.  If they slipped and fell going to pee at 3 AM it was pretty much “fini” at their fishwrapper.

Some like The N&O’s A.C. Snow transitioned from amiable “that guy” to toxic old liberal fart and managed to hang on a few extra years.  The “that guy” Era‘s fate was sealed with the replacing of typewriters with word processors.  By the time PCs replaced word processors “that guys” had been declared an endangered species.

The beginning of the end was Watergate ….. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.  Prior to W&B journalists actually strived to entertain readers giving them a positive reason to open their daily newspaper.  J-schools taught grammar and syntax and creative writing.

A phone rang in the WaPo newsroom and a garbled voice said “This is Deep Throat, I got the goods on Tricky Dick …..”.   From that moment on J-schools switched to teaching “investigative journalism” …… hiding behind potted palms …..  rummaging thru trash cans …. destroying any one who gets in the way of a possible Pulitzer ….. taking the ramblings of a psycho stripper and a nutjob DA if it helps destroy rich white boys.

No room for an entertaining “that guy” when the sole objective of a daily newspaper is “cramming our agenda down the throats of our idiot subscribers”. 

Several friends and former associates of Dennis Rogers have contacted me.  They worked beside Dennis for many years and THEY aren’t sure of his politics.  Contrast that with his former employer today.  The entire N&O staff is wearing “We Won” t-shirts and ballcaps like the Arizona Cardinals did on Sunday.  The caps have the price tags hanging from them just like the pros do.  (adulation will turn to despair when the next round of layoffs are announced in a few weeks).

“That guys” did not come out of J-schools.  They came out of poolrooms and the military and family farms and street corners.  They came out of “the school of hard knocks” with a sense of humor and an appreciation for, and understanding of, who their readers were.  They poked fun at themselves and the abundant silliness of humankind.

Try that today.   The op/ed nerd down the hall will wet his pants and run crying to the publisher.  “Not take ourselves seriously? ….. but, but, but if I do that I have to admit I’m just a geeky nerd who dressed for PE by hiding in a toilet stall…. I’m a pontificating journo-geek.  I’m a BFD … aren’t I ?”

Raise a glass of single malt and smoke a smelly old stogie for those wonderful “that guys” …… R.I.P.

 Forward, print out and mail, or hand deliver a copy of this column to your favorite “that guy”.  Let them know we remember’em and we appreciate’em.



Who played W&B in All The President’s Men?



So much for Lennie Rosenbluth’s pep talk ….. and Chancellor Doogie’s musical intro.  Geno’s Huskies came to Chapel Hill on Monday and laid a Class 5 butt-whupin’ on the Lady Tar Heels.   How bad was it?  It was so one-sided I thought Russell Wilson was playing for UConn.  Ouch!

The 30 point differential was not indicative of the disparity between the two teams.  Geno’s Huskiettes could play Dino’s Deacons close for 35 minutes.

    Sylvia Hatchell is one of my very favorite UNC coaches.  She absolutely DOES IT RIGHT.  She assumes her “in loco parentis” role like a coach should.  If I had a daughter who dribbled I would want Sylvia Hatchell guiding her thru her college experience.  Sylvia has beaten Geno as well as Pat The Stare.  Any list of the best women’s BB coaches in America includes Sylvia Hatchell before you get to #6. …… but Tuesday morning she knew how Bob Stoops and Nick Saban felt a few weeks ago. ….. burn that game tape and let the girls play dodgeball at the next practice.

OK …. Now I am truly going where no man in his right mind should EVER go.  Discuss women’s fashion.  “In his right mind” phrase is my hold card.

 WHATS with the assistant coaches and staff wearing Freakin” Stiletto Heels at a BB game?  Sylvia wears low-heeled boots with her trademark pantsuits but her staff all wear the freakin’ stilettos. ….. so do the other teams. …..  One of Geno Auriama’s assistants was a deadringer for that Carol Burnett character in the Tim Conway skits …… teetering around in a tight skirt on 6” heels.  Can you spell S I L L Y?

I’m a “leg man” as attested by my secret stash of Ann-Margret and Juliet Prowse posters.  A pair of well-turned ankles morphing into shapely calves leading to a few inches of toned thighs is the visual equivalent of Brunswick Stew with a 24 hour RoadHouse Rambo Marathon.  But DAMN ….. it ain’t got no place near a basketball court.

Missus says they’re trying to counter the lesbo butch image.  I ain’t touching that one.  They don’t have to wear brogans or SWAT boots ….. just a 1” heel or attractive flats ….. surely Jimmy Choo makes a suitable “chick coach shoe”.

That blond hottie manager for Sylvia is, I’m sure, a very fine virtuous young lady, but she looks like she’s auditioning for Sweet Charity at Playmakers Theater.

 The “dying generation” reality of “who’s Wilt” has flummoxed many of you.  Ain’t nuthin’ new.  Back in ’65, I barely tolerated Choo Choo stories.  Baby Boomers are becoming dinosaurs being led into the swamp bogs.  We bellow and roar as we not so slowly sink out of sight.   It’s the way its always been …. and always will be …. AAARRGGHHHHH!

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