College Sports ALL CLEANED UP NOW!

January17/ 2000

… Did you think the most pressing problems on Earth were terrorism, heat waves, Supreme Court appointees, and whether Larry Brown will cry when Isaiah introduces him as the Knicks coach?  WRONG … it’s how the heck to impress Blue Chippers with less than 209 pages of fluffy bovine excrement.  Those pesky media guides” have been the problem all along.  Just in case, BobLee has some backup thoughts. 

    Maybe you missed it what with Lance and Larry dominating the news; the NC2A has decreed that their member institutions’ infamous “media guides” cannot exceed 208 pages.  The number 208 relates to printing “signatures”.  Bet you thought it was the average SAT score for Miami’s D-Line.  This ruling goes into effect with this current season’s publications which are coming off the presses around the country “as we speak”.

    It was unclear if wealthy boosters can give graduating seniors media guides when their eligibility expires.  But you can bet Ol’ Roy won’t be saying “it’s OK with me”.

    First, these are NOT “media guides” and haven’t been for many many years.  If that was their purpose they would be in an OAG format and fit into a sportswriter’s coat pocket.  Heywood Hale Broune and Shirley Povich were the last sportswriters with enough class to wear sport coats, so it worked out well when the OAG style guides were phased out decades ago.

    These “monster magazines” have one primary purpose … to impress impressionable young men, primarily of African-American ethnicity, who are impressed by big shiny things and are convinced “size DOES matter”.  These young men wear replica jerseys that are “too big” over baggy pants that are “too big” with ball caps that are “too big”.  Those with “uncles” in the bling bling business sport gaudy jewelry that is “too big”.  Those with “uncles” in the ride business drive Hummers and other vehicles that are “too big”.  These monster mags are simply “paper bling bling”

    EVERY cultural demographic has it’s “idiosyncratic predilections”.  Effective marketing identifies and plays to those predilections. 

    If you are a 50 year old Caucasian football coach you better know two things if you want to keep your job … (1) “Fifty Cent” is a rap star, not a half off sale at The Dollar Store … (2) There is no such thing as “too big” when you are blowing smoke up an 18 y/o Blue Chip’s butt.

   UNC actually led the way in developing monster “media guides” way back in the 70s.  Credit former UNC SID Jack Williams and my old friend Rick Brewer with first giving hernias to postmen throughout Tar Heelia.  Their creativeness led to the NCAA imposing limits on the number of inside color pages and a limit on how many times the name “Dr Gerald Unks” can appear in a player profile section.

   Did you ever wonder how those player profile sections are done?  The kids are given the forms  and gather in whoever’s dorm room is the designated “hangout room” to fill them out.  Under “Your Ideal Dinner Guests” if it’s a black player he must include Martin Luther King or Chris Rock.  If it’s a white player, he must include Jesus and either a Beatlea Kennedy or a Jessica (Simpson or Alba).  For “Best Book Read” the SID intern in charge of the project just fills in either “The Bible”, “the talking phone book” or Archie & Jughead.

   These monsters had gotten bigger than a J.K. Rowling anthology.  The Missouri Tigers, with only one decent season since Jackie married Onassis, busted thru the 600 page barrier last year.  That even impressed Mack Brown who had been delivering his Texas Longhorns “media guides” by forklift for the past five years.

   Supposedly this new size limit will “level the playing field” for academic institutions that stubbornly refuse to have “football media guide” as the #1 item on their annual budget.  In case you are curious … the #2 item in the university budget for “SERIOUS Football schools” is “Lobsters”.  The Lobster Allowance among BCS schools is greater than the parking fines ignored by United Nations diplomats and their mistresses in a calendar year.  At most SEC schools more $$$ are spent for “drawn butter” than for “provosts” and “the humanities”.  

   TRUE STORY!  Carolina received several student-athlete “commits” this past week. One of these young men said at his obligatory press conference that he “heard that UNC has pretty good academics”.  You figure John Motley Morehead did a backflip in his sarcophagus over that one.  Got to get me that t-shirt … 



“pretty good academics”    

   While the NC2A is passing guidelines, I propose that “no student-athlete can even utter the word “academics” unless he has a bonafide 1000 SAT minimum score and can prove that he has actually walked across the campus in question without wearing a Ipod”.  Either/or on those requirements should stop that heresy.

    A Blue Chipper with at least “3 stars” is going to receive umpteen of these “whoppers”.  By the second one even the mouth breathing, knuckle draggers figure out THEY ARE ALL ALIKE except for the primary colors in the cover.  All the gaudy “media guides” are alike … all the lobsters are alike … all the “jersey with your name on it” are alike … all the Jumbotrons are alike … all the player lounges with pool tables and hot tubs are alike … yadda yadda yadda.  The whole freaking recruiting ritual is an insult to any double digit IQ. 

   Today’s 18 y/o Blue Chipper was 6 years old (SIX!) when Lawrence Taylor retired from the NFL.  If LT doesn’t ring a bell do you really think glowing tributes to George Barclay, Roman Gabriel, Randy White, Bullet Bill Dudley or Ace Parker will effect his decision?  “I don’t care about ‘Choo Choo’ but gimme anotha piece of pie.”

   Eliminate ALL those photos from the “leather helmet era” (aka anything from the 20th century) and substitute booty shots of Beyonce, Lil Kim, Ashanti, and Serena in her cat suit.  Even with “just 208 pages” 75% can be just blank filler beyond page 26.  Every Blue Chipper tunes out when he gets to the two page tribute to “Chancellor Whozit” – “a distinguished leader among his peers who’s greatest joy is sitting on the library steps and dialoguing with students about favorite pick-up lines and scoring a fake ID …”.  I guarantee if a school actually wrote that NO ONE would catch it, even Chancellor Whozit’s wife doesn’t read that bilge.  OK, VineSwamp and DERF might catch it, but nobody else would.

   The really savvy Blue Chipper does with the whopper magazine what savvy travelers to Cancun do with those whopper sombreros.  “That’s too much of a hassle to take back on the plane … just mail it to me.”      

   If this latest ruling doesn’t quite clear up ALL the corruption in Big Time College Athletics here are a few more suggestions for the NC2A.

  • Coed “tour guides” cannot be employed by a local nudie bar for a period of 30 days prior to the “tour”.
  • “Official visits” cannot occur for any home game when the weather is perfect and the home team might pull a big upset.
  • The only video games for which a Blue Chipper can be given free tokens are Pong and Frogger.
  • “Surf AND Turf” is outlawed.  A Blue Chipper must choose between EITHER a 72 oz filet or a lobster the size of a Buick.  He can’t have both.
  • AND … the Head Coach must be hooked up to a polygraph when he takes a Blue Chipper into his Big Fancy “inner sanctum” Office for “the close”.  That polygraph will be connected to his  hated rival’s most insane message board.

   Plan B:  Simply download all the fine print and fluffy crap in these silly things onto a CD … and then duct tape that CD onto … what else? … a 10 lb lobster (ideally painted in the school’s colors).  The Blue Chip will be suitably impressed with the oversized crustacean and the savings in paper and ink will allow the school to afford new thistle tubes for the chemistry lab.  

Win – Win.


 Swagger’s Stumper

A Special For SERIOUS Tar Heel Media Guide Afficianados

 Where did Dick Crum vacation EVERY summer?

What was Dr. Unks’ legendary dish?

What philosopher did Dean love to discuss w/ religion professors?


    Mike Love has, for 40 years, been lead singer for The Beach Boys.  Great gig … still singing the same 10 songs to adoring audiences since before Annette Funicello was born.

   Bobby Bowden will play his misdemeanor linebackers in FSU’s opener vs Miami.  Reminds some of us of Carl Torbush in the ’97 Gator Bowl where K-Mays and friends stomped Hokie Jim’s Hokies like they had stomped that geek on Franklin Street a month earlier. 

    Kid Swagger is serving as a Page in the NC General Assembly this week.  As of Tuesday, its still the plan to pour sand in Sleazy Jim Black’s gas tank on Thursday. Our plan for RINO Richard Morgan is REALLY bad!

    [email protected]

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