Finally … No Hurricanes!

January17/ 2000

The headline “No More Hurricanes” would be a welcomed relief for the Southeastern US; unfortunately it refers to the long expected National Hockey League lockdown.  What do unemployed Zamboni drivers do?  Could we see a major sports league actually go El Foldo?  Buy your Mighty Ducks hats quick, they will be collectibles. … … Did you hear what the Marshall FB coach said about Ohio State? …… Follow-up to “Dear Lee” … … poor poor poor Dan Rather! …… and Lydia on Week Three.

   A winter without Hockey … uuummmmm … can I handle it?  Yep!  I do feel for the club staffers and the game helpers that will lose needed incomes.  I wonder if Sergei, Pavel, and the rest of the Croatian Millionaires will have to cut back on their caviar.  I don’t think Mike Eruzione would strike … would he?

   I AM REALLY TIRED OF HURRICANES!  … and we have been pretty much spared any real impact, so far.  “Bad weather” confuses most Americans … there is no one to blame.  Oh sure, Dickie Baddour is “The Man For No Reasons” but it’s a bit of a stretch.  Imagine an inconvenience we cannot lay at some shlub’s doorstep.  Did we have so many bad hurricanes before Chuck Amato took over at NC State? Hey, “Fruitcake Freddie”, check it out.

   I hear Dan Rather has found an extra Dead Sea Scroll written by Nostradamus to Barbra Streisand on the back of a Big Mac wrapper that predicts “a lot of bad weather will happen if the Governor of New Jersey turns out to be gay” … must be true, Dan is a member of The Uncle Walter Cronkite Junior Journalist Club … he knows these things.  Nothing Danny Boy is doing now alters my prior opinion of him one iota … utter contempt is “utter”.  

   On a somewhat related subject … Mr Swagger has been invited to Ambassador Hyde’s mansion next week to meet Martin Sheen.  Great Googly Moogly! Do ya think there will be some column fodder coming from THAT encounter?

   We got tons of supportive responses to “Dear Lee” from concerned Wuffies.  Oh, before I forget it, do you remember my recent comment on our boy “Freddie’s” dire warning about Chuck Amato.  It seems “Freddie” and his gang of minions, FoFF (Friends of Fruitcake Freddie), took exception to my comments.  Here is “Freddie’s” exact original post on a UNC message board … I Report – You Decide:


    … The eight people who have died in the NCSU football game “atmosphere” were all victims of   unregulated alcohol. We bitch and moan about not allowing public drinking at UNC tailgating, but the alternative is the Mary Ann Fox/Amato bacchanalia called NCSU football. I know many including me) that won’t go to Carter Finley due to the ever present mood of potential violence, and the complete lack of “friendly rivalry” conviviality that has emerged with their “fast lane” approach.

They want to live in the fast lane…they have to deal with the consequences, both in human     life,and in NCAA sanctions someday. …


   Readers keep asking me “is Freddie for real?”  Well, yes, there IS a real “Fruitcake Freddie” but as to whether he is “for real” probably would require a team of forensic psychiatrists … or maybe just Dan Rather and a copy machine.  


   Marshall Football Coach Bob Pruett referred last week to Ohio State’s footballers as “a bunch of Mandingos”.  YIKES!!! … and earned the Al Campanis Foot In Mouth Award for the week.  Coach Pruett said comparing them to fierce West African Tribesmen who were prized “breeding stock” in colonial America was intended as a compliment.  He must be using Trent Lott’s speechwriter.  Little known fact:  A former Triangle-area coach once said “off-the-record” that he “wanted a team of Mandingos”.  Such thought processes contributed to his current status as “a former coach”.


   Flying back from White Plains NY earlier this week was “a two column experience”.  Westchester Airport is very convenient and very reliably UNreliable.  I’ve been in/out of there four times in the past 3 months and twice had reroute and delay nightmares.  So I’m having dinner at the airport’s waaaay overpriced on-site restaurant and I GET RECOGNIZED!  No S***!  A former lacrosse player for Willie Scroggs no less.  He wanted my opinion on “all the mess going on at UNC”.  I told him just what I tell you … we will have a much better feel for ‘the mess’ after the GaTech game.  

   After a 4 hour delay I flew to Dulles on a puddle jumper.  It’s me, a middle aged African American lady, an Oriental lady of indeterminate age, and a hawk-faced man in his 80s who I swear had to be an international spy.  The fact that I’m reading a Robert Ludlum novel on the plane helped me recognize “the spy”.  We four wayfaring travelers get into Dulles around 12:30 and the place is deserted.  I did what I always do in such bizarre situations … I looked for Rod Serling and his film crew.

   Two hours of sleep in a $130/night room ($65 per hour!) and I endured more Dulles torture.  I won’t blame Baddour for the hurricanes but I bet he WAS responsible for my 6 hours of hell at Dulles Airport.  Damn You Dickie!

   Lydia’s Picks

   When Momma and the Mayor both say to evacuate, this Tigress does as she’s told.  Living in New Orleans is like living in a soup bowl wth no spoon. I’m high and dry in the metropolitan mecca of Houston, TX but my heart is back home. Don’t worry though, the great people of the great state of Looziana haven’t lost their sense of humor – on a sign posted outside an establishment “We don’t flee hurricanes, we make ‘em!” The Superdome has been converted to an evacuation center –games are being cancelled and Ivan the Terrible is fast approaching so keep your fingers crossed that the devastation is kept to a minimum. Prayers are being said for the safety of all in its path…


LSU V. Auburn – The Cadillac may have to refuel at half if the Tiger’s defense doesn’t come ready to play. Auburn looking for revenge after last year’s shellacking and hostile crowd tries to intimidate unproven quarterbacks.  Saban anxious to beat the War Eagles at home and relies on TB Vincent to work his magic. The Battle of the Cats goes to the purple and gold in a fierce fight and Tubberville rolled in Toomer Square.

FSU V. AUBirm –‘Nole faithful want to put the “nix” on Rix but who is waiting in the wings?  This may be a good chance to see as Blazers no match for the Seminoles – even without a QB. These poor fans – 3 hurricanes in row and 5 straight losses to Miami – qualify for free mental health counseling. Is Dr. Phil available for house calls?

UNC V. GA Tech – This game epitomizes “A Season On the Brink” for Bunting.  If the Tar Heels lose, their fans may wish for a storm to cancel the rest of the season.  The Yellow Jackets won a squeaker last week and don’t hesitate to use their stingers again. I’m not sure even Dr. Phil can “fix” this program or the fans disgust. On a deserted lake in Northern Canada, Dick Crum is smiling.  

TX A&M V. Clemson – Francionne cancelled one day of practice last spring to show his players “Miracle”.  He might want to show it again as that’s what they’ll need to beat a Clemson team raring to put last week’s debacle behind them.  Poor Aggies – even the 12th man can’t help them.  But hey, you gotta love a student section that doesn’t sit down the ENTIRE game….even when they aren’t very good.

Marshall V. Georgia – Marshall coach apologizes for calling UGA players “mandingos”.  Am I the only person who has never heard of this word? According to Webster’s it is a people widely spread over West Africa centering in the upper Niger Valley.  Wonder if Greene and company resemble that remark?  Heck, maybe Coach Richt will say he’s sorry after corralling the Thundering Herd. Miss Manners would approve!

NC State V. OSU – Wuffies still talking about how they should have won this game LAST year. Get over it, will ya? I can’t figure the Buckeyes out…is it part of Tressel’s game plan to win every game in the last two minutes.  The operation is a success when the cardiac kids are at home, but away is a different story.  State wins a nail-biter and Amato’s already over sized ego swells even larger.

Vandy V. Ole Miss –  Trying to get an SEC win may prove even more elusive for these teams than searching for the Holy Grail. Ole Miss collegians yearn for the “old-skule” days of ties and Elis. The Doors are a ship without a captain and the winner will be the last ones standing. Rebs should celebrate this win as they may be few and far between this year. 

FL V. TN – It has been a rocky road for Fulmer the past few years and fans are restless.  This will prove to be a battle of the “Leaks”.  Will the winner be Chris or C.J?  And, perhaps more importantly, will there be a “Spurrier Sighting?” I have a problem with a coach who doesn’t show up at the SEC media day because he’s afraid he might be subpoenaed….so I’m going with the coach whose hair doesn’t move even in Hurricane force winds.  

Go figure!

Cheers for Troy State, Southern Miss, and Fresno State for big upsets over the “big boys”.

The North division of the Big 12 sure looks wide open – K State, Nebraska, and Mizzou are pretenders – not contenders.

Tongue twisters to try:

Mathias Kiwanuka, Dusty Dvoracek, Scott Mruczkowski, (I’d like to buy a vowel), Matt Grootegoed, Lofa Tatupu, Chiijoke Onyenegecha, and Olaolu Sanni-Osomo.   


Swagger’s Stumper

What is the correct reply to “Lookin’ good Billy Ray!”


Gertrude & Heathcliff were Red Skelton’s two seagulls.  Readers were e-mailing pictures of themselves with mussed-up hair, eyes crossed, and arms flapping.

BIG game on Saturday in Kenan (OK, a big one in The Carter too).  Here’s hoping Ivan doesn’t pay a visit to the area.

Some Tar Heels simply are not going to “make it” thru this Fall.  The angst seems even greater than Matt Year 2.

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