… I’ve been involved in sports for most of my life as a player, from “inside the ropes”, and as a fan in the stands. I’ve been missing something as far as how sports has evolved in today’s culture. I’m seeing a whole new aspect of sports to enjoy. I’ll share this revelation … PLUS we have Crocodile Hunters and $15,000,000 Teleprompter Readers.
I had reason to visit our local DMV office last week. Actually I had to visit twice in the same day. DMV offices are standard joke fodder because their clientele are a universal stereotype. A favorite DMV line is “so this is where state fair midway people hang out the rest of the year”.
When I lived in Dallas I used to wonder if Lamar Hunt and Tom Landry ever went into a DMV office. Do pretty women hire snaggletoothed tattooed DMV surrogates to renew their registrations for them?
The DMV office is one place most folks can go and feel “damn, I really am one good looking studly dude who just exudes sophistication and intelligence.” All those homeless guys, illegal aliens, and snaggletoothed gals with facial hair wearing low-riders might not share your DMV ranking of yourself … but what do they know … they are “DMV people”!
There were eight computer stations but, of course, only two were staffed at 10:30 AM on a Friday. So there were two quite long lines shuffling along … plenty of time to observe and cogitate. Observing and cogitating are two of my specialties. Some guys bass fish or play golf … I observe and cogitate. Heck, I even made eye contact with 4-5 “DMV people” and had an engrossing 15 minute dialogue with one guy about “the weather and six cylinder cars”. I was going to ask him about Carolina’s new season motto “The New Blue” but I never could quite fit it into the conversation.
It took most of an hour to shuffle my way to “Edna” who was incredibly competent and helpful, telling me how to beat the rap on the ticket I got for letting my registration lapse. During that hour I mentally wrote most of this column sort of.
If I could have such an enjoyable time at the DMV why not use that same premise to increase my enjoyment at sports events? Have you figured out where all this is leading yet? If Poker and Spelling Bees can be “sports” then I nominate Loonie Looking as my newest enjoyment. Anybody can play … Loonies can even look at each other … or in a mirror.
This time of year I end up having to deal with those lovable loonies a lot. Lovable Loonies = DMV people with keyboards. I tried my new theory in Kenan on Saturday … observing and cogitating. My “Napa Valley” buddies are relatively refined (but still a few lulus among’em). I sorta floated around in the Kenan hinterlands as the game followed its somber course to its trainwreck conclusion. Just like at the DMV, watching the fans was more fun than watching Carolina linebackers wave at Rutgers running backs.
“Girl watching” has always been a part of any spectator event but in addition to the hotties you need to watch for “loonies”. By the 3rd quarter I was getting real good at lip reading. Without binoculars I could read “that damn Dickie Baddour oughta be …..” from as far as 50’. With my binocs, I read a quite angry fellow’s lips in the west end zone. He was defaming Burly John in a fashion I doubt he would use in front of John or Mrs Burly John.
I got into a rhythm … the Rutgers RB would break off a 20 yard gallop and I’d see how many irate lips I could read. Luckily most 4-letter words are one syllable and 2-3 4-letter favorites seem to dominate in these situations.
Another feature I picked up was the embarrassed wife and/or girl friend. Hubby/guy is going bonkers and she tries her best to effect an “I’m not actually with him” or the “it was a blind date” look. If I saw a situation where she was holding the children close to her breast and covering their ears I gave myself 2 points.
In one case I caught a late 30s momma/wife doing the “I don’t know him” look around. Our eyes met. I mouthed “but is he normally a decent guy, good provider and good in bed”. She mouthed back “not really!” YIKES! … and then she held up a sign “R U BobLee Swagger?” That was scary and did NOT happen at the DMV.
Leaving the stadium is prime Loonie observing time too. Everybody in blue had this look of disbelief which I labeled “We just lost to RUTGERS … RUTGERS!”. The expression was somewhere between “you are being audited” and the vet saying your favorite hunting dog needs “to be put to sleep”. It was NOT as bad as when Mad Matt went 8-20. Nothing will ever be THAT bad. Well, maybe around Chapel Hill when George W whupped Algore and then whupped Kerry … Carrboro trying to form its own LoonNation is pretty extreme.
From the stadium to checking out the cyber loonie asylums it just got better and better. By Sunday at 3 PM the message board nitwits had convened a kangaroo court and convicted poor little Dickie of 27 crimes against nature. They were arguing over whether to burn him at the stake or stake him over an ant hill or give him a Colombian necktie. By Tuesday at noon “Colombian necktie” seemed to be leading in the voting.
I counted 34 different GameDay “issues” that had the loonies fuming. Jumbo’s sound system or lack of was a hot issue (see our “notes” below). The Marching Tar Heels were being savaged pretty bad and one fellow (a “Big Ram”!!) was fit to be tied about a “pass-out” issue where a gameday stadium employee did not react fast enough to his command. Even other angry loonies thought that one was a bit much. …. my fave was a notorious loonie who went on a lengthy rant about NC State AthDirector “TODD TURNER” continuing to support Chuck. If that doesn’t cause you to say “Who ARE these people?” nothing will.
There were, of course, the usual imaginary Tailgate Nazi stories. The Tailgate Nazi is UNC’s version of Sasquatch. Many hysterical sightings over the years but no one ever gets a name or badge #. It’s always “a friend of mine told me he heard about “the Tailgate Nazi” arresting an entire family because they had V-8 juice. The dad was sent to Gitmo … the mom was sold to a Saudi prince … and the two small children were taken to the basement of Venable Hall to be used for science experiment……” For what its worth, there were no Tailgate Nazi sightings UNTIL (you guessed it) Dickie became AD (which also coincides with the onset of global warming and erectile disfunction !!!)
This Saturday I will be with Hokie Jim, Clota, Ivan, Larry and assorted Blacksburgers of the Cluhouse Tailgate Club. We’ll be at Bill Friday’s Center and RV Lot. We will be laughing a whole lot. When Hokie Jim and BobLee get together it’s the gameday equivalent of The Beatles Meet Elvis.
By the time most of you read this, the much ballyhooed debut of Perky Katie Couric The $15,000,000 Teleprompter Reader will be history. The #1 question will have been answered … will CBS use the “open desk, look up her skirt” set that Mary Hart made famous or will “the perky one” rely on her pearly whites to get her thru (1) how many soldiers died today, (2) how many folks in Nawlins still don’t have cable TV, (3) what Cindy Sheehan had for breakfast. I’m going to pass on Perky Katie until she does the live colonoscopy during sweeps week.
The big difference between Katie Couric and “the weather girl” in Cedar Rapids is $14,980,000.
Katie will have a BobLee Buddy on her show Thursday in the “Free Speech” segment. That gets her a one-time spike of 20,000,000 viewers she will never have again.
Speaking of BobLee Buddies … our amigo Jerry Agar has proven he is indeed “really good at what he does”. Just three years removed from Raleigh’s WPTF, Jerry just signed on with WABC in New York AND WLS in Chicago. Yep, the ol’ boy will be pulling double duty as a daily radio talkmeister in both The Big Apple and The Second City … Huzza Huzza to one fine fellow!
Steve Irwin died. I join “the Pope”, Al-Jazeera, and Radio Free Europe in commenting on this pop cultural incident. Steve’s death is getting the level of media overkill usually reserved for a Bill Clinton book release or this week’s child molestor. I have always loved the guy. I like over-the-top types. Steve Irwin was “an original”over-the-top guy. Among my first thoughts was Jim Fixx. For today’s Swagger Stumper …
What is the similarity between the deaths of Steve Irwin and Jim Fixx. And may we all be so fortunate when our time comes.
BLS sez … anything that requires you to “sign a waiver” is usually fun.
Bob Mathias won the Olympic Decathalon AT THE AGE OF 17 … that’s AWESOME!
Bless his heart … does Mack Brown have more players wearing orange jumpsuits than wearing orange helmets? Seems like every week the APD is carting off a few more … same with SoCal … hummmmmm … what does that say about “big time college football” ???
Speaking of roguishly handsome dudes … WHO is that new hunk in the masthead at the top of this website? Where did Swagger go? Is that guy old enough to have a daughter in college? Can we have him entertain us at our upcoming meeting?
Why was Kenan’s Jumbo so quiet on Saturday? Apparently all of Earth is waiting for the answer … Theory (1) Before he left for VCU last Spring, Phineus Teague imbedded a virus deep inside Jumbo with a timer set to go off at 3 PM last Saturday. Phineus’ virus knocked out the speakers. … Phineus Teague is a very evil person! …. or (2) Jumbo was hit by lightning on Thursday and the Jumbo guys worked non-stop to even get the clocks and scoreboard back in operation. Personally, I vote for the Evil Phineus Theory.
One of our favorite punching bags “Fruitcake Freddie From Franklin Street” is under the weather with a nasty health issue. Sometimes you draw the line on extreme partisanship and wish a man well. Get well Freddie.
Want to e-mail BobLee?