(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser. If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened. External photo attribution is at the end of the post. #1)
Those who follow this blog know that periodically I author a post that has nothing to do with bars, breweries or beer – just stuff I see and file away in my cranium short term or longer term in my voluminous files.
I talked about these files in my two posts entitled “De Files De Files” My wife of forty-three years is on a campaign to get me to recycle these.
So here goes…
In the month of March, millions of people crouch for hours around their televisions at home or better yet, at bars and breweries, watching NCAA College Basketball’s March Madness. And this year with the first-round upsets, the term “March Madness“ seems apropos.
When Farleigh Dickenson, (sounds like the protagonist in a William Faulkner novel) beat top-seeded Purdue and after three other major upsets, the NCAA stated that there were no perfect brackets remaining of the 20 million in online games – even President Joe Biden’s – who picked Arizona to win it all. (WeareIowa.com.) (#2)
And besides the bedlam that occurred in the games, there were other crazy happenings off the court. For example, the New York Post and scads of print and broadcast media outlets reported on Hall of Famer Bill Walton’s gaffe during the Arizona vs USC game when he used a derogatory term describing people with dwarfism.
“Little People of America (LPA) called Walton’s use of the term ‘m—-t’ on the mic ‘deplorable and inexcusable’ in a statement to TMZ on Friday. ‘Those who use the term midget or any terminology that further stigmatizes people born with dwarfism are asked to educate themselves to eradicate this word,’ LPA officials said….The organization also demanded an apology from the former All-Star center.” (NBA Bleacher Report)
It was insensitive of Walton, but I love the guy. We had ample experience with the big redhead, when he played for the Portland Trailblazers from 1974-9. While his brief tenure brought Portland’s only NBA Championship and he was named the 1977 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, it was often filled with disappointment and controversy.
“During his rookie season he missed 47 of the 82 games because of foot ailments. In his second season, he broke his ankle and missed 31 games. Even in the championship season, he hurt his ankle and missed 17 games. (#2 – #3)
And it did not end well:
“During the off-season, Walton demanded to be traded, citing unethical and incompetent treatment of his and other players’ injuries by the Blazers’ front office. He did not get his wish and sat out the entire 1979 season in protest.” (Wikipedia)
Part of the problem was communication – he had a speech impediment which compounded his physical issues. And many of his grievances with NBA trainers and doctors have since been validated and experienced by pro athletes in other sports.
Compounding the problem, he unfortunately alienated many because of what were his personal lifestyle choices and political opinions – which he like any citizen, he is entitled to. For example, he lived within a few blocks of my brother and his wife in West Linn where I now reside.
It was a big, impressive A-Frame house on the Willamette River located on Nixon Avenue. In his first year for the Blazers in 1974, given the former President’s recent demise after Watergate, Walton was asked why he chose that street. He replied something to the effect:
“Well, they didn’t try to impeach the street!”
I give credit to anyone who works through a problem while also maturing and growing as a person. From being a semi-recluse because of his stuttering problem, he has become an Emmy-winning broadcaster. While some can’t tolerate his style, he comes through as jovial, optimistic and knowledgeable about not only sports, but most topics and issues.
I don’t know if he issued an apology for his recent broadcast error, but he has enough emotional intelligence to know when he’s made mistakes as seen in this 2009 Seattle Times Story https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/nba/nba-tearful-bill-walton-apologizes-to-portland-fans/.
He had returned to Portland to make a speech for the Special Olympics:
“I’m here to try and make amends for the mistakes and errors of the past,’ Walton said. ‘I regret that I wasn’t a better person. A better player. I regret that I got hurt. I regret the circumstances in which I left the Portland Trail Blazers family. I just wish I could do a lot of things over, but I can’t.
So I’m here to apologize, to try and make amends, and to try and start over and make it better…The love they gave me was something I could not return,’ Walton said. ‘And that’s something that will forever be a stain, a stigma, on my soul. I can’t wash it off.’
And he has a great sense of humor. In a subsequent March Madness game last weekend, he said to his partner, Dave Pasch:
“That’s why I love history, Dave. It’s been around so long.”
Lunacy or Just Changing Times?
But the madness isn’t just with athletics. It’s evident in cultural matters, print and broadcast media, academia, medicine, religion, law, et.al.
I was flabbergasted to see a movie review in Portland’s mainstream daily newspaper, The Oregonian entitled:
“Winnie the Pooh Stars in an R-rated Slasher Movie”
The review was about the new British independent film entitled “Winnie the Pooh – Blood and Honey.” Now if this film has any redeeming social value, how far behind is “Daniel Tiger – Creative Carnivore” or “Little Kitty Decimates Her Litter…..” (#4 – #5)
I felt better after reading the review when I went to the “Non Sequitur” comic strip and an old guy was saying:
“I miss the good old days when I had some semblance of what the hell was going on!”
Back to Athletics….
I want to address trends in high school sports in a future post, but this one snippet will give you an idea of why I yearn for the good old days. This March 23 Oregon Live excerpt relates the priorities of the University of Oregon.
“The Oregon Ducks aren’t waiting until Trent Seaborn reaches high school before offering a scholarship….Seaborn, is a 6-foot, 178 pound quarterback for Thompson High School in Alabama and led the school to the Class 7A state title. Seaborn threw for 1,117 yards, with 15 touchdown passes and three INTs. (#6 – #8)
Now I realize that the Ducks are anxious to pay back the thrashing they got in the 2022 Civil War come-from-behind victory (38 – 34) by my Oregon State Beavers, but this is somewhat ridiculous. What if Trent flunks ninth grade?
And it’s just going to promote more jokes such as I set forth in my blog post last year:
Albert Einstein arrives at a party in Eugene and introduces himself to to the first person he sees and asks, ‘What is your IQ,” to which the man answers, “241.” “Wonderful,” says Albert, ” We will discuss the Grand Unification Theory and the mysteries of the universe.”
Next, he introduces himself to a woman and inquires, “What is your IQ, to which the woman replies, ” 207.” “That’s great,” said the physicist, “We can discuss politics and the scientific implications of world affairs. We’ll have much to discuss.”
He approaches a third person and asks, “What is your IQ,” to which the guy holding a beer, answers, “51.” Einstein ponders this for a micro-second and says, ‘Go Ducks!”
Law, Politics and Religion
Perhaps this clip from July 22, 2022, The Week magazine combines a couple of topics which demonstrate the outlandish predicaments we increasingly face:
“A pregnant Texas woman is fighting a $215 ticket by claiming the end of Roe gives her the right to use the HOV lane. Brandy Bottone says that when officers pulled her over for driving ‘alone’ in the high occupancy vehicle lane, she said that her fetus now counts as a person in Texas, but they ticketed her anyway. She said, ‘Texas can’t have it both ways.'”
Science, Technology, Engineering and Fashion
Amazing developments in science and the tech world are also topics I want to address in a future Beerchaser Miscellany post, including the debate about Artificial Intelligence, which scares the heck of of me.
But I take heart in the creativity of university students to mitigate my concern – there’s good with the bad. Also from The Week magazine (June 3, 2022):
“…a group of students at Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering announced the invention of edible adhesive tape to hold messy tacos, burritos and wraps together.” (#10 – #11)
And speaking of engineering, the weather in Oregon this winter has made me greatly appreciate one everyday device that most of us take for granted – the remote automatic garage door. Cheers to C.G. Johnson for his 1926 invention.
This last anecdote is fictitious, but one I’ve kept in my files for many years with the hope of having a context in which it could be used:
“Dr. Calvin Rickson, a scientist from Texas A & M University, invented a bra that keeps women’s breasts from jiggling, bouncing up and down and prevents the nipples from showing during cold weather.
At a news conference, after announcing the invention, a large group of men took Dr. Rickson outside and kicked the crap out of him…..” (#12)
Note: I checked to see if others might have seen info on Dr. Rickson and a Google search reveals 664,000 possible hits with his college noted as Texas A & M, Ohio State and Oxford University!
External Photo Attribution
#1. Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Drum_major_(PSF).png) This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Pearson Scott Foresman. This applies worldwide.
#2. Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (File:Bill Walton – Trail Blazers (2).jpg – Wikimedia Commons) This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1928 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice. NBA Press Photo 1975
#3. Wikimedia Commons (File:Bill Walton 2022.jpg – Wikimedia Commons) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Author: Erik Drost 18 February 2022.
#4. Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (File:Winnie-the-Pooh 156.png – Wikimedia Commons) This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1928. Author: Ernest Howard Shepard (illustrator) 1926.
#5. Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (File:Fred Rogers and Daniel S. Tiger Sightseeing in Soviet Union.jpg – Wikimedia Commons) This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1978 and March 1, 1989 without a copyright notice, and its copyright was not subsequently registered with the U.S. Copyright Office within 5 years. Unknown author May 7, 1988.
#6. Wikimedia Commons (File:Oregon ducks football unif19.png – Wikimedia Commons) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: Fernando Martello 21 May 2020.
#7. Wikimedia Commons (File:377-thumbs-down-1.svg – Wikimedia Commons Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Author: Vincent Le Moign – 28 April 2018.
#8. Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2017-09-09_Oregon_Ducks_vs._Nebraska_Cornhuskers_03.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: Kingofthedead – 9 September 2017.
#9. Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oregon_Duck#/media/File:The_Oregon_Duck_.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Author: Ray Terrill – 19 November 2011.
#10. Wikimedia Commons (File:Sticky tape.jpg – Wikimedia Commons) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Author:
André Karwath aka Aka 19 February 2005.
#11. Wikimedia Commons (File:Burrito, Russia 2.jpg – Wikimedia Commons) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Author: К.Артём.1 2014.
#12. Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (File:Bra.jpg – Wikimedia Commons) This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Author: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/en:ModeMuseum_Antwerpen 2014.