I've come to the conclusion that the overweight are the only group left in society about which it is still acceptable to make gross generalizations and cruel jokes. How this all started is with this audioclip from a Michigan sports radio show, in which the host totally and completely loses his shit over Notre Dame's comeback against Michigan State. You absolutely must listen to the whole thing. I've listened to it five times now and it never gets old. Predictably, the host sneers about Coach Weis's weight (as every anti-ND media type likes to do, because they are woefully out of their reckoning when it comes to substantively criticizing his coaching or his program), yelling that MSU let Notre Dame get to the locker room at halftime where "fatboy" could "feed them pudding." (I'm telling you, the guy totally loses his shit.)
Then, the comments this post over at Ace of Spades, on a fashion designer using overweight models to make some sort of statement or something, show again that you can mock the overweight with impunity.
Why? What if that radio host had said, "They let Washington get to locker room at halftime where Ty Willingham could feed them some watermelon!!!!"? Look, I'm not trying to shame anyone or otherwise act like I'm above such things; I'm really not, though I'm try to be sensitive. I'm not about to call anyone a "sizist." I'm honestly curious as to the difference between remarking about a black guy loving watermelon and a fat guy loving pudding. Both seem rooted in ridiculous stereotype and are based solely upon the outward appearance of the target. Why is it okay to mock, persecute and discriminate against the overweight without fear of reprisal? Maybe it has to do with the idea that, while one cannot choose to be black or female, e.g., one can choose to be thin or obese, and thin is the choice that society deems the correct one. Hence, it is permissible to humiliate one who has made the wrong choice into making the right one. I'm not sure I'm buying that, though. I think, for the overwhelming majority, people make fat jokes because they can.
Someone uploaded this 2004 video from to YouTube, of some University of Notre Dame MBA students "tailgating":
If you don't have sound on your computer, don't worry about it. The visual is horrifying enough. By the end, it will either have you rolling on the floor in tears of laughter, or in tears praying for the sweet release that only death can bring. For the record, it was the latter for me.
These people embody every whitebread stereotype ever: crappy suburban junior high dance-style music mix? Check. At least one guy in a replica football jersey? Check. Awful breakdancing, including but not limited to the Worm and the Robot? Check. Jorts? Check. Middle-aged guy trying to dance with girl half his age? Check. Cringeworthy poetry? Check. Finally, pitiful excuse for a beer bong? Check. (One other note: the only thing that should be hooked to a generator at a tailgate is a TV. Preferably with a satellite hookup. Dorks.)
Honestly, these people are like your racist uncle. Part of you feels obligated to try and defend them because they're family, but you can't because you know in your heart that their conduct is indefensible. Basically, the people in the video have made me embarrassed to be:
a Notre Dame alumnus;
a Notre Dame fan;
a caucasian; and
This video is kind of like Flight 93 (writ very, very small, of course) -- everyone should see it, if only to make the point that this can never be allowed to happen again.
[Link via just about everybody who blogs and either loves or hates Notre Dame.]
Raeshon Powers-Neal, 22 years old and fifth-year senior starting fullback for the University of Notre Dame, is cited for DUI on October 8, 2005. He is suspended by the University for the rest of his final season, including the Fiesta Bowl.
Leo High School, the site of Wednesday's bout, is a small, financially strapped school on Chicago's south side. Its enrollment is 98 percent black, and many of its students come from what is characterized as poverty-laden and high-crime areas. And yet the success stories of its alumni continue to outnumber the tragic turns brought on by little more than life circumstances.
This is why Zbikowski was back in the boxing ring Wednesday night after a year away from the sport. This is why he was willing to risk embarrassment, given that he had all of three days to train for the fight. This is why he almost threw his cell phone against the wall when, hours before the bout, he got word that his appearance to raise money for charity would be construed as a rules infraction by the NCAA.
The good news for Leo High School and Notre Dame is that the NC-double-assholes relented and let Tom fight. That was also bad news for Tom's opponent, who he dispatched by TKO in the second round.
Bringing its conference record to a sterling 1-5, Notre Dame lost last night to Georgetown in double OT. As things stand, ND is in jeopardy not of missing the NCAA Tournament, not even of missing the NIT, but of missing its own conference tournament. This is inexcusable, and it's all at the feet of Mike Brey.
The fact of the matter is that Mike Brey has failed to develop a single player in his 5+ years at Notre Dame. Chris Thomas actually got worse between his freshman and senior years. Torin Francis was the national high school player of the year, and Mike Brey still hasn't taught him how to execute a single post move. On the recruiting trail, Brey is enamored with soft, perimeter-shooting small forwards who can't create their own shots. ND can't win a close game because Brey's playing checkers while the opposing coach is playing chess. The next time we run an actual play on offense will be the first, and I can't even tell what Brey is coaching on defense.
The bottom line is that we've gone from a Sweet 16 team to a team that lost to Holy Cross on our own floor in the first round of the NIT. I threw up in my mouth just typing that.
In the '70's and to a lesser extent the '80's, Notre Dame was a top basketball program. We can be again. The administration rightly fired Tyrone Willingham because his teams regressed under his leadership and he was thoroughly and consistently outcoached during games and outrecruited during the winter, spring and summer. The administration should, indeed must, hold Mike Brey to the same standard.
It must be tomorrow, because the Irish sure didn't show up to play today. Jeff Samardija, who has been so great all year, had his worst game of the season by far. On offense, Darius Walker and Maurice Stovall were the only two guys who showed up to play today.
On defense, our safeties were dreadful -- how can you play an entire season and not learn to not bite on the playaction pass every fucking time? Our defensive line was weak; Troy Smith had all day to throw, and he picked our defense apart. I can't believe ND blocks two field goals, causes two (actually three, to my mind, but one was overturned) turnovers and still lost.
Had we played like we played against USC, we win by two touchdowns. Instead, we played like we played against Syracuse, and deserved to lose.
The only other thing I would add is that I'm surprised that Brent Musberger and Gary Danielson could be so easily understood in the booth, what with so much of Troy Smith's and A.J. Hawk's dicks in their mouths.
National championship and Heisman trophy for Brady Quinn next year.
Attorney-blogger-friend-member of the Academy (which Academy? I don't know.) Don Burton, an OSU graduate, has slapped me with his blog-gloves over the impending Fiesta Bowl matchup our respective law school alma maters. He's thrown down the gauntlet, and I'm doing whatever it is one is supposed to do with the discarded gauntlet to accept the challenge.
Don has graciously staked this lovely jogging Brutus Buckeye (though I'm trying to figure out why Brutus is wearing black leather gloves; did he rob A.J. Hawk's apartment right before posing for the statue or what?), which will, indeed, look great in my office after Notre Dame wins. In the unlikely event that Notre Dame has to forfeit the game, giving the victory to the Suckeyes, I will purchase for Don's office this breathtaking helmet figurine, so he finally has something to distract the attention from the fez and MST3K magnets that currently adorn his shelf and wall. And, just because it's funny as hell, I'll throw in this Lou Holtz doll (even though it's Holtz in his Arkansas days).
The fact is, I could stake pretty much anything, since this bet is such a sure thing. I mean, the only way Jesus lets his Mother's University lose its 11th straight bowl game is if he's still pissed off about The Shirt. He's got to be over that by now, doesn't He?
Notre Dame's men's and women's cross country teams acquittedthemselves quite well in today's NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute. The men finished third, behind Wisconsin (who is so good that they placed 5 runners in the top 14) and Arkansas, three places ahead of the Fighting Pinetrees of Palo Alto, and eight places ahead of Ohio State (suck it, Buckeye fans). The women finished seventh (due mainly to a big gap between ND's third and fourth runner, and a so-wide-it-would-tempt-Evel Knievel-to-jump-it-on-a-rocket-powered-motorcycle gap between the fourth and fifth runner). Big ups to Notre Dame's Stephanie Madia and Kurt Benninger, who placed third and sixth overall, respectively.