Friday, August 31, 2007

Royalty returns to Boise

As we grieve the passing of our beloved Princess Diana (can it be 10 years?!!?), Boise's royalty has returned.

I'm talking, of course, about our beloved BSU Bronco football team. They are on a lofty pedestal, and there is some serious Bronco Worship going on about town. (They better not lose, though, or the fickle fans will turn on 'em like a Michael Vick Pit-Bull. I've seen it before, and it's ugly.)


Actually for a couple days leading up to Game Day, I've been seeing more cars with the tell-tale BSU flags a-fluttering, etc. "WOW! Those people must be BSU fans!" I always think to myself. "And they're serious fans - not just ho-hum fans with maybe a T-shirt, or a bumper sticker."

On Game Day, I decided just for kicks to ride my bicycle around the stadium and absorb some of the tailgate vibe. It was around 3:30pm.

My time wasn't wasted... there was a sea of blue and orange - vehicles, shade awnings, banners and flags. I was picking my way carefully through a sizeable crowd, motor homes, pickups, barbecue grills, souvenir vendors, etc. (Mid-afternoon on a Thursday! Awesome!) Off in the distance, I could hear a man's voice bellowing, "Boiiiiisssseeeeeeeee!" (The first half of the stereophonic Boiiiiseeee.... Staaaaaaateeee! chant that's so popular at the games.) I didn't hear the second half. At 3:30pm, it was probably still an hour or so too early.


Season opener. BSU vs. the Weber State Wildcats.

Let me wax nostalgic for a moment.

Back in the Big Sky days, they played every year, BSU and Weber State. I can remember sitting in the student section. My brother John and I would start a special cheer, just for that game. "Cream o' Weber!!!" (That is a brand-name for a Utah dairy; Cream o' Weber milk could be purchased at the Smith's grocery stores.) At the beginning of the game, people would be lookin' at us funny-like. But by the end of the game, 500 or 1000 rowdy students would be shouting "Cream o' Weber!" in unison. Beautiful thing.

This time around, I watched on the teevee at home. Being there "in person" is way too rich for my blood these days. Bronco Nation will never again be a refuge for po' folk.

It was a lopsided victory for BSU. They looked powerful, and won handily. I believe the score was 56-7. (It was 49-0 going into the locker room at halftime... the fat lady hadn't showed up yet, though, so they came out and went through the motions for another 30 minutes. Everybody on the Bronco team got to play quarterback, for at least a couple downs.)

Ian Johnson is amazing to watch. He seems to be in a different time-dimension from the other 21 players out there. Einstein, and that wheelchair guy, could explain it but I wouldn't understand. When he has the ball, the other 21 go at it for 5 seconds, and then Ian seems to pick his way through the rest of them, as if they're all frozen in stop-motion. (I think his nickname should be "Magic" Johnson. Is that already taken?)

For me, perhaps the most amazing thing about the game was the "sports team" doing coverage for KTVB.

It was the regular guys doing the pressbox-talking - David Augusto and Scott Slant or whatever-his-name is. They do okay, although I think they make WAY too many comparisons with a play they remember from a preseason scrimmage, or a game that BSU played 5 years ago or whatever. Who cares? (They should save that talk for when they're in their rocking chairs on the front porch of the Old Sportscasters' Home, a few years out.)

Some people listen to the radio guy - Paul J. He's been "the voice of the Broncos" since the broncos were roaming among the mastodons and triceratops. But he's an "acquired taste" - a taste I've never acquired. (IMO, he should've taken his place in front of the Old Sportscasters' Home maybe 10 years ago.)

I was truly baffled that KTVB still has oafish-but-lovable second-string weatherman Larry Gebert prowling the sidelines, instead of their new SPORTS-BABE, Kerith. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING??!? She would be perfect for the sidelines - she seems to know her stuff, and I've gotta think the coaches, players, etc. - pretty much EVERYBODY, except possibly for Senator Larry Craig - would enjoy talking to her more than to Gebert.

(CREDITS: Football game photo stolen from the Idaho Statesman website; news-people photos stolen from the KTVB website.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's not easy being conservative

Senator Larry Craig has been a "public servant" for the citizens of Idaho his entire professional career. As a general rule, his views have been what most people call "conservative," mirroring those of his consituency. (Much to the chagrin of the folks in Boise's North End, and in Blaine County, Idaho is a "conservative" state.)

Now Craig's career is on the line.

He has pleaded guilty to "disorderly conduct," following an encounter he had with an undercover cop in a restroom of the Minneapolis Air Terminal.

Everybody knows that. It's the lead story on every news/opinion website, every news broadcast, and every newspaper across the Fruited Plain.

What did Craig do?

According to the complaint, he:
- Tapped his foot in a stall of the restroom - a secret gay mating signal, apparently. (Who knew?)
- Played "footsie" with the undercover cop in the next stall (obviously unaware it was an undercover cop).
- Put his hand underneath the partition.

(The lurid details can be read HERE.)

Frankly, I'd ask... where's the crime?

But Craig told the judge he's guilty... a fact that's difficult for even his most ardent supporters to ignore.

(There have been rumors about Craig's sexual orientation for years. If Craig is not gay - and he vehemently denies being gay - I feel sorry for him, because it would be miserable to be deflecting the accusations. If he is gay, I feel equally sorry for him, because it would be miserable to live a double life, being the "conservative" in the public eye, and a whole different person in private.)

When the story broke, a firestorm of indignation followed.

For me, it's most interesting to observe who's indignant.

It's a no-brainer that Craig's liberal detractors would join in the beat-down. His fall from grace is a godsend for them.

They point out the apparent hypocrisy, since Craig has consistently voted against "equal rights" for gays, gay marriage, etc.

But - they are joined by a sustained chorus of conservative voices, who condemn Craig and call for his resignation.

Yep - it's not easy being conservative. Mess up, and both teams pile on!

Let's compare, for a moment, the sad story of Larry Craig with a champion of the liberals, Mr. Al Gore.

(I hope this is a valid comparison. If I'm being unfair, I invite dissenting viewpoints.)

Al "Inconvenient Truth" Gore says all the right things. He preaches the gospel of Global Warming and conservation, and living a "small carbon-footprint" lifestyle.

But then - shockingly! - it comes to light that Gore's Tennesee mansion consumes $36,000 worth of energy per year!

(Not to mention the fossil fuel he burns as he private-jets from lecture to lecture, takes limousines from the airport, etc. Gore explains that he purchases "carbon credits," and that he's trying to cut down on his consumption. I have yet to hear an explanation that I could understand, of how that carbon-credits stuff works. But that's a different topic.)

Who criticizes Algore?

His "conservative" detractors lay it on thick. Like Craig's critics, they point out the hypocrisy of a guy who says one thing in public, while living a private lifestyle that's apparently contradictory to his Good Word.

But strangely, most of his supporters rush to his defense! They are more than happy to give him a pass. After all, he's saying all the right things. And he should be cut some slack because of all the good that he's doing, preaching the Good Word of Global Warming.

(Perhaps the Gore Faithful actually feel relieved that Gore doesn't practice what he preaches. After all, it assuages their guilt for doing the same thing... criticizing SUV drivers, corporations, etc., - the high-visibility offenders - while doing precious little themselves to reduce their Carbon Footprints.)

So, what's the difference?

Well, let's compare the alleged offenses.

Craig is accused of being secretly gay. Algore is accused of being a secret global warmer.

Which is worse? The liberals would say that being a Global Warmer is far worse than being gay! There's nothing wrong with being gay!

They say they're not outraged by Craig's gayness, but rather by his hypocrisy.

So what about Algore?

The difference, it seems, is that liberals don't like what Craig says, and they like what Gore says. It doesn't matter what they do, as long as they're saying the right thing (and Craig isn't). And darn it... conservatives expect you to do what you say!

It's not easy being conservative.

P.S. - I think Craig should step down, or at least declare he won't run for reelection in 2008. I've generally supported him over the years, but these ongoing allegations have become enough of a distraction that he's ineffective representing Idaho's interests in Congress. And if he's gay, he's a hypocrite. (By the way, we're all hypocrites to one degree or another. But when you choose to be in the Public Light, you have a higher duty, in my opinion.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Public School Insanity

In Mesa, Arizona, a 13-year-old was suspended for sketching a "gun" at school.

Dad went to Payne Junior High to talk about his son's delinquent ways... the public servants at the school cited the Columbine massacre. School district spokesman Terry Locke said the drawing was "absolutely considered a threat."

Click HERE to link to the FoxNews article.

The offending sketch:

(To me, it looks like something out of Napoleon Dynamite's notebook.)