Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 13, 1997)
March Madness, Baby!
Important tips before dipping into the office pod
Even if you’re not a basketball fan, you
can smell it in the air: horsehide burning
through nylon, whacked out fans and coaches
screaming, players sweatin’ and talkin’ trash.
Of course I’m talking about The Big Dance,
Hoops Hullabaloo, Cager Craziness (ya know,
the NCAA basketball tournament).
And no other event makes people want to
break into the piggy bank and contribute to
office pools more than March Madness. But
to those of you who don’t watch a lot of
basketball, a warning: There are freaks out
there (like me) who do virtually nothing BUT
watch college hoops. And some of those
people (like me) will taunt and antagonize
people watching the tournament who aren’t
quite as informed about all the nuances of
But have no fear, your friendly neighbor
hood columnist is here to at least give you the
appearance of an experienced fan. Here’s
some things that happen all the time during
b-ball games and what these things may
The star player dribbles between his legs.
A. Is showing off for the NBA scouts.
B. Is trying to break down the opposing
C. Really should get that checked out by a
doctor before it gets worse.
Several players run into each other and
one guy falls to the floor. He is either:
A. Suffering from some type of injury.
B. Looking for his contact lens that fell on
C. The latest victim of a Rodman-ectomy.
One of the coaches starts frantically giving
hand gestures. He is either:
A. Telling his players what defense to play.
B. Showing the refs how he really feels about
that last charging call.
C. Warning his players: “We’re ahead by too
much, start shaving points now or there’ll be
no free pizza from the bookie!”
The referees sprint off the court at
halftime. They are running because:
A. The fans are booing them.
B. “Seinfeld” is on and, damn it, they just
don’t like missing “Seinfeld.”
C. Those pre-game beefy burritos with extra
jalapeflos are gonna leave some skid marks if
they don’t make it to the bathroom pronto.
The crowd boos the janitor that sweeps the
court at halftime. They are booing because
A. Was blocking the crowd’s view of the
halftime dance-squad show.
B. Missed a big sweaty spot on the floor.
C. Forgot the popular basketball tradition of
dropping his pants at halfcourt.
The players sitting on the bench start
clapping loudly when the other team calls a
timeout. They are cheering because:
A. Their team has the momentum.
B. It’s the only time they get to stand up
during the game.
C. They are so close to the court that they can
see right up the cheerleaders’ skirts.
A naked man runs onto the court scream
ing. This fan is either:
A. Excited that his team won.
B. Drank too many of those “March Madness
Margaritas” before the game.
C. Representing the small College of
Rumpley, whose mascot is “Chester thejfuck
Naked Fat Guy.”
So fill out your tournament brackets, sit
back with a cold beverage of your choice, and
watch the games unfold with the knowledge
that you are now an informed basketball fan.
Oh, and I almost forgot — here’s some
phrases you can yell out during the course of
the games to impress your buddies:
“Get a T-0 baby, put it up, give him the
squirrel brains, get him off his back, count it,
run Forrest run, he’s camping in there, his
feet weren’t set, watch out for that bar of
soap, feed the big man, come on stripes, I
don’t do that on the first date, give him a
suitcase, over the back, lick the Popsicle!”
(Actually, not all of those phrases are part
of basketball lingo, but it IS called March
Madness, so who the hell’s gonna notice?)
Pope is a senior broadcasting major and
a Daily Nebraskan columnist.
At the crossroads
Incident enough to make one wonder about life
An interesting thing happened to me last
Friday. At about 10:30 a.m., I was riding my
bike home on R street — heading east. At the
intersection of 18th and R streets, a white
’80s Mustang rolled through a stop sign and
almost hit me.
I started yelling, “Whoa!” several times to
get the driver’s attention. Maybe someone
was looking out for me, but what ensued after
this is the reason I’m writing.
I stopped at the opposite comer and
looked back. The young woman driving said
something that definitely was not an apology.
Perhaps it was the rush of adrenaline — or
more precisely that I was almost killed — but
I replied to her verbal observation of the
incident with my own choice words. Those I
can assure you were not complimentary.
I also pointed out that legally I had the
right of way. She responded with words I
gathered weren’t very pleasant either. I thus
felt the need to reiterate my original rejoin
der. True, it wasn’t very classy, but I was in
- the right and was almost killed.
As she sped away she decided to take the
argument to a level that wasn’t necessary.
She used a word that had no business in the
context of our disagreement. She called me a
nigger. Mind you she did this as she sped
away, like most cowards who would use this
word, black or white, would do.
I wasn’t as upset as I was surprised that
someone would actually use this word to try
to demoralize me. I know it happens; this
isn’t a new experience by any stretch. Yet it
was a surprise nonetheless that the word
would come up. Was this young woman so
angry, flustered, simple-minded etc., that this
Sadly, she tried to rob me of any dignity that I
might have by using that word. That's the power
one word contains."
was the best way she thought she could win
the argument? Did her particular emotional
state excuse the use of the word?
“Does it matter?” would be the more
appropriate question. Did the color of her or
my skin play a part in the incident whatso
My concern is not so much how that made
me feel, but how many other white students
at this campus would ascent to using such a
word where it is not warranted? Not that I’ve
found any such incident where the word is
warranted at all. How many white students
would have voiced dissent if they were at the
scene and the word was used? Wouldn’t
“asshole” or “dickhead” have been adequate
enough to express her anger?
The word nigger is a word used to
describe, denigrate and dehumanize black
people as a whole. This goes for ANYONE
who uses it. Other words can often describe
people’s behavior at a specific moment or
maybe their personality.
“Nigger” has a special meaning. It is a
word of power, overt repression and severe
hate. Did that situation warrant the calling
forth of such extreme loathing? By using that
word she tried to categorize mine and all
black people’s existence into one of complete
All this because she ran the stop sign. I
think many bike riders would have left the
situation, cursed a little under their breath,
been happy they were alive and moved on. I
don’t think they would try to categorize the
driver as some sort of animal, unworthy of
even a semblance of human respect or
dignity. If riders did this, they’d be spending
quite a bit of time hating drivers. That would
be a great expenditure of energy.
What would I really like to get out of this?
Not much really — an apology, I think,
would be appropriate. I apologize to you, the
driver, whoever you are. It must have been an
What do you think? Was I right in cursing
at her? No, not really. Was she right in
running the sign or being mad at me for her
mistake? No, not at all.
The thing is — and this is really the heart
of the matter — if she wouldn’t have said
that last word I would’ve forgotten about it. I
would have chalked it up to another near
death experience on my bike and went on my
way. Sadly, she tried to rob me of any dignity
that I might have by using that word. That's
the power one word contains. This I refuse to
let her do; my dignity does not rest on
blithering ignorants. Even in this writing, I
still don’t understand why she said it.
To the driver, you know who you are. You
know that according to traffic laws I had the
right of way. I only hope that maybe some
where in your mind and in your heart you
know that what you said was wrong. If not,
then I fear for all of us.
Doug Nading is a senior secondary
Powered by Open ONI