The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 17, 1998, Page 5, Image 5

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    S.T.O.P. speeding
Ticket leads to traffic class, spoils Saturday fun
CLIFF HICKS is a news
editorial and English
major and a Daily
Nebraskan staff reporter.
OK, I confess. I got a speeding
I was traveling an entire seven
miles over the legal limit, but I had
just sat through all nine hours of the
“Titanic” behemoth, and after aver
aging one pop an hour, let me tell
you, you need to go.
Seven miles! On a dark road!
While a quintuple homicide was
going on in the background! And a
nun was doing the killing! With a
crucifix! And they stop me! Seven
stinking miles!
And for those of you who have
seen my truck, it makes the
Flinstones’ car look like Mario
Andretti’s personal race car. How I
was speeding could only have been
the direct act of some God in effort
to distract the officer from the cru
sade going on behind me.
Those dam omnipotent deities.
Oh well, I’m not here to rant and
rave about getting the ticket, but
rather what I had to do after I got it,
so let’s just skip forward to that rant
ing and raving instead.
Once you get a ticket, they offer
you the opportunity to take a class,
referred to as the S.T.O.P. class., to
remove the ticket from the record. It
sounds easy enough, and it just takes
up a day of your time to do it. For
those of us whose insurance would
fire through the roof, we don’t really
have any other option.
So, I figure, hey, I’m up for the
idea, and my roommate gets a
speeding ticket just a few days later,
so heck, he and I can go through this
horrid process together.
The first step is to register for
the class itself. To do this, jou have
to go to this special building. The
building is over the river and
through the woods, then first star to
the right straight on until morning.
After delving deep into the maps of
the phone book, you get an inkling
of an idea where you’re going.
You’re wrong, of course, but at
least you tried.
Some 70-year-old guy saw us
driving around near the prison and
offered us directions in exchange for
us not noticing his bright orange
suit. What a sweet old coot.
Next, after we paid them for the
class, we have to go down to the
courthouse to have the ticket waived
in exchange for taking the class. By
far, this sounded like the worst por
tion of the job, and believe you me,
it was.
As we walked into the office, we
walked up to the desk attendant. She
handed me a stack of papers as thick
as my leg and an empty water cooler
jug. “Fill these out and fill this.”
My eyes widened as I looked at
the jug, thinking to myself “Those
things hold like fifty gallons, don’t
they?” I looked up at her, my face
almost uncomprehending. “With
“Whatever fluids you can spare.
Blood, urine ... anything’ll do.”
“Is there someone else I can talk
“No, now you better get busy.”
After a few hours, we had filled
one jug between us, and eight other
guys who were waiting and I had
filled out most of the paperwork.
“Here ma’am. Now can I get the
ticket taken off my record?”
“We have to process the paper
work first and get an attorney for
you, so have a seat. It’ll be a little
“How long is this going to
“My grandkids should have you
out of here before the end of the
next century.”
While I had hoped she was jok
ing, sure enough, here were her
descendants coming to let me know
that the paperwork was processed
and they told me that their grand
mother had told them all about me.
We’d actually killed and eaten one of
the other guys in the lobby by then,
but hey, Darwinism at its finest,
The attorney came out, shaking
his head, holding out a contract to
me. They could have told me I had
to sign in blood, and I would have, if
it would have gotten me out of that
damn lobby. “I wish you the best,
lost soul,” he told me.
S.T.O.P. starts at the dawn of
time and runs until Armageddon. I
thought giving up all of my Saturday
was bad enough, but having to sur
vive on thirty minutes of lunch time
is almost as bad as high school.
Finding the building was another
great adventure. Who plans city
zoning in Lincoln, M.C. Escher? It,
like the other building, was hidden
in the backwaters of the city, buried
underneath a sign that said “Beware
of the Ocelot.”
Our instructor’s first sentence
was “You all did something to get
here, so we’ll have no cop bashing
I swear, the guy behind me said,
“What, I brought this bat with me
As she started the first video,
which was originally made in 1947,
we knew this whole class was going
to be utter and total hell. The video
droned on and on, the sound waver
S.T.O.P. starts at the dawn
of time and runs until Armageddon.
I thought giving up my Saturday was
bad enough, but having to survive
on thirty minutes of lunch time
is almost as bad as high
ing up and down as we watched a
Model-T crash into a train, over and
over again. Back and to the left.
Back and to the ... wait, that’s
Did you know Model-T’s had
airbags? Me neither.
After we were told about the joys
of airbags and how no modem or
ancient or even Stone Age car
should be without them, we moved
on to the topic of speeding.
Speed kills.
No, seriously, that’s what they
told us. Speeding results in more
deaths than anything else accident
related other than drunken driving.
So after they spent an epoch on
speeding, they moved to drunken
We got to watch video after
video of crash after crash, played in
slow motion and then backwards.
Like I said, this film bore more simi
larities to “JFK” than anything else.
We had to watch, from all angles,
videos of drunk people acting stu*JL ’
pid, videos of the sriiartpebple Who;
stopped their friends from driving
drunk. ... I could talk as long as
these videos ran, but you haven’t got
all day, and I don’t want you to suf
fer what I went through.
As the day slowly wound down
and I prepared to run as fast as
humanly possible from this damn
class, I had to watch a video about
how to control my “road rage.” I
know, you people think I’m making
this crap up, but I’m tellin’ ya it’s so.
“Road rage,” they told me, is
when people get angry and suddenly
tailgate, or stop to discourage tail
gaters, or yell at people who swerve,
or run lights, or slam into a busload
of schoolchildren. That’s just another
day for me behind the wheel, so why
it’s considered bad I don’t know.
In closing, I’d like to offer one
final bit of advice to those select
members of the law enforcement
community who are reading my col
umn in hopes that I will support get
ting rid of the nation’s idiots, like I
did some months ago.
Please, the people you should be
going after aren’t the speeders,
they’re the tailgaters, the swervers,
tfye people who cut and weave.
through traffidnnd, above $11, tftbs£
people who ^VelnltfeBlrnSlitiles '
with their tufri signals on.' ~
Ticket with mercy, huh? Some of
us just gotta take a leak.
Good sportsmanship gets the shaft too often these days
TODD MUNSON is a junior
broadcasting major and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
Sportsmanship - in American soci
ety circa 1998, is it alive and well, or is
it as dead as MC Hammer’s career?
I can’t tell you just yet; if I did, this
column would be awfully short.
Johnny Webster’s Dictionary
defines sportsmanship as the qualities
and behavior befitting a sportsman,
who is a person who can take loss or
defeat without complaint, or victory
without gloating, and who treats his
opponents with fairness, generosity,
courtesy, etc.
In today’s society, it seems like
these traits are few and far between,
and when they do make an appearance,
someone is there to cry fouL
The latest instance is an incident
involving Nykesha Sales, the
Tommie Frazier of the University of
Connecticut women’s basketball
team. Just a point short of the
school’s all-time scoring record,
Sales went down with a ruptured
Achilles’ tendon, ending her career
on a decidedly sour note.
As a way to reward Sales for her
years of service to the team, her coach -
», - * ... . • - - *
Geno Auriemma arranged to have
Sales break the team scoring record in
their game against Villanova. He got
the consent ofVillanova and the
woman who previously held die record.
So at tip-off, UConn got the ball and
Sales scored her two points uncontest
ed and was helped off the court When
Villanova took possession of the ball,
they scored a freebie and with the game
tied 2-2, the teams got down to busi
For the last month, debate about
Sales’ record has taken place in every
form of media possible, except for the
telegraph. Four-hundred-pound sports
radio hosts have harangued on and on
about sports being forever tainted
because of the way she broke the
record. Sportswriters with blood that
resembles the secret sauce to a Big
Mac have issued 1,000-word diatribes
about the hoax that is women’s college
basketball. And just last week, ABC’s
Peter Jennings got into the act with his
So what’s the big deal? The only
reason I even knew of the incident was
because of all the windbags complain
It wasn’t like Coach Auriemma
threatened Mafia style harm to
Villanova if they didn’t let Sales seme
the record breaking basket. What hap
pened was a display of sportsmanship
that hasn’t revealed itself since the days
when pro tennis players wore white
v One of the biggest complaints from
the wannabe athletes in the media is
that Sales’ record isn’t a true record. It’s
like serving Mark McGuire a big fat
meatball of a pitch so he could break
Reger Maris’home run record, they
I couldn’t disagree more. Records
are made to be broken. In a few years
the record will be broken again and
Sales will be forgotten. Besides, it was
n’t like a national record. It was a
school record. Tom Osborne wouldn’t
have done it, but what Auriemma wants
to do with his team is his prerogative.
An example of an athlete receiving
assistance happened during die 1995
Ironman Triathalon. Laid up in a drug
induced state alter having my wisdom
teeth pulled, I witnessed perhaps one of
the most dramatic moments in sports
history. After swimming 2.4 mites, bik
ing 112 miles, Paula Newby-Fraser
began the 26-mile run with a com
manding 11-mimite lead. Suffering
through die intense Hawaii heat,
Newby-Fraser persevered and was well
on her way to an unprecedented 8th
Ironman victory. Twenty-five miles,
5180 feet into the run, she hit the wall.
The banner of the finish line in sight,
her body would go no further.
On the ground she lay, trembling
in a glycogen-depleted state. Her
husband ran to her side as did para
medics. If she was given medical
treatment, she would be disqualified.
She knew this and refused any ftelp.
For several minutes, she stayed on
the ground imploring her husband
not to call for an ambulance. By the
time she was up, the next three com
petitors crossed the finish line. With
some help from her husband and a
couple of others, Newby-Fraser
crossed the finish line, mostly under
her own power, in 4th place - her
worst finish ever. Before collapsing
on a stretcher, she went over and
gave a sweat congratulatory hug to
Tom Osborne wouldn’t have done it but ■
what Auriemma wants JftT" 7
wzYA Aw ^a/n w Aw perogativeP
the winner.
Now why wasn’t Newby-Fraser
under the gun for being helped to the
finish line?
She, as die world’s greatest female
athlete, should be under more scrutiny
than a college basketball player. Like
Sales, she was ever so close to her
respective goal but needed a hand to
reach it. Newby-Fraser wasn’t scruti
nized, but in the few media outlets that
covered the Ironman she was praised
for her courageous finish. Perhaps she
wasn’t scolded because the sportos
who are raising the fuss are simple
minded souls who don’t follow any
sport that isn’t played with a ball and
I think the bigger picture is that
Sales is the victim of sexism. The
majority of the complaints come
from men who are jealous of die
sportsmanship that prevails in
women’s athletics. These macho ex
jocks can’t handle the fact that
women can actually be nice while
competing in sports. Why, no men’s
team would ever do that for a team
mate. Even Big East Commissioner
Mike Tranhese said that he would
never have let men do this, but for
women, it’sunderstandabie.Omk—
oink went the sexist pig.
The answer to my question is yes,
sportsmanship is alive and well.
Unfortunately, the sports media
realizes they must kill the concept of
sportsmanship entirely because with
out trash talking, fights, bites and
other violent outbursts, highlight
reels would just center around the
sports themselves, not how many
photographers can get kicked in the
groin in one night.
(Election Epilogue: To everyone
who voted, whether it was for me or
not, good work. To the 18,000 students
who didn’t, it’s your loss. I’d like to
thank die residents of Abel Hall who
erected the giant “Munson” signage. I
laughed so hard I fell victim to a nasty
hernia. Most importantly, I’d like to
congratulate Sara Russell, Kelly
Hoffschnieder, and Eddie Brown for
muchdeserved victories. The best,
most qualified, definitely worn Next
year, took for Sara to add a dolphin
tank to the greenspace, Kelly to add
more spice than die Frugal Gourmet to
ASUN arid Eddie to wow the student
body with his keen sense of fashion.
Oh yeah, anyone want to help me pay
my fines?)