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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 19, 2000)
Editor Sarah Baker
Opinion Page Editor: Samuel McKewon
Managing Editor: Bradley Davis
One big ad
Olympics focus more
on publicity than competition
During the first-ever Olympic triathlon
competition, which was taped and broadcast
hours later to the .American public, NBC cut
away from the “live” action to show a short
feature on some of the athletes.
One of the features was about Loretta
Harrop, an Australian triathlete whose life
revolves around competition. During a
cheesy sound byte from her father or brother,
a scene of Harrop swimming in a pool filled
It was supposed to be artistic, blue water
droplets flying through the air, but it was a lost
cause because Harrop was wearing a bright
yellow swim cap with the word “POWERBAR”
plastered across the side in bright red letters.
* This scene is all too familiar at the
Olympics, and frankly, it’s disgusting.
It’s hard to tell whether the competition for
the gold is between Russia and the United
States or between Visa and American Express.
Gone are the days of great athletic perform
ances standing on their own merits. Today’s
Olympics are filled with Michael Johnson’s
gold Nikes, Champion Dream Team apparel
. and corporate sponsorships plastered every
In the 1994 Olympics, Michael Jordan was
required to drape an American flag over the
Nike emblem on his jacket because the team
was sponsored by Champion.
This is what the Olympics has been
The torch can’t simply be lit anymore, it’s
got to be ignited by shooting an arrow through
a caldron or lighting a ring of fire while it is
submerged in water then watching it move up
the side of the arena on a waterfall-conveyor
It is nearly impossible to watch an event
without being distracted by a blue border of
flashy graphics advertising NBC’s Web site for
me crowning jewel or the games ollen
siveness is the Visa commercial that mocks
It shows synchronized swimmers doing
amazing and elegant things in the pool while
an announcer says that in an age filled with
over-commercialization, it’s good to take a
moment to marvel at true athletic beauty.
Then the swimmers form into letters that
spell out “VISA.” The announcer says: “OK,
time’s up” and continues to brag about how
great Visa is.
Sponsors can brag about how they support
various Olympic teams, but the reality is they
only support the teams that don’t need sup
Does anyone give $1 million to the hand
ball team? What about the archery team?
Chances are they give it to the track and
field team or the basketball team.
Regardless of who they give it to, they are
turning the Olympics into a 15-day Super
So the next time NBC broadcasts a tape
delayed presentation of the men’s 400-meter
dash, try to look past the Nike emblems bn the
athletes clothing or the multiple ads for NBC’s
Web site to see the real beauty of Olympic
Hopefully, beneath the candy-coated shell
of corporate commercialism, some beauty
can still be found.
Sarah Baker, Bradley Davis, Josh Funk, Matthew Hansen,
Samuel McKewon, Dane Stickney, Kimberly Sweet
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“A major drawback of
SUVs as a class: They consume
more fuel than do similar
sized cars or even minivans.
In fac., the ever-growing pop
ularity of SUVs has helped
make the 1997automotive
model year the least fuel-effi
cient in the last 16 years.” -
Consumer Reports Magazine,
November 1997, pg.54
Let me get this straight.
That stands for Stupid Uppity Vehicle, doesn’t
it? I mean, last time I looked around this gas-guz
zlin’ land we call America (home of the free-radical
air pollutants) there were more SUVs than eco
nomically sound vehicles - or bikes.
We’re the only country in the whole entire
world that feels we need BIG cars. Cars so BIG we
don’t know how to handle them. I guess you could
say they handle us. They take control.
I know the saying: We make up in one area for
what we lack in another.
SUVs are some sort of response to penis envy.
Lack of genital size. Sexual dysfunction, if you will.
I could be on to something.
No one in small cars or on bikes is safe from
these misguided monsters o’ massive metal
because both sexes suffer from this twisted penis
envy. In fact, females are just as honk happy as
those males out there.
Why, just the other day I was biking in my prop
er lane, 'cause that’s what I do, when this SUV
honked so loudly at me from behind that I almost
peed my pants. (I held my bladder though because
urine makes my bike rusty.)
After I slowed down and didn’t budge an inch
(’cause it’s my goddamned free American right to
be on the street and NOT my right to be on the
sidewalk) this SUV (driven by a fellow female) tore
around me in a rage I’ve only seen Jesus in after he
came to Earth (on a bike) for his second coming
(but everyone missed him because they were out
looking for the next biggest car in the universe).
What will it take (besides a lobotomy) to get
drivers to realize we can’t bike on the sidewalks
downtown? The bike cop cruises for bikers like an
air force missile trying to find an uncooperative
country. The cop enslaved six of my fellow bike
riding brethren the other day for slowly riding
down the sidewalk not hitting people left and right
because they didn’t want to get hit on the street.
Shame on them!
“There are currently 34 models of SUVs market
ed in the U.S. Next year promises even more, one
example being an even larger Ford SUV to rival
Chevrolet’s ‘largest SUV on the planet.’One out of
every eight vehicles sold in the U.S. is some sort of
SUV."-Anti-SUVFan Club Web site
I know I’m going to rush out and get an SUV
right now! If I don’t, I won’t be like my friends, my
friends who think minivans and station wagons are
I don't want to be a nerd!
Nerds suck, so I’m going to screw the environ
ment and follow the pack. Besides, SUVs are “out
doorsy” and looking “outdoorsy” is soooo in right
It doesn’t matter that only 33 percent of owners
of full-size SUVs use them frequently for off-road
use, and even fewer - 14 percent - compact SUV
owners do. The point is that these off-road vehicles
The image I would project in my SUV is won
derful: Fm taller than you, Fm better looking, Fm
one with nature, and I can carry a lot of crap in the
back of this thing! I could never use all the space my
SUV has, but no matter, it’s there in case some day I
decide to go camping. After all, I am kind of “out
With 34 models of SUVs on the market right
now, how can you say no? When we get inundated
with something materialistic, instead of going
against them, we give in.
I’d hate to think what an onslaught of bike ads
would bring: healthier people (We are the most
overweight country.), less pollution and contribu
tion to climate change (big cars that claim to “hug
the outdoors’’ contribute immensely to its demise)
and safer streets with fewer accidents.
But, then again, people would have to leave for
work a little earlier, and they would probably sweat
“Never mind about the bike ads, John.”
My bike, Great White Buffalo, and I are going to
keep on keepin’ on and try to stay resistant to the
ignorant nimrods in SUVs... at least until one hits
and kills me.
You think a helmet is going to save my brain
from being squished by a ton of anger?
Until then we should encourage my friend
Mark to market a bumper sticker that says “SUV
But then, we’d have no place to put it.
You must be
for your acts
“You’ve got to
that you are des
tined to do great
— Penn State
One does not
have to be an athlete to take an important
message from Patemo.
Each and everyone of us, as athletes,
friends, students and individuals, should
have a feeling deep inside that drives us
What I am talking about is an internal
locus of control, the term educators have
given to how students perceive events in
When one categorizes their accom
plishments or failures in the context of
luck or unfairness then they have adopt
ed an external locus of control; no longer
responsible for what happens to them,
they see events as outcomes of their envi
To take personal responsibility for
one’s actions and to attribute life events
to talents and hard work gives one an
internal locus of control.
Coaches, parents and peers have all
helped you develop a “system of attribu
tion,” if you will, to develop an internal
locus of control. We, as a society, lack a
system of attribution and thus are cur
rently losing the war of raising our chil
dren to become successful believers in
Take, for example, a Sept. 2
Associated Press story printed in the.
Journal-Star: “Miami - Nearly two dozen
adults stormed a T-ball field and began
brawling over an umpire’s call as the 4
and 5-year-old players watched. Two
coaches were suspended, and police are
What the hell is going on in America
today that a parent, actually 24 parents,
are acting this way in front of children?
That same weekend I overheard
another parent engaging in behavior that
has the same negative origin. A family of
five dined at the restaurant in which I
worked on Sunday and discussed their
daughter’s soccer game. I heard the
mother refer to the poor officiating on
several occasions. Her final synopsis:
Officials cost her child the game.
The child agreed with her mother’s
assessment. Now did she agree because it
was true or because that was what she
has been taught in the past?
Parents are teaching their children
that they are not responsible for what
happens to them in life. This type of
behavior is why little league baseball has
decided to make parents sign a code of
conduct agreement before their kids can
participate. Parents and coaches have a
responsibility to the children of America,
to teach them life is a continuous struggle
to overcome obstacles.
Hard work and living each moment
with your heart will not always produce a
victorious outcome, but those two things
will allow you to look at yourself in the
mirror and know that you have done
everything in your power to succeed.
I’m addressing UNL students for
three reasons. First, 90 percent of us will
probably become a parent, mentor or
coach for some child in the future.
Approach children with the message
that they can do anything in the world if
they apply all of who they are to it. Others
will stand in their way, intentionally or
unintentionally, but they must and will
overcome each trial and tribulation if
they lead with their hearts.
Second reason: I’m truly convinced
that a lot of what the average persoa
would consider to be “wrong with socie
ty" could be rectified with individuals’
accepting responsibility for life events.
Do you frequently blame outside
sources for things within your own
power? Did you fail the class because the
professor was too difficult? Did you miss
out on graduation because the university
didn’t post the deadline to apply where
you could see it?
Students on campus know someone
like this within their circle of friends, the
negative individual who makes others
want to put a shotgun in their mouths. If
you are picturing your group of friends
and can't think of which friend fits this
billing, then it’s probably you.
College can be a second childhood
for some of us, a feeling of newness in
which we explore what we are capable of
and reevaluate what we believe in. Begin
now to develop a successful oudook for
Final reason: We have to regain inter
nal locus of control. You may not have a
coach or parent with whom you have
constant contact, butyou do have friends
and a responsibility to yourself to sur
round yourself with those that help you
through struggles and challenge you to
Not only do you have that responsi
bility to yourself, but you also have an
obligation to return the favor and be a
coach for others. We are our brothers' and
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