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March 22, 2001 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-22

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 22, 2001

te Liini J ailg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, ML 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu

Let's take it one game at a time
CHRIS KULA U.NSUNG ANN ARBOR

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

- hoa Nelly,
you've got to
love sports!
But more appropriately,
you've got to love sports
cliches, because once you
get to March Madness, it's
a whole new season and
anything can happen.
On any given night, a
different cliche can come out, give 110 percent
and prove it belongs in the upper echelon of
trite, overused commentary.
I really think a super-secret, Stonecutters-
like contingent of television broadcasters
declared an embargo on original thought circa
1975, leaving the sports-viewing American
public no choice but to step up its intensity in
the face of adversity and choke down the kind
of verbal swill that's just as common to sport-
ing arenas as any beer brewed in St. Louis -
and twice as stale.
The play-by-play of smarmy, plastic-haired
announcers like - oh, wait - everyone, ranks
on a scale of mental anguish (with one being a
light, midday dream of a unicorn tea party and
10 being a sadistic, Wild Turkey-fueled grop-
ing at the hands of a Tuscaloosa junkyard
employee named Ceephus), somewhere around
a hard eight. And you just can't teach that.
These broadcast guys are perennial con-
tenders for the prestigious Stating the Obvious
Championship, which entails stiff competition
from the worlds of meteorology ("February
will start the same way January ended -
cold") and the hosts of "E! Wild On" ("Being
full-body massaged while sipping a Mai Tai

and watching the sun set over your secluded,
South Pacific beach is a nice way to spend a
Saturday.")
But by bringing their A-game of such bril-
liant insights as "It's a game of two halves"
and "We don't play these games on paper,"
sports commentators - highly touted rookies
and seasoned veterans alike - have the ability
to break the game wide open, swing the
momentum in their favor and say exactly what
we already know. Statistics don't lie.
And it's a total team effort, too, because the
play-by-play crew can always rely on their on-
the-sidelines counterparts to provide investiga-
tive injury reports ("Steve, judging by the
massive ice pack being taped to Talley's shoul-
der, it appears as if he's injured his...shoulder")
and gripping interviews with players' girl-
friends, grandmothers and girlfriends' grand-
mothers. That's just pure fiundamentals.
The prototypical announcing team consists
of the uber-smooth play-by-play guy, most
likely a graduate of a broadcast journalism pro-
gram and, so, an epic tool, and his color com-
mentary partner, in most cases a former
player/coach. At least once a game, Mr. Play-
By-Play will subtly reference Mr. Color's
once-great playing career, saying something
like, "Kenny, you knew a thing or two about
scoring titles, didn't you?" to which Mr. Color
will chuckle humbly and reply, "Only if you
mean high golf scores!" and they'll have a
good laugh, even though Mr. Color is really
thinking, "My wife sleeps with a six-time All-
Star, six-time All-Star."
And if there's a color commentator with a
particularly colorful background, such as for-

mer basketball great and self-professed "huge
Deadhead" Bill Walton, you can expect to hear
some horribly hackneyed attempts at connect-
ing two disparate topics like hoops and psyche-
delia. For example: "Ron, that fast break was
executed as smoothly as the 'Scarlet Begonias'
into 'Fire on the Mountain' from 3/18/77."
But the on-air method that absolutely {
haunts me is the forced banter that follows the
contractually-obligated plug of a network sit-
com: Mr. Play-By-Play uses a cheesy little
segue in order to give the day and time, and
then joins Mr. Color in singing the show's
praises, often while the cameraman trains his
lens on the show's star, who's conveniently sit-
ting in the bleachers.
Just once, I'd love to hear this dialogue:
Jim: And Avery Queen enters the game for
the Wolverines. Speaking of Queen, TV Guide
has called "The King of Queens" one of the
funniest shows on television. See for yourself,
Mondays at 8 p.m., only on CBS. Billy, do you
ever watch "The King of Queens"?
Billy: I do, Jim, and it is some vile trash!
Jim: Ha ha ... trash indeed, Billy.
Billy: Now me? Jim, I like a good "A-
Team" re-run on F/X.
Jim: (growling) The BA stood for bad atti-
tude.
Billy: Jim, I'll tell you what: There's no
question about it: The bottom line is: You
couldn't stop Mr. T, you could only hope to
contain him.
Chris Kula lets the game come to him every'
Thursday. Give him feedback at
www.michigandaily.com/forum or
via e-mail at ckula(ajumich.edu

- - - --- --------

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Martin: Bear with us
as we search for
Ellerbe's replacement
To THE DAILY:
First and foremost I would like to extend
my gratitude and appreciation to the following
students who organized the "Petition For Piti-
no" - Joseph Johnson, Jason Witler; Dan
Klemptner and Jennifer Krzeszak. It is the dedi-
cation and Michigan spirit that all four of their
possess that makes me proud to be part of the
University of Michigan.
I want all the students, faculty and staff at
the University to know that we are working
diligently to find an outstanding individual to
fill the vacant men's basketball coaching posi-
tion. Along with the screening committee, we
are dedicated to finding the best and most qual-
ified candidate available for the position.
It is my hope that the pride and enthusiasm
that Johnson, Witler, Klemptner and Krzeszak
have already shown will be carried on and con-
tinue through this process and especially when
we bring in a new coach.
Again, I sincerely appreciate their support
of the Michigan Basketball Program and look
forward to seeing and hearing them often at
Crisler Arena next season.
BILL MARTIN
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Business climate kilis
locally-owned shops
To THE DAILY:
Surely, the recent announcement of Caribou
Coffee closing came as a surprise to many
"Soaring rent forces popular coffee shop to say
goodbye," (3/21/01). After all, who would have
thought that an establishment so consistently
full of students would have to close its doors
due to high overhead? Indeed, many of us
might not have batted an eye if this were anoth-
er case of a local establishment falling prey to a
corporate monolith. Unfortunately, we have
become immune to this over the last decade.
But lets face it, Caribou isn't exactly a Ma and
Pop joint, and for it to concede to exorbitant
State Street rent is a rather telling sign of the
businesses climate in Ann Arbor.
Yet, what's even more frightening is to con-
sider the Caribou closing in the context of the
many changing storefronts in Ann Arbor over
the last few years. A few years ago we saw the
collapse of local shops like Schoolkids Records
and the Gratzi coffeehouse. Unfortunately, this
story is nothing akin to this town. Rather, its an
unfortunate consequence of economies of scale

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- the little guys just can't compete in terms of
prices. Surely, we should always be sensitive to
supporting local establishments, but sometimes
there is only so much we can do.
However, the last couple of years have seen
a new trend. The closing of Tower Records last
summer and the recent demise of Caribou are
signs that only the largest, strongest corporate
enterprises can survive here. Never mind the
locally owned shops, even the mid-sized corpo-
rations don't have a place here anymore.
Should this trend continue what will we have in
a few more years? Only a Borders for music
and a Starbucks for coffee?
I heard another interesting factoid the other
day. You know that Hallmark shop that also
closed its doors recently? Rumor has it that
State will soon have its very own Banana
Republic in its place. While some of you may
revel in the chance to pick up a new pair of Chi-
nos on you way to class, I happed to be a little
worried that the heart of our campus is begin-
ning to look more like Chicago's Michigan
Avenue rather than the State Steet it should be.
TOM SINAS
Music and LSA senior
'U' not dedicated to
basketbal progr
To THE DAILY:
As a surprise to no one, except the "Crisler
Crazies" with blinders on, Pitino has chosen
Louisville. What a great way to end the 2000-
01 season and begin the 2001-02 season with a
statement of the mantra of Michigan basketball,
"Too Little, Too Late." We offered Pitino a pal-
try $900,000, as compared to $1.6 million from
Louisville.
Louisville is committed to doing anything it
takes to build a successful program, whereas
we here at Big Blue are more concerned how a
new basketball coach will affect Football
Coach Lloyd Carr's ego. As always, I wish the

best for the Wolverines - but no one will
coach here if Athletic Director Bill Martin
refuses to dedicate himself to returning Michi-
gan to a premier program.
JOSH BENNINGHOFF
LSA senior
LSA Student Govern-
ment elections
To THE DAILY:
After four full semesters of service to LSA
Student Government, it's time for me to say
goodbye. However, I will not feel that I've
completed my job as a representative until I tell
the students of LSA how to assure themselves
of fair and responsible representation.
Students interested in preserving an effective
and responsive student government will elect
the Blue Party. Over the course of the past two
years, I've noticed that the amount of meaning-
ful work that LSA-SG does directly correlates to
the number of Blue representatives elected.
The opposition to the Blue Party this term is
interesting at best. First, the University Democ-
rats are running eight candidates, none of whom
have ever attended a meeting of the LSA-SG. It
seems strange to me that a group of people
whose very name implies partisan politics
would try to invade a government that prides
itself on its ability to rise above the political
messes that plague MSA. Also puzzling is the
persistence of the Michigan Party. After running
a full slate of ten candidates last term and seeing
the student body choose the Blue Party to fill all
ten seats, I would have thought that the Michi-
gan Party would learn that the students of LSA
do not want them as their representatives. It's
also difficult to imagine that Michigan Party
chairs Doug Tietz and Chip Englander have
imbued them with any sense of commitment to
LSA-SG, as both of them resigned their seats on
our government before finishing their terms.
ROB SHEREDA
LSA senior

o

Drug companies -they'll do anything for a profit

VIEWPOINT
Recently, the world's largest pharmaceu-
tical companies filed a lawsuit against the
government of South Africa for distributing
generic AIDS drugs.
The Western capitalist world has a couple
of problems with South Africa doing this.
The pharmaceutical companies realize that
South Africa could provide for them a huge
source of revenue, with the enormous amount

World Trade Organization say free trade will
bring. So they file a lawsuit. If it becomes law
that the South African government is not
allowed to distribute cheap AIDS drugs, and
may only sell the more expensive ones pro-
duced by these companies, more people in
Africa will die, and even more people will
contract the virus. AI)S will spread even far-
ther across Africa. For these companies and
the economists that support them, these are the
"few" people that will be hurt in the pursuit of
profits.

lars, and these services can be enjoyed by all
South African citizens. That is different from
our system. In our system, health services are
funded with the money of the people that can
afford to use them. But in South Africa, they
are offering much-needed medicine to all its
citizens. That's the system whose name sparks
hatred in millions of Americans. "Distributing
cheap AIDS drugs to those that can't afford
with government money?" an oil tycoon may
cry, "that's socialism!"
It is confusing why these companies are

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