"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that Indiana University's investigation into choleric motivational speaker Bobby Knight has vindicated the chubby paranoid has-been of charges (lodged by ex-players Richard Mandeville and Neil Reed) that he once emerged from a locker room toilet brandishing an evacuation-stained scrap of Charmin at his team. Our suspicion: It wasn't doody, but chocolate. No sodden wad = no smoking gun.
Nevertheless, the smoking gun videotape of Knight's head-snapping attack on Reed which we have been reviewing with Zapruder-like religiosity all week presents a genuine dilemma. On the one hand, the very fact that Reed allowed Knight to get such an easy purchase on his jugular makes it clear he wasn't playing heads-up ball. On the other, this tape is the most compelling evidence yet that the bold asswiper really is a psychotic bully whose transformation into a demented mediocrity has involved such courtly and off-courtly antics as terrorizing old biddies, choking, head-butting, and kicking players, hitting and kicking coaches and fans, allegedly choking restaurant patrons, fracturing his son's nose, accidentally shooting a friend while hunting, hitting policemen in U.S. protectorates and escaping extradition, and shooting blanks at reporters. Then again, who's to say he won't pull another great motivating tool out of his ass?
All of which makes us sympathize with the Man Behind the Vision, IU president Myles Brand. Caught in the middle of the venerable battle of sportswriters versus jocks a struggle between anal retentives and anal explosives in which only the shit wins Brand has devised a clever variation on the Zero Tolerance Policy, the 0.01 Tolerance Policy.
But hold the phone. Contrarian coaches deserve contrarian sportswriting, and so, instead of cowering before the finks and weaklings who prey upon faded glory, we celebrate IU's embrace of this champion of recruiting feasance, rape counseling, freelance chiropractic, and racial harmony. Which isn't to say we don't sympathize with the boredom and aggravation of the beat writers who are tired of playing the same role of snipers to Knight's bunker mentality. We'd just like to sit a little closer to the action.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation denies any link between Sunday's gathering of "750,000" moms both famous and nameless and a mysteriously well-timed glitch in the FBI's database of felons. Well, if they say so... With the computers down from Thursday to Sunday, gun sales were halted around the nation, and the Million Mom March coincided with an unplanned but highly convenient cease-fire. We don't like ending up on borderline-retard Wayne LaPierre's side of any issue, but from our bi-curious position on the gun issue (we don't own any rods, but we're willing to try anything once), we feel a certain emptiness at not having at least had the opportunity to take a shot at Rosie O'Donnell from across the Mall. And it's more than disappointing that Second Amendment Sisters and other creative thinkers in the gun lobby have not made more of a stink about this odd coincidence. Maybe the Bureau was just looking out for the safety of American motherhood during a high-profile photo opp (though one that President Clinton only felt compelled to address through a pre-recorded message). Nice effort, Mr. Freeh, but our moms can defend themselves, thank you.
It's summer blockbuster season, and Hollywood mandarins hoping to score another taste-busting hit like that Mary Pie thing are letting one or two low-budget, lame-laugh comedies slip into theaters. (That's two, if you recall David Arquette's Ready to Rumble. You mean you don't?) DreamWorks SKG comes out with Road Trip,* an acne-age laugher, featuring Canadian comedy artiste Tom Green and following a group of college buddies as they travel the great American laffscape in a school bus. We continue to wish Mr. Green nothing but success, roaring audiences and a speedy recovery, and the trailer's promise of pranks with mice, snakes and such has our comedy meters running. Still, did Road Trip really have to highlight a money shot/sight gag involving a boney white kid who apparently can't perform with a sister who is roughly the size of a Botero? Later in the clip, the guys titter over the size of the big girl's leopard-print underwear. It's about as tasteful as a side of fatback. Granted, a certain level of general humiliation must be maintained in these sorts of affairs, but don't black women (not to mention chubby chasers) constitute a real segment of the movie-going public? At the very least you'd expect Tom Green to steer clear of projects involving erectile dysfunction jokes. Was this the kind of artistic freedom Messrs. Spielberg, Katzenbaum and Geffen envisioned when they helped with Katzenberg's defection from the empire of the rat? (Disney, that is, not Cuba). And how will all this hold up against San Francisco's "Fat Ordinance"? "Are there any guys out there that are just normal?" screams another exasperated prank victim (or actually that may have been fabled critic Janet Maslin, reduced to public transportation in her post-Times penury) toward the end of the trailer. Don't look here. Blame Canada.