This is the first try at this post on an irregular basis. I originally thought of doing a monthly, or even weekly, piece called the No Planets Award (after discovering there really was a Flat-Earth Society), but it makes more sense to do it as I become aware of, shall we say, questionable or amusing decisions and have the time to write about them.
So let me start with a definition of "chutzpah" for anyone unfamiliar with the word. (If I defined the word in a post a few years back, chalk it up to a declining memory.) At any rate, the classic definition involves someone who kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that he's an orphan. In other words, effrontery without limits.
BTW, in presenting these awards, I'm not suggesting which ones deserve the most attention. They're all of relatively equal priority in my mind, and I'm writing about them in the order they appear in my notes (or have annoyed me).
The first award: This goes to the individuals — could they include our favorite Chianti drinker? — who made or acquiesced in the decision to televise the UCLA — Dexel basketball game at 9 fucking p.m. on the West Coast. Here are some other times of Pac-12 basketball games that will be televised tonight. At 5 p.m., Arizona State will take on UMBC. (What? You're not familiar with that school? Why, it's none other than the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.) A few other games: Evergreen State at Utah, also at 5. (This one may qualify as a must-see.) And perhaps running a close second to the Evergreen State game, CSU Bakersfield plays Washington State at 7 p.m.
Was the thinking behind scheduling the UCLA game at 9 that it would be seen by a larger audience in other parts of the country if it was televised that late? Uhm, I'm guessing the answer is no. Well, then, is it possible that the people responsible for that decision have been in a deep sleep since the 1960s and were unaware of John Wooden and what his teams accomplished (the greatest dynasty in the history of college athletics). My answer to that question is a bit more ambivalent, and I have to say "maybe." I could go on, but you get the idea.
And speaking of the effects of sleep — or the need for it — brings me to the second award. The Daily Bruin had an interesting story recently about a "proposal to install between seven and 11 sleep pods in Ackerman Union." It turns out, not surprisingly, that some students aren't able to get enough sleep. Yet this is not entirely a doom-and-gloom story that affects everyone. I'm happy to report that a number of observers believe Dan Guerrero and Gene Block are able to take a nap at the same time they meet many of their responsibilities.
And finally, this note about Southern Cal, that parched intellectual desert where any achievements are a surprise to its students. By offering a preview of its mascots for the basketball season (HT to Menelaus), Southern Cal earns this post's third award. One looks at the picture of Tommy Trogan and Traveler, and wonders: Does Tommy's expression suggest a moment of exhilaration — discovery, really — and is he saying, "I just learned we have a moon, and it circles around the Earth." And does Traveler's expression signify something along these lines: "What's a moon — a kind of sandwich?"