Smells Like (Teen)Aged Spirits

So…I saw this tonight in my Twitter feed:


As my buddy Denny said “now you can smell like an alcoholic without the cost or time involved to actually become one”!

While I do find bourbon to be a pleasant aroma, I’m probably not going to look for it in a Yankee Hill candle, much less a cologne.  But this product does raise some practical questions:

  • What proof is the Jim Beam Cologne?


  • Is it just a mini-bar bottle with a spray mister on top?


  • Does one have to be 21 to buy it?


  • Is it a plausible excuse if I get pulled over on suspicion of DUI?


  • Will my wife have to start wearing a Coca-Cola perfume?


  • How early is too early to roll out your April Fool’s Day gag?


Yep, they got me.  Which brings us to a close with another piece of sage Twitter advice:


The Best and the Worst of America

Tonight, my daughter woke up crying.

A dry diaper, a few ounces of formula, and some gently rocking on Daddy’s chest got her calmed down and back to sleep.  While I waited for her to get into a deep enough sleep so I could move here back to bed without waking her, I scrolled through Twitter on my phone.

My Twitter feed was dominated by two topics.  Both are taking place in the same state, and are only separated by about three or so hours on the interstate.  But, they are worlds apart.  They show us how great we can be, while demonstrating how bad we are.

*   *   *

I’ve been a fan of the Kansas City Royals for most of my life.  It just made sense – Kansas City is the closest Major League team to my eastern Nebraska home, and when I was in the formidable years when a boy picks the teams they like, the Royals were winning.  Granted, since that World Series title in 1985, being a Royals fan has been an exercise in masochism, frustration, and pity from friends and family.

Now imagine being a lifelong Royals fan born and raised in South Korea.

That brings us to the happy side of my Twitter feed.  SungWoo Lee has been a passionate, hardcore Royals fan since the 1990s – all while living in South Korea.  His dream has been to come to KC and watch his beloved Royals play.  Thanks to the efforts of some KC fans on social media, SungWoo has been living every baseball fan’s dream for the last week:  meeting players, throwing out the first pitch, hanging with Hall of Famer George Brett, and watching the Royals go on an eight game winning streak to move into first place.

One of the guys responsible for bringing SungWoo to KC is a guy I follow on Twitter, The Fake Ned (@TheFakeNed).  He has been tweeting about SungWoo’s visit pretty much non-stop.

Basically, the whole SungWoo experience has been one magical fairy ride that has made the most jaded of Royals fans believe.

*   *   *

Meanwhile, 230 miles east on I-70 sits the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.  For everything good and wonderful going on in Kansas City, something ugly and scary is going down in Ferguson, MO.  A young black man was shot and killed by police, which has led to civil unrest, protests, police attacks, and a racially charged powder keg of a town.





*   *   *

I’m seeing and reading about these things while my not yet one year old black daughter sleeps on my chest.  I think that is what makes it so real and so difficult for me.  Someday I’m going to have to explain this world that we live in to my children.

I’m going to have to tell my children that sometimes you can follow all the rules and still be arrested – or worse.  Explain to them that in many parts of the greatest nation on earth, the color of their skin entitles them to the right to be treated poorly.  Try to instill a respect for an authority that sometimes has no respect for them.  Attempt to raise good, honest, hard-working adults who are not jaded and disillusioned by racism and prejudice that I’ll never truly know.

And I have to balance that brutal honesty while hopefully getting them to believe that there really are good people in the world too.  People that will open their arms for a guy from the other side of the globe, treat him like royalty, and make us believe in the inherent good in people – even if he’s of a different race.  All because he’s a fan of the same historically crappy baseball team that we like?

*   *   *

Since I’m struggling to put a pretty bow on all of this, I’ll let The Fake Ned have the last word:


Rejected Names for Bo Pelini’s Kitty (K)

Nebraska held their annual spring Red-White scrimmage today.  The highlight of the day happened before the game started.  Head Coach Bo Pelini lead the team out for their traditional Tunnel Walk carrying a cat.

Yes.  A football coach with a reputation for being surly carried a cat onto the field in front of 61,000 fans.  And then proceeded to hold it up in the air Lion King style.

God bless the Internet.

God bless the Internet.

The video can be seen here.

Here is the quick back story:  There is a Bo Pelini parody account on Twitter (@fauxpelini) that is brilliant and hilarious.  The avatar Faux Pelini uses is Bo’s face Photoshopped onto a guy in a sweater holding a cat.  Bo has used Twitter to respond to Faux, and their tweets usually center around the cat.  So far in 2014, Bo has taken the cat on a recruiting trip, and the cat has hung out with Nebraska’s National Championship trophies.

But do we really know the cat’s name?  The Internet appears to have settled on Bo Purrini (which, of course has its own Twitter account).  Some hard-nosed investigative reporting by the Omaha World-Herald shows that the feline Bo raised to the Husker heavens is actually named Anya.

But my sources within the NU Athletic Department tell me that cat previously had some other names that went through a vigorous in-house screening but were ultimately rejected.  Fortunately, I found their list next to a urinal trough in the south stadium:

  • Tomcat Osborne
  • Steve Purrdersen
  • Cornish Rex Burkhead
  • Thank God @fauxpelini didn’t use a snake in his avatar
  • Tabby Frazier
  • John Purrpusschis
  • Nine (lives for the cat, wins for Bo)
  • Kat Purrbstreit
  • Jeff Meowkavicka
  • Kitty Bell
  • Court Ordered Therapy Animal QX935-K
  • Ameow Abdullah

*   *   *

(Author’s note:  Wondering why there is a random letter in parentheses in the title of this post?  Not sure how this post corresponds to the daily letter in the April A to Z Challenge?  Like clicking on links?  These questions are all answered here.)

Sarcasm Font

When I graduated high school (20 years ago this year), the world was relatively simple.  Almost nobody had heard of email or the internet.  Google was just a really big number, not a really big company.  Apple was around, but this was long before they started putting a lowercase “i” in front of all of their products.

Technology has come so far in that time.

It is simply amazing to look back and think of how much has been created, developed, and built into what we know today.

So much of what has been developed (email, social media, text messaging, etc.) was created with the idea and goal of helping us communicate in new and more effective ways.

This is mostly true.  I can communicate with text, tweet, Facebook status, blog post, email, or electronic document.  I can create these messages with a keyboard, touch screen, or the sound of my own voice.  But there is one notable absence.

There is no sarcasm font.

My PC has over 150 different fonts, and none of them are universally known – or even widely used – to convey sarcasm.

If I need to inject emotion or a sarcasm disclaimer into my writing my options are limited.  I could use emoticons*, but I’m not a 12-year-old or that person in the office who uses Comic Sans. 

*And if one were to use an emoticon, which one conveys sarcasm?  The basic smiley?  The winking smiley?  That one where it looks like a tongue sticking out?  All of these stupid emoticons make me 😦

I use hashtags on Twitter, but they really look out of place in an email or text message.  The more technically savvy among us use a bracketed faux-html tag like , but I think that is lost on the majority of readers.

We need something better.*

*Oh really?  You think we can improve upon the current system of nothing?  You’re a dadgum genius, Gump.  

There have been a few attempts to get something going.  I found an online movement to have left-leaning italics imply sarcasm and snark.  But seeing as how the last post was over two years ago, you can guess how well that worked*.

*  #Sarcasm

Where do we go from here?  I’m hopeful that once we get that healthcare thing resolved, bring peace to the Middle East, and cure cancer we can turn our national attention to the real issue facing our country:  trying to figure out if that email or comment on our Facebook status is passive aggressive or sarcastic.

New Husker F_____ Game Day Traditions

Yesterday on Twitter, local radio host John Gaskins (@937JohnGaskins) posted several tongue-in-cheek suggestions for new Husker game day traditions, using the hashtag #newgamedaytraditions, playing off of the now infamous Bo Pelini audio where the coach drops 753 f bombs in  60 seconds

I thought several of the suggestions were pretty f_____ funny, so I’m stealing the idea, and contributing with my own ideas.*

*As far as I know, the ideas below weren’t posted by anybody else.  But if I inadvertently copied your idea, my apologies.  It was unintentional.  Also, since there were some good suggestions from Gaskins and others, I’ll toss those in too.

  • The block N on the Nebraska helmet is replaced with a block F
  • During the band’s pregame spectacular, the announcer say’s “It’s f_____ Football f______ Saturday, and there is no f_____ place like Nebraska.
  • At the conclusion of March of the Cornhusker, instead of spelling out N-E-B-R-A-S-K-A, the crowd spells F-_-_-_ Y-_-_.
  • Instead of spelling out “HUSKERS” during Hail Varsity, the band spells F____ You.
  • The official game ball is present to the referee by the F____ Off Kid, (presented by Runza).
  • After the national anthem, there is a fly over from a sputtering prop airplane pulling a banner that reads “F___ You, You F_______ F___s”
  • When the Huskers take the field, they raise a single finger in the air.  (Nope, not their index finger).
  • Instead of carrying the U.S. flag onto the field, a player is selected to carry a flag of Pelini flipping everyone off.
  • Corporate sponsor Verizon gives giant foam fingers (nope, not the index finger) to all fans.
  • The pump up song before kick off is reworked to be “Can You F____ Feel It?”
  • When the blue hair behind you asks you to sit down, they do it with an f bomb.
  • The HuskerVision tribute to Nebraska players in the pros:  “F___ers in the NFL”
  • Students paint F___ You on their chests.
  • The Husker Sports Network places recorders in the bathrooms, concourses, and luxury suites.  All audio is reviewed and archived for potential use in a few years.
  • The Referee works as many f-bombs as possible into his calls:  “F____ Holding.  Number Seventy-F_______-Three of the f_____ offense.  Ten f______ yards.  Fourth f________ down.”
  • Every time the Huskers score, after the PAT is kicked, the fans raise their arms and wave them back and forth with a single finger extended.
  • The scoreboard tracks the number of f bombs dropped by both teams during the game.
  • Voice of the Huskers, Greg Sharpe ignores all of the profanity and chooses to focus on the performance of Stanley Jean Baptiste.
  • Bo’s halftime interview with the sideline reporter consists entirely of George Carlin’s “Seven Words” routine.
  • During halftime, the band marches into the shape of a hand with all five fingers extended.  They march until only one finger remains.
  • The Today’s Attendance total is broken out into real and fair-weather fans.
  • Fans curse the team whenever they go three and out on offense or give up points on defense.  (Oh wait – that’s not new at all).
  • Former offensive and defensive linemen are stationed at the stadium exits.  If anybody tries to leave before the game ends, they are asked “Where the f_____ do you think you’re going?”
  • After the game, Ron Brown leads players from both teams in prayer, where they give thanks and praise to Jesus F. Christ.
  • As the visiting team leaves the field, they are flipped off by the fans in the southeast corner of the stadium.

Some of my favorites from Twitter:

Bo vs. Tommie

In the wake of Nebraska’s ugly 41 – 21 collapse to UCLA, lots of strong statements and opinions were issued by fans, media, and alumni.  As one might suspect, most of these opinions were not very positive towards Bo Pelini and his coaching staff.

But among the millions of opinions spoken, printed, or (in this case) tweeted, one stands out:

“After letting it sink in for about 4 hours I still struggling. It’s time to get rid of the defensive play caller, the Dc, lb dl and db coaches. I hate saying this but this crap is getting old. How in the hell do you not make adjustments or put your players in the position to compete? If this is what is going to happen for the remainder of the season, count me out. I don’t care if we lose a game but the way we are losing is just not what #Nebraska fans deserve. I have fought, bled, and cried over this program. I didn’t do all that for the program to become what it has today. Time for change!”

Those are strong words from anybody, but they didn’t come from Joe Fan.  They came from Tommie Frazier – one of the greatest players in college football history.  Quarterback of the 1994 and 1995 National Championship teams.  Heisman Trophy runner-up*.  College Football Hall of Famer.  Short of Tom Osborne, there are not too many people who would get a similar reaction with these remarks.

*That still hurts to type.  Tommie was robbed.  You know it.  I know it.  Eddie George knows it.

To make matters worse, Tommie’s remarks came on the same day he was honored at halftime for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Today in his weekly press conference, Bo Pelini was asked to respond to Frazier’s tweet.  Pelini said he had not seen the tweet, but was aware of it.  Here is his response:

“We have a staff, players and administration — everybody here — who’s busting their butt to do everything we can to win football games and to do everything we can for student-athletes. Since I came back here, I’ve embraced the former players, and if he feels like that, so be it. We don’t need him. That’s a shame. Until you’ve sat in this seat — until you’ve sat and done it — anybody can have an opinion. Anybody can do that. It’s easy to point fingers and stand outside and throw stones. I take it for what it is.”

Ouch.  This is one of those classic situations where nobody is right and everybody is wrong.  Let’s start with Bo.

Obviously, the money quote:  “if he feels like that, so be it.  We don’t need him” is what sticks out from Pelini’s response, and it will soon join “gravitate towards mediocrity” in the pantheon of ugly Husker quotes.

In print (or pixels) it looks horrible:  a hot-head coach coming off of another blowout loss disrespecting a legendary player.  But, the words don’t tell the whole story.

Watch Bo saying the full quote.  You’ll notice that he certainly appears to be speaking off the cuff, and in my opinion, looks to be searching for the right words to say.  You’ll also notice a lot of pauses, “um”s, and “you know”s in those 60 seconds.  His tone and body language is submissive and dismissive; not combative.  Reading those words, it is easy to picture Angry Bo spewing spittle, but the video tells a different story.

But regardless of tone, Bo made a big blunder today.  He was unprepared.

Surely Bo (or somebody within the University’s media relations team) should have known a question about Frazier’s tweet would come.  Of course it would.  The media might not lead with it, but everybody knew it was going to come up.

This is complicated by the fact that Bo is not an eloquent speaker.  His stammering, pausing response was awkward on its own before he dropped the “we don’t need him” bomb.  And that is a failure on Bo’s part.  He needed to be ready for the question, and have a prepared, diplomatic response teed up.  I’ll let Pelini’s critics do what they will with another documented case of failing to be prepared.

I truly believe “we don’t need him” was not what Bo intended to say.  But since he was unprepared and shooting from the hip, that is what we got.  That is on Bo.

My hope is that Bo’s words are not taken as a blanket statement that past players aren’t welcome, or that negative opinions should not be shared.  We saw enough of that garbage during the Pedersen/Callahan regime, and nobody wants to go back to that time.

But Tommie Frazier is not above criticism in this matter.

First off, Tommie Frazier has every right to say or tweet whatever he feels, whenever he wants.  Period.

And yet…he also needs to consider the power the name “Tommie Frazier” has, and how negative comments about the program – even those that could be considered reactionary just a few hours after an ugly loss – may impact his reputation and legacy.

My guess is Tommie Frazier wants to be remembered as one of the greatest players in college football history, not as an all-time great who trashed the coaching staff of his alma mater on social media.  As great as Frazier was, he is fortunate to have played in an era before social media*.

*Although one wonders what Jerry Tagge might have tweeted after the 1992 loss at Iowa State…

Does Tommie’s name and legacy mean that he shouldn’t be vocal with his opinion?  Absolutely not.  But Frazier needs to have both the knowledge and responsibility to understand that his words carry much more weight than almost all former players or coaches.  When is outspoken like this, it gets noticed. Nationally.  For someone who “fought, bled, and cried” over the program, there is a lot of opportunity to do damage of your own.

I’ve seen some folks implying that Frazier’s bold words were intended solely to promote his weekly analysis web-cast.   The last two sentences of his original tweet (“I will comment about the offense this week on Tommie’s X’s and O’s. Trust me you don’t want to miss it.”) could certainly make that point, but I don’t buy it.  One of the things Frazier is revered for is his competitive spirit and will to win.  While he wouldn’t be the first person to take a strong opinion to drive web traffic (*ahem*), I do not believe that was Frazier’s motivation.  If it is, then I’d direct Mr. Frazier to the previous paragraph.

I also disagree with the notion that Frazier shouldn’t weigh in on Nebraska’s coaches because of his own coaching career (fired as an assistant at Baylor; 3-17 as head coach as NAIA Doane College).  Yes, by many accounts, Tommie was a lousy coach, but that doesn’t take away his right to an opinion.  Let’s face it:  if a strong coaching resume was a prerequisite for criticizing football coaches, thousands of message boards, media outlets, and blogs (*ahem*) would be out of business.

So how should have this whole thing have been handled?

In a perfect world,  Pelini and Frazier handle it offline.  Bo and the football operations staff need to appreciate how big of a shadow Tommie Frazier casts in this state.  Every week, there are still hundreds of #15 jerseys in the stands – and those people didn’t buy them because of Steve Octavien, Beau Davis, Willie Miller, or any of the other guys to wear #15 in the last 20 years.

Over the weekend, Bo should have talked to Tommie (or at least reached out) to address Tommie’s concerns privately.  Then, during the weekly press conference, say something to the effect of this:

“Given his stature within our program’s history, I have personally reached out to Tommie to discuss his concerns regarding our performance on Saturday, as well as the program’s direction.  We agree Saturday’s game did not turn out in a way that either of us wanted, and nobody has lost more sleep over that than me.  I respect Tommie Frazier as a player, as a member of the Nebraska Football family, and especially as a person.  However, I will not make coaching or personnel decisions based upon input from those outside of our day-to-day operations.”

Tommie gets his concern addressed.  Pelini shows respect for a Husker legend, addresses the issue, but firmly states that he’s in control.

Tommie has responded to Pelini with the following:  “He’s right, he doesn’t need me. I’m not the answer but he needs someone to help define success for this program. Nebraska fans deserve more.”

I hope this is the end of it – that Pelini and his team go into the their bunker and try to fix their weaknesses before conference play begins, and Frazier continues to do what he does, albeit with some increased tension between him and the program.

I definitely hope we can avoid this from skidding into a worst case scenario:  An increasingly ugly war of words via social media that leads to Tommie Frazier becoming the de facto face of the Fire Pelini contingent.  Former players, alumni, and fans become alienated, creating tension that further splits a divided fan base, while tarnishing the reputation of one of the greatest players in school history.

Super Ads II

Last year, I reviewed all of the Super Bowl commercials, and I’m going to do it again.  I’m going to review and rate each of the commercials in the Super Bowl.  I watched the game in real-time (or as close to it as one can get with a wife and three-year old daughter who went to bed somewhere in the 3rd Quarter), compiling notes as I went.  After the game, I went back, using the magic of DVR technology, and took a second, third, and sometimes fourth look.

Let’s get to it…(note – the names of the ads are my own, since I didn’t feel like looking up the names for 50 some ads.  Also, I didn’t link to any of them.  They are all on YouTube if you need to see them again).


Thought of the Day – 7/9/2012

My Twitter feed* informs me that former Nebraska Basketball players Aleks Maric and Ade Dagunduro will be representing their countries (Australia and Nigeria, respectively) in the 2012 Olympic Games.

*Yes kids it is true – you too can follow @FeitCanWrite to receive instant notification of new Feit Can Write posts.  #ShamelessPlug 

Which leads me to this scary revelation:

  • Lowly Nebraska basketball (zero NCAA tournament wins) will have twice as many Olympic basketball players as legendary hoops powerhouse Kansas (Sasha Kaun*, Russia).

*The name Sasha Kaun still makes me think of Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You”.  #HowMyWeirdMindWorks  #ContinuingTheTwitterHashtagTheme

As I try to digest that fact, I’m starting to think this is less suited for “Thought of the Day” and more apt for Sports Illustrated’s “Sign of the Apocalypse”.

The only thing that would be scarier is if American Football was an Olympic sport and more Kansas Jayhawks made teams than Nebraska Cornhuskers.

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