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Ruminations on Friday-night football, fifth- year eligibility and ... a deodorant commercial

Some things that simply must be said (and since no one else will, I'm going to have to):

· The University of Arizona opens its football season tomorrow night in a nationally televised game at Utah. I'm not going to watch it.

I'm a big fan of UA football, and I really think that Mike Stoops is going to take the program back to national prominence. I just think that no college football game should be played (let alone televised) on a Friday night during high school football season. It's a shameless act of greed that ends up hurting college football in the long run, and I'm not going to be any part of it.

Like most colleges, high school athletic departments depend on revenues taken in during football games. Parents of prep athletes get nickeled and dimed to death these days with participation fees and the like, and every dollar that the school can take in at the ticket booth helps. For a number of reasons, the Friday night high school game isn't the draw it was 20 years ago.

Costs are skyrocketing; revenues are dwindling; and some prep programs are on the brink of financial disaster. Colleges most certainly should not be a part of that problem.

We all know that the TV business is run by whores. And if you allow a whore to act like a whore, guess what? The whore's going to act like a whore. There is absolutely no good reason for a college football game to be played on a Friday night. And you can bet that if it weren't going to be televised, it wouldn't be played at that time. So the TV whores throw some money at the college whores, and pretty soon, we got us a ho'down. Athletic directors, squeezed for money, say yes, although I'm sure that some do so reluctantly.

It falls, then, to the coaches, who benefit the most from high school football and should be very protective of the sport. If all college football coaches got together and refused to have their teams play on Friday nights, I think we could put a stop to this nonsense real quickly.

So, good luck, Coach Stoops. But I'll be at Rincon watching Amphi coach Vern Friedli square off against his former Panther player and assistant coach Matt Johnson. I hope the Wildcats win, and I also hope that Arizona never again takes part in this selfish and destructive practice.

· Both local dailies have run articles recently on the efforts of former Salpointe Catholic football player Andrew Berryhill to play another season for the Lancers. Both the Star and the Citizen mentioned that he had attended other schools before showing up at Salpointe (which, oddly enough, had a strict no-transfer-in policy in effect at the time), but both papers missed the most important point: This is his fifth year of high school.

As documented here and elsewhere, when Berryhill was a freshman at Sahuaro High School in 2001, he got into an altercation with a teacher, who ended up getting a restraining order against Berryhill, who, in turn, ended up getting kicked out of school.

The next year (2002-03), Berryhill attended not one, but two, charter schools. The following year (2003), he showed up at Salpointe, where he has since made his mark on the football field. He's so good that he's been offered a scholarship to Arizona State, and good for him. What would not be good for him would to be granted another year of eligibility by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

His family has retained a lawyer and has petitioned the AIA for another year. If the AIA even thinks about giving this guy another year, they might as well close up shop and all go fishing, because their credibility will be at minus 273 degrees Celsius. Absolute zero.

It must be mentioned that the last time I wrote about young Mr. Berryhill, his mother sent me non-rhyming death poetry. My editor and I ended up having to meet with her in one of the most uncomfortable three-person situations since Churchill and FDR were forced to endure Stalin's horrible table manners at Yalta. I can't help but wonder if that's why the dailies are tiptoeing around this.

Anyway, if he has straightened himself out, that's great. If he gets the scholarship to ASU, all the better. If the AIA lets him play even one more down at Salpointe, shame on everyone involved--the player, the family, the coaches, the school, the lawyer(s) and the AIA.

· I was watching this commercial the other night and began to wonder. I'm guessing that the people who make national commercials must get paid tens, if not hundreds, of dollars for what they do. Shouldn't they be better at it?

The commercial is for Dove deodorant. It features a bunch of different women showing us their underarms. That's OK. (It would be horrible if it were made in France, but here, not so bad.) But at the end of the commercial, the voiceover comes on and says, "Dove deodorant. It puts back what shaving takes away."

Wouldn't that be ... HAIR?!

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