With the good comes the bad. It's this weird cosmic equalizer—like when you meet a really good-looking woman (good), and then she tells you that she was a cheerleader in high school (bad).
I've been noticing examples of this good/bad phenomenon more and more often. For example:
• It's GOOD that Kentucky didn't make it to the NCAA Final Four in men's basketball. I've hated Kentucky since I was a little kid. I remember sitting with a bunch of my friends watching on a small TV as Texas Western (now UTEP) took on mighty Kentucky in the 1966 NCAA championship. The TV was black-and-white, which was for the best, since Texas Western's lineup was all-black, and Kentucky's was all-white, including future legendary NBA coach Pat Riley.
We were all UCLA fans, since the Bruins had won back-to-back titles the previous two years. Even though it was less than a year after the Watts riots, my friends, of various ethnicities, openly rooted for UCLA. The Bruins had a mostly white lineup, led by All-American Gail Goodrich and fellow honkie Keith Erickson. But everybody appreciated the undersized Bruins' all-out style of play.
However, UCLA didn't make the NCAAs in 1966. Back then, only one school from each conference would go to the tournament (how quaint). Oregon State won the Pac-8 that year, because UCLA's best players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, were all freshmen and were ineligible, thanks to NCAA rules, to play varsity ball. (The next year, the Bruins would win the first of seven consecutive NCAA titles.)
But that night, it was Texas Western against Kentucky, and we were all instant fans of Bobby Joe Hill and David "Big Daddy D" Lattin.
A few years ago, producer Jerry Bruckheimer made Glory Road, a movie about that Texas Western team. It was mostly OK, but I hate the way they went all Disney by portraying Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp as just a curmudgeon and not the racist that he was.
Anyway, I still root against Kentucky, and I am very glad that the UA's only national title came over Kentucky.
The BAD thing is that, before being shown the door in the NCAAs this year, Kentucky beat Cornell. The Big Red had used hot shooting and confusing defensive looks to become the first Ivy League team to reach the Sweet 16 in more than 30 years. My daughter was giddy.
One more GOOD thing: I've got "exactly two years" in the How Long Before the NCAA Vacates Kentucky's Trip to the Tournament Under Coach John Calipari Pool.
• GOOD: Scrawny white guys with shaved heads who drive around in old Hondas with loud tailpipes while blasting rap music will almost certainly never reproduce. There isn't any scientific evidence behind this assertion; it's just an observation. I've never actually seen a live female in any of these cars. Ever.
BAD: Some might reproduce, although I'm not sure how. Maybe it's like in Jurassic Park.
• GOOD: I'm generally in favor of the earned income tax credit, which gives lower-income people a bit of an economic boost come tax time. Families with kids that fall under a certain income level can actually receive more from the government than they paid in withholding taxes. In most cases, it only amounts to a few hundred bucks, and the total cost of the program is a drop in the bucket compared to the tax breaks that the mega-rich receive.
BAD: The United Way keeps running these radio spots that refer to the earned income tax credit as a "refund." It's not a refund, and they should stop calling it a refund. If calling it a refund annoys somebody like me, imagine what it does to Jethro Tea Party.
• GOOD: During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on relocating Navy personnel to the U.S. territory island of Guam, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) said, "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."
The admiral being questioned by the committee deadpanned in response, "We don't anticipate that happening."
It's about time that somebody finally voiced those widely held but seldom-stated fears of island-tipping. The possibility exists that America faces an island-tipping gap!
BAD: Unfortunately, the news about Johnson voicing his concerns broke on April 1, so some people might conclude that he was just fooling.
• GOOD: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and the state Legislature finally agreed on something and took quick action.
BAD: The screaming hypocrites voted to waste the precious money of taxpayers (whom they claim to care about) to file a lawsuit against the federal government over the recently passed health-care-reform bill.
It doesn't matter that more than a dozen other states had already filed lawsuits, so it amounted to nothing more than bandwagon-jumping. Nor does it matter to them that the chances of said lawsuits succeeding—even with the stacked Roberts-Scalia-Alito Supreme Court—are slimmer than a book of Jan Brewer's memorable quotes.