Equi-Noxious Fumes

The Weather May Be Changing, But Danehy Stays The Same.

We stand today at the equinox, when the winds shift and the temperatures dip into the uncharted territory of double digits. Our thoughts, too, drift away from mundane chores like toweling off every few minutes to far more important things like ...

· Is it just me or does Suzanne Somers look way better today than she did 25 years ago?

· Thank God we Catholics aren't always considered Christians. There's a really disturbing trend (or maybe it's just a fad) throughout the Bible Belt where pushy Christians are saying "Screw you" to that invasive Constitution thang and prayin' to the Low-erd before high-school football games. The Supreme Court has ruled that it's a no-no, but these people only follow the law when it helps them keep their neighborhoods white and stuff like that.

You've got ignorant kids grabbing microphones and screaming a prayer into it and then thinking that makes them some kind of martyr. Like God gives a crap about who wins a football game.

And don't give me this bull about their praying for the safety of everyone involved. It's football! If the guys want to be safe, they can join cross country. Again, God doesn't have time for nonsense. He's got to know that if a dude is wearing pads and a helmet, he has volunteered to play the game. Let that kid pray on an individual basis or even with the team, behind closed doors, voluntarily. Don't turn the wonderful tradition of high-school football into some constitutional showdown.

Besides, where I come from, piety is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. To me, standing up in front of a crowd and breaking the law by reciting the Lord's Prayer certainly qualifies as piety.

Anyway, you just know that half of those good Christians are praying something like, "Oh Lord, let us have a good game tonight. Make sure we win and cover the point spread. And protect our boys from harm. Even the black ones."

· The time has come to think of many things. This apparently leaves George W. Bush out. You know you're in trouble when the highlight of the past month of campaigning is a cuss word inadvertently muttered into an open mike.

Who'da' thunk it? Two months ago Bush was in cruise control. The GOP was about to stage that minstrel show they called a convention and Bush looked like a lock. Even Newt Gingrich was thinking, "Hey, after I clean up this mess with wife No. 3 and Mistress No. 4--or is it Wife No. 4 and Liposuction No. 7?--I could get myself back in the middle of things."

Now all of a sudden Al Gore's in the driver's seat. He macks his wife on national TV and he's instantly The Man. Heck, if he'da' slipped Tipper some tongue, he could have gone fishing until Election Day. But it goes beyond that. He's kicking Bush's ass all over the place. He appears more presidential on the stump, he looks waaay more comfortable than Bush in those photo ops in classrooms (big surprise!), and he's hammering Bush on the issues.

This thing might not even be close by November. The only way Gore could screw it up would be to lose to Bush in the debates. Yeah, that's really going to happen, what with Bush's vocabulary being in the high 200s. Well, low 300s if you count all of his variations on "Uh."

· Amphi High held a wonderful event last weekend. Football players from the past attended Friday's game against Sunnyside, then took part in a fund-raising golf tournament the next day. They had one guy there from Amphi's first-ever football team, the 1939 six-man squad. Seventeen players from the 1951 team showed up, as did hundreds of other players from over the years.

The best football program in the state over the past quarter-century under coach Vern Friedli, Amphi has turned out some great talents. Michael Bates is an Olympic medal winner and an All-Pro player in the NFL. On the other hand, his brother Mario is a knucklehead who blew a cushy assignment with the Phoenix Cardinals and ended up in Detroit. (Mario's entire career is like the Steve Martin book How I Turned $1 Million In Real Estate Into $100 Cash.)

Jon Volpe starred at Stanford and in the Canadian Football League and is now a rising star in the Tucson business scene. And Riki Gray (now Ellison) starred at USC and for the San Francisco 49ers, and is now like King of New Zealand or something.

Speaking of Vern Friedli, now that Bob Smith is no longer superintendent of the Amphi School District, isn't it about time to name Amphi's football stadium for the legendary coach Friedli? Former Canyon Del Oro football coach Smith, who had this wild hair up his prodigious butt because Friedli had always whupped him like he was his daddy, used to spout some nonsense about not naming things for people who were still on the payroll.

Where is that written down? It's long past the time for the honor. I think Smith thought it was traditional to wait for someone to die before honoring him; I've never understood that one myself. Besides, if you've seen Vern Friedli, that dude ain't gonna die for another 50 or 60 years. By then, the Green Party will be in power and football will have been banned. On Friday nights high schoolers will have to gather and play Earth ball.

So, how 'bout it, Superintendent Balentine? If anyone is deserving of an honor, it is he. Plus, how many times will you get the chance to do the right thing and piss off CDO people at the same time?

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