Odds And Ends

Notes From The Dawn Of A New Millennium -- Which Doesn't Really Start Until 2001, By The Way.

THINGS YOU MIGHT have missed due to the Tryptophan epidemic a couple weeks back:

Before the season started, I predicted that the UA football team would go 12-0. They ended up 6-6. That makes me half-right, doesn't it?

LAST WEEKEND'S DAVIS Cup Finals (to determine the world championship of men's tennis) pitted France against Australia. What the hell?! Did all the other countries forfeit?

SABINO MET DESERT Vista in the Class 5A state semi-finals last Friday in a matchup of two of the least-popular football programs in the West. After it was over, just about every football fan in Arizona (including us) was glad that Tucson's unpopular team had beaten Phoenix's reeeeally unpopular team (see below).

With the Sabercats reaching the state championship game tomorrow, perhaps it might nudge the idiots in the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) to rethink their blatantly unfair football playoff system. The AIA pretty much follows an agenda of "screw Tucson whenever possible." Toward that end, a few years back they abandoned the playoff format which called for two or three teams from each conference to advance to the state playoffs and replaced it with one which, for a variety of arcane reasons, greatly favors Phoenix schools.

For the past four years, apparently acting on the incorrect assumption that the South is inherently weak, the 5A-South has sent only one team to the state playoffs, while some Phoenix-area conferences have sent three and even four teams. And yet, this is the third year in the past four that the lone 5A-South representative reached at least the Final Four, and the second time in three years that a Tucson team will be in the state finals.

Maybe the AIA can fix this inequity, either by expanding the playoffs or giving each of the eight conferences two playoff teams each. Of course, that would only be fair.

AFTER BACKING AWAY from the furor during the Pageant week, Miss America officials have quietly reinstated their new rules, the ones which basically say there are no rules. Contestants can now be divorced, have children, and have drug records.

Any contest which Madonna is eligible to win isn't worth entering.

Plus, I want Vanessa Williams' crown reinstated. All she did was pose for some dirty pictures.

NOVEMBER 19, 1999, was the last date to consist of all odd digits (11/19/99) for a long, long time. When will the next one be? (Note to home-schoolers: Zero is not an odd number.)

IN THE QUARTERFINALS of the state 5A football playoffs, defending state champion Desert Vista led its opponent, Red Mountain, 17-0, with five seconds left in the game and the ball deep in Red Mountain territory.

Desert Vista called timeout, then went out and threw a touchdown pass as the gun sounded. The abominable display of poor sportsmanship almost started a riot in the post-game handshake line.

Desert Vista head coach Jim Rattay was roundly blasted in the papers and on radio call-in shows last week, much to his astonishment. His explanation? He didn't know how much time was left.

How can anyone coach a team to 24 straight victories and a top-five ranking in the nation and not be able to tell time? Plus, the high-end Yuppie football factory has about 18 coaches on the sideline. Perhaps one of them might have mentioned decorum to Rattay.

The head coach hung up in anger on one show when it was suggested that he was trying to see to it that the quarterback (who just happens to be his son) breaks the state record for career TD passes. Rattay denies it, then adds, "Besides, I didn't even call time out. It was (my son) who called it because two men were in motion."

Which prompts a couple other questions:

1. Why was the first string still on the field with five seconds left in the game? and;

2. Why would players be in motion when your team should have been running a dive or just taking a knee?

According to many accounts, Rattay is one of those coaches who will scream, cuss and even use racial invective on the sidelines during a game, and then afterwards go up to opposing players and say, "Jesus loves you."

What an asshole.

BEST TV LINE of the season (on The X-Files):

Scully: Anyway, the new millennium doesn't begin until January 1, 2001.

Mulder: Come on, Scully. Nobody likes a math geek.

And then they kissed, and it wasn't a dream sequence, nor was he under alien influence.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT and The History Channel ran a list of the Top 100 Most Influential People of the last 1,000 years. My pick for number one, Isaac Newton, came up second on their list, followed by Martin Luther, Charles Darwin, and Shakespeare.

Their number one was Johannes Gutenburg. If I have to tell you who that was, you should be reading the Star. They have lots of neat pictures.