February 23 - March 1, 1995


Moron's Lament

By Tom Danehy

MY NAME'S TOM and I cover the moron beat--television, radio and sports. Me love all three, but lately things are getting a little bit stupid, even for my taste. For example:

• It's high school basketball playoff time here in Arizona and the Arizona Interscholastic Association is showing off its collective negative IQ again. Much of the state playoffs was put on some bizarre, squeezed-together schedule designed to allow the championships to be played in the America West Arena in Downtown Phoenix on a Saturday afternoon.

The AIA wants Class 4A teams to play pressure-packed playoff games on four (and sometimes even five) consecutive nights. It's ridiculous and unfair to the teams that have made it to State.

The lucky few that make it to America West are subjected to a schedule apparently written by the military. The Iraqi military.

I would like to think that these people are thinking that time and pressure is what turns coal into diamonds, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that it's their nod of appreciation to Mussolini's making the trains run on time.

Consider the case of Paradise Valley High School. The boys had to play a special (pigtail) playoff game at Goldwater High on Tuesday night; and then make the trip to Page (up past the Grand Canyon, by the Utah state line) the following night for an 8 p.m. game.

After winning that, they returned home around 5 a.m. and the guys had to go to school in order to be eligible to play in that night's playoff game against Sabino. Somehow, Paradise Valley managed to win all three games, but they still faced two more games in less than 20 hours in their quest for the state title.

It's not worth subjecting all those teams to ridiculous schedules just so the championships can be squeezed into America West around the schedule of the Phoenix Suns. Use the UA or ASU arenas; or put it all up at at NAU in Flagstaff, like they do with the Class 3A Tournament. Whatever they do, they should spread it out and allow some excitement to build in the home towns and neighborhoods of the advancing teams.

• On TV a couple weeks back, ABC ran a news special on the differences between men and women. It almost had a lighthearted touch to it, but it made its point with serious scientific studies and, for the most part, reasonable dialogue back and forth. But there were exceptions.

First of all, if there is anybody out there who genuinely believes that men and women think alike, please don't ever get a job where you handle heavy machinery and/or sharp instruments. Men and women don't think alike. That doesn't mean one thinks better than the other; they're just different. New research involving MRI technology shows that even the thought processes in the brain are markedly different.

But two prominent women made complete asses of themselves on the program when they not only disagreed with the scientific research, they said that such research shouldn't even be done. Lawyer Gloria Allred said that there should be a ban on research into gender differences. Gloria Steinem agreed with that and then went one giant stupid step further.

When asked if she would rather be rescued from a burning building by a large fully-qualified male firefighter or a petite female firefighter who got her job due to relaxed entrance requirements, Steinem, with a straight face, said that she would prefer to be dragged down the steps by her ankles by the woman to being carried down by the man. Her reasoning: "There is less smoke down by the stairs."

I generally like Gloria Steinem, but she's seriously full of shit here.

• Finally, on radio, the best stupidity can be heard on KTUC-AM. It's so bad it almost makes me feel sorry for John C. Scott. Almost.

Scott has the unenviable task of filling in during the breaks in the live coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial testimony. He got so many weird calls protesting his claim that Simpson is clearly guilty that he had KTUC put up $500 for anyone who could convince him that there was a logical alternative explanation for the double murders.

Well, let me tell you, there are some strange people in this community, besides all the ones who think it was the Mafia, drug dealers and the LAPD who committed the crimes. One thinks that Nicole Brown's sister Denise did it, because she wanted O.J. for herself. Another thinks that Al Cowlings did it. Or Marcus Allen. Or Simpson friend Ron Shipp.

Hey, maybe Robert Shapiro and Johnny Cochran did it to drum up business. Get a grip!

My favorite was the woman who thinks that Simpson got dinged on the head so many times playing football that he created a second personality where he could go hide in times of stress, like some abuse victims do. So O.J. didn't do it; the evil O.J. did it.

Well that certainly makes sense.

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February 23 - March 1, 1995

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