31 MAR 05: US VS. THEM
This weekend Port Columbus will mark the 140th anniversary of the "Battle of Columbus." If only we had known how the hockey playoffs would go, the museum could have saved money and called this off....
The Southern Professional Hockey League finals begin tonight, with the Columbus Cottonmouths facing the arch-rival Macon Trax. If those guys in Macon were real men, they'd head down U.S. 80, meet our team at the Talbot-Crawford County line and get the fighting penalties out of the way right now.
The Cottonmouths finished fifth during the S.P.H.L. season, but they're on a hot streak now and are undefeated in the playoffs. We really shouldn't be surprised by this - since "Snakes" always seem to thrive better in warmer weather.
Cottonmouths Coach Jerome Bechard admits he never expected the Columbus-Macon rivalry to reach the S.P.H.L. finals. But it only makes sense this year - since few expected the major-league hockey players to have no playoffs at all.
But one concern about the best-of-three final round is that Macon shut out Columbus twice in a row, to end the regular season. To block out those bad memories, we suggest the Cottonmouths team bus avoid Macon's "Pio No-no Drive."
The Cottonmouths have organized a special "fan bus" to travel to Macon for tonight's opening game of the finals. Some of us would be happy if the team made a special deal, so the game was on a radio station Columbus residents actually can hear.
Since this final round is between arch-rivals, we can't help jumping on the bandwagon. Have you noticed all the ways besides hockey in which Columbus is better than Macon?
+ The Cottonmouth is a real creature. The Trax is - well, what IS a Trax? Some discount supermarket's look-alike cereal?
+ If something goes wrong with the Cottonmouth, Columbus can call in the AFLAC duck as a backup.
+ Columbus has a Civic Center. Macon can't decide what it has. Is it a Coliseum, a Centreplex or what?
+ Macon has an Idle Hour golf course. The Columbus area's "Idle Hour Park" lets you do a lot more stuff.
+ Macon has a Confederate Museum which includes "Cannonball House." We have Port Columbus, which can fire dozens of cannonballs at a time.
+ Columbus State University's basketball teams make the NCAA playoffs all the time. Macon's Mercer University went 23-6 two years ago, and wasn't even chosen for the N.I.T. [True!]
+ Macon has one of those shopping malls with "Colonial" in its name. Columbus leaves cookie-cutter things like that for Auburn.
+ Columbus TV stations fire news directors who practice pregnancy discrimination. Macon TV stations then hire them.
+ Columbus found a replacement baseball team when the RedStixx left town. Macon lost an Atlanta baseball affiliate -- and may be trying to form a league with Americus.
(BLOG-BLAH-BLAH: Are there other ways in which Columbus is better than Macon? Write us with ideas, and we'll add them to the list.)
BLOG UPDATE: Columbus civil rights leaders raised the stakes in the Kenneth Walker case Wednesday, by calling for a boycott of Riverfest. Or better put, they want you to stay home and grill your own steaks....
Columbus NAACP President Bill Madison urged everyone to stay away from "the Salisbury Fair in every manner possible." How about we stay one block away - and have a party on First Avenue, on the lawn of the NAACP office?
Bill Madison says you should stay away from Riverfest "out of respect for Kenneth Walker's family...." If you didn't know better, you'd think Walker was stopped by Muscogee County Sheriff's deputies for taking too many rides at a carnival.
"We wish that the vendors would not come," Bill Madison said at a news conference. He'll be joined in that viewpoint by countless dieticians, who want to see low-fat funnel cakes on midways.
WRBL reported civil rights groups plan to stage pickets at Riverfest. Well, why stop there? There'll be high fencing all around the grounds on Broadway - so climb over the fence with crosses, like the SOA Watch protesters do.
The call to boycott Riverfest apparently was sparked by the postponement of a scheduled court hearing today, on the grand jury examination of the Kenneth Walker case. State NAACP official Ed DuBose complained: "Two days before court, again we've been stalled." He has a point -- since Terri Schiavo's parents are getting much faster service than this.
The Georgia Attorney General's office apparently called a judge Tuesday, and persuaded him to have today's hearing postponed until April 20. Take that, Ken Nugent - you're not the only one with the power of "one call, that's all."
When the Kenneth Walker "days of abstinence" were announced by civil rights leaders, we noted they were scheduled for the weekend after Riverfest [20 Feb]. Now the protest season has moved up to include Riverfest itself - depriving countless protesters of a great way to fill their bodies with food before they starve.
So what do you do if you don't want to upset picketers, or you're boycotting Riverfest? For one thing, April 23 is the date of Auburn's annual CityFest - and since it's not on the university campus, you don't have to worry about that other racial boycott.
And as it happens, the church congregation I attend will be not far from Riverfest on Saturday, April 23. We've reserved several tables at Bludau's on Broadway for an after-church dinner. Last time I checked, Bludau's didn't have cotton candy on the menu - so boycotting vendors can set up outside for our dessert.
E-MAIL UPDATE: Is a fan club building for a Columbus TV anchor? Yet another message about him reached us Wednesday:
Notice who's on the front page.... check the resume.... interesting huh?
Did you know that?
None other than WRBL's Blaine Stewart was on the front page of the TV news web site Wednesday. Well, at least he's not on the home page of "America's Most Wanted...."
Blaine Stewart was listed as "Today's Talent" at Medialine Wednesday - implying he's open to offers to work elsewhere. If he moves to another city, the population of Columbus may drop from all the groupies following him.
As for Blaine Stewart's resume - I'm assuming KC was pointing my attention to this part:
GROUPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Member, Nat'l Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association
Co-leader, Task force for smaller markets
After all, I'm sure other people have come here from Hattiesburg, Mississippi without anyone objecting....
No, I didn't know Blaine Stewart was a member of this association. But then again, I don't normally go up to TV reporters and ask if they belong to it. Perhaps some fiery Southern Baptist preachers might, but I don't.
Before you head for that "write me" link to complain - please note I am NOT "outing" Blaine Stewart. By posting a resume mentioning his membership in that group, Stewart MAY have outed himself. But then again, perhaps you can be a member of this group and be straight. Hopefully there's no (ahem) initiation test to determine this....
(How I long for the good old days my Pastor likes to talk about - when an "outing" meant a trip to the zoo.)
This development comes less than two weeks after another blog reader spotted Blaine Stewart in Orlando, in the audience of the morning TV show "The Daily Buzz" [21 Mar]. Now I'm wondering what else Stewart might have done there. For the time being, I'm going to assume it was NOT done with Amy Giuliano.
Blaine Stewart made a very different revelation Wednesday on "News 3 at 5." When Britney Spears heard her first song on the radio, HE was the radio D.J. in Louisiana who played it! Amazingly, rumors about both their love lives have been spreading far and wide ever since -- but not together.
Blaine Stewart recalled his radio station's staff years ago never expected Britney Spears to be a star. We know better now - so just because Stewart is "today's talent" doesn't mean he knows anything about tomorrow's talent.
LAUGHLINE FLASHBACK: During our years writing LaughLine for a national audience, we thought often of the late attorney Johnnie Cochran. Here's some of what we wrote about him:
13 Jan 00: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday in favor of Chicago police officers. They chased and detained a man who turned and ran away when a squad car rolled by. We can hear Johnnie Cochran's warning to clients now: "Run from a cop, and you're gonna be stopped!"
27 Sep 00: U.S. [Olympic] shot putter CJ Hunter denied Tuesday that he's used banned drugs.... And who should be in Sydney Tuesday to come to CJ Hunter's aide - but Johnny Cochran! "He flunked the test, but we're not going to rest!"
8 Jan 01: African-American leaders promise to hold protests during the Bush inauguration in two weeks. We suggest it include protests in the form of poetry. There's Maya Angelou, Johnnie Cochran, Snoop Dogg - who else wants to join?
2 Mar 01: "Puff Daddy" dared to take the stand in his own defense Thursday. [Sean] Combs claimed he did NOT take a weapon to that New York nightclub in November 1999.... His Puffiness had some moral support in the courtroom as he testified, as rapper "Heavy D" attended the trial. We thought hiring Johnnie Cochran as a defense lawyer was pretty "heavy D" already....
14 Mar 01: Prosecutors of "El Puff-Bo" tried to put together a string of "threes" for the jury. Three people were shot in the nightclub. Three guns were recovered. Three people are on trial. And Johnnie Cochran probably is charging three million dollars to be a defense lawyer.
9 Jun 01: The [ABC News 20/20] report "Tampering with Nature" examines warnings by environmental groups about things such as global warming. Some arents claim John Stossel asked their children misleading questions over and over. Why couldn't ABC find someone else to do this -- like Johnnie Cochran?
6 Oct 01: An interesting vote is planned today in Berkeley, California. The City Council will consider a resolution condemning the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan.... Supporters of the Berkeley resolution say the best way to gain justice for the deadly skyjackings is for the United Nations to sue Afghanistan, for harboring terrorists. Aw, c'mon - what good would THAT do? The Taliban would hire Johnnie Cochran, and the legal wrangling would go on for years.
24 Oct 01: O.J. Simpson faced more cross-examination Tuesday about his actions at a Miami intersection. He claimed police were "somewhat apologetic," saying the case was mostly about nothing. Or were they REALLY apologizing, because they feared Johnny Cochran would call them to the stand to admit all their secrets?
14 Nov 01: President Bush signed an executive order Tuesday that permits trials of some suspected terrorists in MILITARY court, before a special commission. Let's see Johnnie Cochran try one of his fancy poems on a row of Marine officers....
22 Nov 01: Attorney F. Lee Bailey was disbarred by Florida's Supreme Court Wednesday. You knew he was in trouble when he chose NOT to hire Johnnie Cochran to defend him....
12 Feb 02: Slobodan Milosevic plans to defend himself against genocide charges -- without using any attorneys. It's probably just as well. He's the sort of fellow who wouldn't laugh at Johnnie Cochran's poems, anyway.
25 Apr 02: Harland Braun admitted to "People" [Robert] Blake might have talked about killing his wife -- BUT added people in Hollywood exaggerate when they talk all the time.... Former prosecutor Marcia Clark openly scoffs at Harland Braun's explanation of Robert Blake's words. Clark told "Entertainment Tonight" it was the "Hollywood defense." Yeah, right - like SHE never told anyone she felt like tearing Johnnie Cochran limb from limb.
17 Jul 02: This could be a very blue Monday at the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. It was convicted over the weekend of one "obstruction of justice" charge. As Johnnie Cochran might put it - "Be careful what you shred, or your firm may be dead."
19 Jul 02: Zacharias Moussaoui has filed all sorts of motions with the federal court, some of which seem strange.... He's made references to the O.J. Simpson trial. There's an obvious reason why Johnnie Cochran hasn't taken this case - "Moussaoui" is awfully hard to rhyme.
22 Aug 02: Millions of jaws must have hit the floor Wednesday night, when Tamyra Gray was voted off "American Idol." If the producers still refuse to release vote counts, Gray can expect two phone calls today -- from Al Sharpton and Johnnie Cochran.
COMING FRIDAY: You had questions about a big Columbus event, so we tracked down answers....
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