CAWTHON'S CATHARSIS - If It’s All in a Name, Don’t Ever Name a Boy ‘Jackie’ or ‘Sue’


By Jack Cawthon 2006

Scientists have begun mapping regions of the brain with MRIs with surprising results. In some people a particular region doesn’t glow as brightly with “pleasure chemicals” as in those who appear normal. However, these regions of the brain will light up with the ingesting of alcohol, or even food, which seems to indicate the tendency towards alcoholism or even obesity as an addiction. (Perhaps this makes a truth of someone being “lit.”)

Bear with me, as that paragraph serves only to prepare you for what is to follow, and I promise not to bore you with a science lesson, or, for that matter, even facts.

I have long suspected that there is a region of my brain that may be lacking. Well, maybe three or six. But the one in particular that processes sports in a normal manner seems to lack a certain glow.

This may explain why I was never able to participate in sports and couldn’t follow the thinking of the coach or the team.

This condition has become more evident over the years as I have tried to become a spectator, especially in football. At the moment, the university in Morgantown is on a winning streak. I listened to the last game on radio, as radio allows far wider latitude of brain function than does television, as one must project mental pictures of the action.

One of the commentators is named Hoppy. And a guy named Tony does the play by play. To my way of thinking, which I have already determined isn’t normal, is this any pair of wimpy names that should be associated with football? As you can see, I was so absorbed with the people doing the broadcast that I was sidetracked in following the action on the field. (The opposing team seemed to have the same trouble.)

I blame the problem on my parents, not so much that they produced me, which could well have been the root problem, but that they named me “Jackie.” No boy should ever be named Jackie, or for that matter Sue.

Early on I detected the problem and immediately dropped the “ie” and added a “y.” But by that time it was too little, too late.

Seeing as to how Hoppy and Tony have made it to the big time, I may have progressed along similar lines known simply as Jackie. I doubt, however, that the late great Jack Fleming would have gone quite so far known as “Jackie” Fleming.

Along with Hoppy and Tony was a coach, whose name I didn’t get, but can bet he didn’t have a wimpy name as coaches still have a reputation, other than winning to maintain, unless, of course, you are an old geezer called “Papa.” (Bruno would be a great coach name, if any of you prospective parents need a suggestion.) Tony asked the coach what he would do if he were in the situation of being behind 28 to naught before the first quarter had ended. Here is where the coach and I digressed, admitting, again, that my region of the brain is in default. The coach explained plays he might run. My inclination would have been to remove my team from the field, board the bus, and declare we had left the field with honor, much as the as we did in Vietnam by retreating with honor.

This led me to a sudden revelation. George Junior Bush has the mentality of a coach! He speaks in much the same fashion: “Stay the course; complete the mission” even though we are getting the bejeebers beaten out of us.

Sports language is far different from normal speech. How many times lately have you heard that the football game was “physical”? Duh, my dull region dims even further. Isn’t football supposed to be physical? Why not call a game won by passing a “passive” game? You can see quite well, where I am a failure. If only I could have understood the language and methods I might have played the game, or perhaps more suitably, become a commentator. At least, it might have prevented getting beaten up so much just by attending classes.

While we are on the subject of names, how about a coach who is named “Rich”? What foresight his parents had! What was assumed to be a proper name turned out to be an adjective, as he has now joined the million-dollar payroll. (His payroll isn’t to be considered The Payroll I was enrolled on.)

If we continue with my illogical thinking, why would a big university, like the one in Morgantown, stoop to play a little school far out of its league, where the students never burn couches in the street, destroy part of the town in winning jubilation, or achieve any sort of national ranking as a party school? To play them is belying a long cherished tradition and is only lowering oneself to their level.

I never dreamed there was an Eastern Washington University, which would imply a western one. If my theory of conspiracies holds up, this is a correspondence school established only to fill in schedules when the good team backs down. I have my doubts that we were playing the UNIVERSITY of Maryland. (Some of my usually unreliable sources tell me that this was the Maryland Pentecostal Institute in disguise and the plot almost unraveled during that first quarter and was only saved by the calling of massive penalties by the officials, keeping the game from becoming too far out of bounds, so to speak)

I intend to write a future column concerning conspiracies and how all of life is built upon them. For now, just say you read it first here in the Herald, that there is a conspiracy afoot to see a certain nearby university team advance as far as the Super Bowl.

Hur Herald ®from Sunny Cal
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