OK, I’m a little late with this one (originally published 15 Nov). Anyway, anyone who has seen old NFL Films clips from the 60s and 70s has probably seen clips of Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi coaching games. One of the first things that crosses my mind when I see them is why coaches never dress in suits anymore. Basketball coaches dress to the nines at games, so why not pro football coaches? It ends up that the NFL signed a deal with Reebok in 1993 to make them the only provider of clothing to coaches for game day. Please raise your hand if you’ve ever seen a Reebok suit in your local sports retailer. What? No one raised their hand? That would be because Reebok does not make suits. That is, until a few weeks ago, when they provided them to Jack Del Rio of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Mike Nolan of the San Francisco 49ers for a test drive. I guess that I was not the only one hoping to see coaches in suits again. And guess what? Both coaches won their games! I bet it was their professional look that intimidated the opposing teams. I just hopes that this leads to suits again becoming acceptable on the sidelines, because hoodies and pullovers just look like crap (especially you, Bill Belichick).
Now, on to political correctness gone overboard. The athletics director of Dartmouth University has preemptively apologized to the student body for scheduling a game against the University of North Dakota (UND). Why would you ever apologize for scheduling a game, you wonder? In this case, it is because the AD thinks that the mascot of UND, the Fighting Sioux, is "offensive and wrong". He went on to say, "I must offer a sincere apology to the Native American community, and the Dartmouth community as a whole, for an event that will understandably offend and hurt people within our community." Honestly, what is offensive and wrong about calling yourself the Fighting Sioux? I could see how Redskins could get that billing, since it is an (old) slur against Native Americans. How do you suddenly become offensive and wrong by naming yourself after an actual tribe? They don’t even have a stereotyped mascot like the Cleveland Indians. (Check out www.fightingsioux.com for a look at their logo.) I think that the NCAA needs to stop their witch hunt of hunting down schools with Native American mascots, regardless of how they are presented, and forcing those schools to change. Also, someone tell that hippie, aka the AD of Dartmouth, that you only apologize for scheduling a team when you’re a D-III school and you scheduled a D-IA school by mistake. Other than that, let the schools and their athletic departments and traditions be.
Lastly, from the It’s About Time category: Ever buy a phone from one provider, discover that you really like it, then, when you change providers, find out that your old provider will not let you take the phone with you or that your new provider will not let you use your old phone? That situation should be quickly changing thanks to new copyright rules enacted by the Library of Congress. Among these new rules are the right of the consumer to take a handset (ie, cell phone) to a new provider (assuming that your new network supports your old handset; ie, a CDMA phone still won’t work on a GSM network). Also, film professors are now allowed to make compilation works from DVDs. This had been illegal, thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which forbade circumventing copy protection, which is present on all DVDs, and is necessary to break if one wants to get an excerpt of the film.