Sunday, March 13, 2011

March Madness, dual champs, criminal hit, and reverse commuting woes

It is here, ladies and gentlemen:  March Madness, when men's college basketball goes viral in every nook and cranny of these United States and illegal gambling, i.e. office pools, flourish.  The committee met in Indianapolis and they looked at head-to-head factors, performance factors, and playing factors and, long story short, Michigan State University, headed by Tom Izzo who is going for the 14th time, is IN and will play UCLA on Thursday in Tampa.  Ohio State, number one in the country, of course got in and, yeah, the University of Michigan but I don't care about them.  Go Spartans; go green; go white.

I have been so bold as to register for a NCAA basketball beat-the-sportscaster contest.  Stay tuned to see how sensationally bad picks can be.


The Chicago Bulls are headed to the playoffs and Derek Rose could get his first MVP award.  The Chicago Blackhawks are now in fourth place and could be heading to the playoffs, too.  The ultimate in excitement would be if the Hawks and the Bulls win their respective championships the same year.  The city would be nuts and I would be quite giddy.  To make one even giddier:  it could happen!

Air Canada is a major sponsor of the NHL but after a major hit on a Montreal Canadiens player, they are urging the league to cut down on violence in professional hockey.  A criminal investigation was begun over this same hit which resulted in a concussion and a fractured vertebra.  A hit like that is what scientists at Boston University are trying to prove is a root cause of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).  Air Canada is a huge international carrier whose sponsorship would be sorely missed.

Read the NY Times article:


It has been well documented by me that I work in a train station in downtown Chicago and daily face a reverse commute into the face of those trying to get to work and then get home.  Because the city is rebuilding part of North/South Wacker Drive, the buses have been rerouted and those of us who take a bus or walk going east have been forced to come face to face with people walking five or six across as we try to exit the same building they want to enter or walking five or six abreast on the Madison Bridge as they approach the bridge.  On Thursday, there were quite a few older people -- dressed nicely and walking more slowly or with canes -- mixed into the crowd being every bit as aggressive as the regular crew of commuters.  I'd never imagined that walking aggression could come in a slower moving package that is supported by a cane, but new things happen constantly.  What the heck, we wondered, and who are they?  It's not Christmas so they are not shoppers.  When we stepped outside and there was a positive gaggle of more of the same, I said, "Matinee at the opera."  Sure enough, a few were brandishing their Lyric Opera playbills.  This forced me to reassess.  It seems the Blackhawks fans are the most polite ones.  They let us leave the building (of course, they are leaving the building, too) and they don't walk six abreast in the middle of a wide corridor.  That the opera-goers were so aggressive was a revelation; they are hyperfocused on getting a train and you best not be getting in their way either.  So opera fans and others, please note:  we just want to get home, too.  We are not there for your inconvenience but, rather, because it is the quickest route home for us, just like walking five abreast is for you.

Try an experiment.  As you walk with great purpose to the train, turn around and walk back into the throng.  You'll see how we feel.    When transmogrification is invented, this will no longer be a problem.  Inventors!  Get busy!


  1. I have discussed teleportation repeatedly with Professor X, yet none is forthcoming. Whyyyyy?????

    I also love when the groups of five go through the turnstiles, then immediately come to a full and complete halt and strike up a conversation. How do I address this? Depends on my mood. Sometimes a deep scowl and walking straight on, without eye contact, is sufficient for me.

    Also, go GREEN! go WHITE!

  2. Thanks for your comments.

    In our office, shouting, "EXCUSE ME!" in a loud and snotty tone is preferred by the more vociferous. One of the more timid people once actually put her hands at mouth level, stuck out her elbows, put a scowl on her face, and made her entry onto the Madison Bridge going east at rush hour. This pleased her very much and gave her confidence. I have my unpleasant personality to bolster mine.

    And hell yeah go green and go white!