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Andy Rooney: What's a Hokie? Where are my Teeth?

So nearly three full months ago, Notre Dame blogger The House That Rock Built submitted a fake Andy Rooney commentary on college football. The entire thing was quite funny, and it included the following line:

Some teams have nicknames. Some are Lions, some are Bears. Some are Nittanies or Bruins, which are just needlessly fancy ways of saying Lions and Bears.

And then just yesterday, Local Poll voter and all-around weirdo the ThighMaster alerted me to arguably Rooney's finest work, "A Closer Look at
The Names of Sports Teams," which I swear must be a parody that some blogger has managed to insert on CBS's Web site, with an Andy Rooney puppet, or possibly one of those guys from the Muppet Show, mouthing the words. There's no way. I mean, there's no way.

I was idly reading the sports pages the other day when I came on this headline: "Coyotes Rally To Beat Thrashers."

I couldn't remember what city the Coyotes represent and I never heard of the Thrashers. I read the whole story and found the Coyote were Phoenix but I still didn't know what game they were playing because the reporter never said.

The Coyotes won five to four so I knew it wasn't football. It could have been baseball or soccer but probably not in January so it had to be hockey.

In another paper, a story read "Latta, Pringle Lead The Way As Tar Heels Rout Hokies." Again there was no clue as to who the Hokies were or what game they were playing.

This has made my day to such an amazing degree. First of all, it turns out that this latter, most confusing headline actually came from my very own paper!!!!! I like to picture Andy Rooney idly reading The Washington Post's sports pages and trying to figure out what the hell a Hokie is. In my dream, his nursing aide is beckoned from preparing Andy's nightly mothball-and-sassafras rub to try to figure out what exactly Hokies are, and what sorts of games and diversions they engage themselves in. Eventually they figure out that these particular Hokies were actually women's basketball players, based on the following clues, which don't arrive until the first sentence:

Ivory Latta scored 24 points and LaToya Pringle added a career-high 22 last night....

After several additional hours of analysis, they figure out which educational institution these so-called Hokies represent, based on the following clues, which don't arrive until the second half of the first sentence:

...to lead No. 2 North Carolina past visiting Virginia Tech, 102-68.

"Women play basketball?" Andy Rooney asks in my dream? "But what happens if their petticoats become enmeshed in the cage?"

Plus there was this:

Some animals just don't lend themselves to being team nicknames: I can't think of any team named the elephants, the sheep, the goats, pigs or cows.

Years ago there was one well-known sports writer who refused to use team nicknames at all. He reminded me of my mother. She always called me Andrew.

Tune in next week, when Andrew takes on the issue of misspelled ABA team names. "The Richmond Ballerz? The Arkansas RiverCatz? Like so many other things, this league gives me a case of the zzz's."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 17, 2007; 2:54 PM ET
Categories:  College Football  
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