Brewster: Anger Management

Brewster's back with his weekly column "A Wolfpacker's Perspective," and this week he discusses Talk Show Host Phil Donahue and Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese.

OKAY, WHAT THE HELL WAS N.C. STATE THINKING? What-the-HELL-was-N.C.State-thinking? And no, I'm not talking about expansion, that's nothing compared to this. I'm talking about inviting Phil Donahue to speak at last Saturday's commencement address for N.C. State graduates. Let that sink in for a moment. Phil. Donahue.

Phil Donahue? What, was Joe Bob Briggs busy? Was the guy who does TBS' Dinner and a Movie gig already booked? Phil Donahue? I'm ashamed. This guy has seen more cancellations than Delta on 9-12-01, yet he's supposed to give advice on how to succeed in this world? There's a reason that his show attracted as much attention as a LaToya Jackson Playboy spread... no one cares what this tool has to say. Wait a second, that's not true. Apparently, some idiot somewhere in the boughs of booking hell at North Carolina State decided that bringing in Mr. Marlo Thomas would be a wise thing to do. I need this clown's phone number in a big way to explain this great new business venture that Clyde "The Glide" Austin and I have going. I would have been more impressed with Ronald McDonald as the commencement speaker; at least he's still relevant (and is a marketing genius to boot). And before anyone tries to validate ol' Phil by the number of Emmys he owns, keep in mind that he was up against such heavyweights as Merv Griffin and Don Ho and some other castoffs on public access. As soon as real competition entered the picture, Donahue's ratings plummeted and he got out of the game. Inspiring, huh?

Wow, four years of hard work and your reward is... (drum roll please)... Phil Donahue. That's balanced. And I'm not complaining because I disagree with Donahue's lame politics, because I wouldn't want G. Gordon Liddy coming, either. Or Pat Buchanon. Or David Duke. The entire point of graduation is to honor and reward the students who are graduating. A self-serving, pompous, windbag as a speaker defeats the whole purpose. That seems obvious to me, but then again so does recalling Gray Davis (and that's lightyears away from happening).

Mr. Marlo used the commencement as an opportunity to project his political views to the crowd of around 4000 people (which was about 3084 more than the number of people who watched his show on MSNBC). Since his MSNBC debacle, I'm sure Donahue has been dying to tell anyone within earshot what he thinks (just ask the innocent bystanders caught in line with him at his local Starbucks). But for anyone to take Phil Donahue seriously about what it takes to make the world a better place is ludicrous. The guy is pure mangina. The runt of a ferret litter has a bigger set of brass ones than this tool.

The Raleigh News and Observer quoted him as saying, "take a liberal to lunch; take a Dixie Chick to lunch...' freeloader. They can buy their own lunches! I would rather take Phil and a Dixie Chick to a firing range (and spend that money on paying them to change my targets at odd intervals- which would result in a strong return on my investment). I can't wait to see who State brings in next year (smart money's on Jenny Jones with Kevin DuBrow as fallback option). As a graduate of N.C. State University, I expect a written apology for the brainfart that produced last Saturday's incident. I will sit right by my mailbox and wait. And wait. And wait.

IN THE MEANTIME, LETS TAKE A GANDER at the second biggest tool in the news: Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese. He recently said that if Miami defected to the ACC it would be "the most disastrous blow to intercollegiate athletics in my lifetime." Gotta love that melodrama, Mike. Whew. That's big. And in related Mike Tranghese news, Luke and Laura are still traumatized from being on that island and Jack and Jennifer still have issues to work through before they can truly enjoy the days of their lives. Ah, the wacky world that is Mike Tranghese's.

I don't normally advocate violence (except for when it involves Phil Donahue and Mike Tranghese), but would somebody please do what Terence did to Brooke Shields in the South Park movie and slap him a good one? You want to know disastrous Mike? Talk to the students at Marshall and Okalahoma State and Texas A&M. They know what disaster is. But let's cut to the chase, the Big East has been more ready to die than Bob Hope for years now, yet Tranghese makes it sound like a trendy night club.

Try this on for size, Miami made it to the NCAA championship game last year in football but their athletic department STILL LOST OVER A MILLION DOLLARS. That's Worldcom financing at its finest. As we speak, Tranghese is busily putting together business proposals on how the teams in the Big East might avoid losing money every year. Ever drive down the freeway and there's a tool in front of you going slower than John Bunting's thought process but when you try to pass him, he speeds up? Okay, that run-on sentence is Mike Tranghese in a nutshell. If you're the commissioner of a conference that's losing money year in and year out, and you're just now trying to figure out how to stop that from happening, you suck at your job and need to go away (I'm digging these run-on sentences).

And I find it interesting that Tranghese has tried to paint the picture of ACC Commissioner John Swofford as being a shady guy, operating in the shadows. Nothing could be further from the truth on this. Granted, Swofford didn't broadcast every overture he made on the internet, but that doesn't make him sneaky; that makes him discreet (something Tranghese is as about as familiar with as dental work). And if Mike needs a little refresher from Les Robinson about operating in shadows, I'm sure Mr. Robinson would be happy to give him one. It seems that Tranghese has much more in common with Smeigel than Swofford does (and not just visually, either). Its been reported that years ago, Tranghese instigated secret meetings with certain athletic directors in Atlanta to discuss ACC expansion and where he wanted to go with the Big East. It was all very hush-hush, but it did happen. Nothing came about in terms of expansion, but the idea was discussed. So for Tranghese to present himself as a stunned and shocked victim is bullhockey. He called Swofford's bluff and is paying the price for it. Welcome to life in the fast lane, pal.

Personally, I would like Mike Tranghese to know that "the most disastrous blow to intercollegiate athletics" in my lifetime is seeing his mug all over the news. The Austin Powers look was in for about an hour back in 1999; a heinous rug and a rotted smile is no way to go through life (although it does seem to be the appropriate face to put on the Big East now that I think about it).

Stay safe and stay tuned…

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