Thursday, March 06, 2003

Pitt Hires Stephanie McMahon As New Athletic Director

The University of Pittsburgh announced Tuesday that the position of Athletic Director had been filled. The position has been vacant since December 20, when Steve Pederson took the Athletic Director position at the University of Nebraska.

“After four months of intensive searching and interviewing, we have a new AD!” exclaimed Vice Chancellor Jerry Cochran, who headed the nine-member search committee. “And she totally kicks ass!”

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg then made the formal announcement: “I am pleased to announce that our new Athletics Director will be Ms. Stephanie McMahon.”

Ms. McMahon then took the podium, addressing the crowd. “I worked my ass off for the past 10 months to make WWE SmackDown! the best damned sports entertainment there is. Now, I’m going to use what I’ve learned in the WWE to explode the Panthers programs. Miami, Ohio State, I hope you can hear me! By next January, we will be the National Champions. And you can watch it all live on Pay Per View!”

Added the enthusiastic new AD, “Eric Bischoff, kiss my ass!”

The search committee, including Cochran, Senior Vice President of the Hearst Corporation John Conomikes, and former Athletic Committee Chairman Tom Bigley, said that this was one of the toughest decisions they had to make. “

Acting AD Marc Boehm was our favorite for a long time,” said Cochran. “However, after we saw what Stephanie had done for the WWE and SmackDown!, we knew we had to get her on our team.”

“Yeah, and she’s hot,” said Bigley.

Questions have already arisen about the extent her father Vince will get involved in McMahon’s career. Stephanie, however, diffused those rumors. “I’ve cut myself off from my father. Let him and the WWE just try to mess with me, and I’ll get all our great Panthers to stop ’em.”

Panera Bread To Open Five More Forbes Avenue Locations

Following the success of the company’s two new Oakland locations this past fall, Panera Bread, Inc. announced this past week that it will open five more stores on Forbes Avenue. The openings are slated to be complete by late August – in time for the fall semester. Panera Bread, a national chain of cafĂ©/bakeries, opened its doors in the newly constructed Sennott Square building on Forbes Avenue and in the Best Western Hotel on the Boulevard of the Allies in 2002. The five new locations are an attempt by the company to develop a competitive advantage – not just in the bakery market, but as part of Oakland’s restaurant market overall.

“It’s an exciting time for Panera Bread,” began Panera Bread vice president of marketing, Julianne Fein. “Since opening our first two Oakland area locations, Panera Bread has prided itself on serving the University of Pittsburgh community the finest freshly-baked breads and pastries, as well as the best in delicious soups and sandwiches. By opening five new Forbes Avenue locations, we can more easily continue providing the Oakland consumer the highest quality food and service while offering a superior neighborhood emphasis in a comfortable dining environment.”

Some residents have been left wondering what involvement the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) had in the additional Panera Bread storefronts.

“The Oakland Business Improvement District is very excited to have such a wonderful Panera Bread presence in the neighborhood,” said Fein, speaking on behalf of OBID, which became a subsidiary of Panera Bread last week. “Our goal is certainly the development of our brand’s recognition.”

And in the development of the neighborhood?

“Sure, yeah... that too.”

“By having seven storefronts in the area, not to mention Panera Hall (formerly Forbes Hall) and our sponsorship of the Panera Bread Graduate School of Business (formerly the Joseph M. Katz School), Panera Bread has solidified itself as the major brand in Oakland, right up there with UPMC.”

While rumors fly about Panera Bread possibly taking control of University-run cafeterias, including all Petersen Event Center concessions, development of the five announced storefronts will commence this summer. Locations include the former CJ Barneys and Schwartz’s Bagels.

Added Fein, “we’re excited to pre-determine your dining needs.”

CMU Student Pleased By Robot

Carnegie Mellon University student Sarah Lars was very pleased Saturday with the performance of her new robot.

“I’m used to working with robots, so I’m very comfortable around them,” said Lars. “So when [sorority sister] Jen [Chang] gave me this little robot for my birthday, I knew I’d enjoy it.”

Lars is a graduate student in the Robotics Institute, where she builds and maintains small, durable robots used in probing missions for NASA. She is currently on the same team that built the Mars Rover. “I just think they’re fascinating,” explained Lars. “I really love this robot Jen gave me.”

“Sarah works a lot, so you can imagine that she doesn’t get laid much,” said Chang. “I figured I use my robot-building skills to build a small robot that could help her out in that department. I call it the ‘Lars Rover.’ You get it?”

The fifteen-inch, cylindrical robot's primary function is to vibrate. It runs on two small nickel-cadmium batteries. “I tried to make it solar powered, but that didn’t quite work out. It’s really not appropriate for use in the light of day anyway,” explained Chang. “But regardless I still made it very energy and cost efficient.”

“Funny how robots can be programmed to know more about a woman than men can ever pick up. Actually, when you think about it, that’s really not too hard. Oh, Lars Rover…” moaned Lars.

Alternative Spring Break Not So Alternative

Alternative Spring Break (ASB) has been heralded as a chance for students to take the time that they would normally spend off from school on beaches and at resort areas to help those who are less fortunate.

Sophomore Doug Jensen admits that his experience in the program gave him a feel-good attitude for returning to the University in mid-March.

Jensen also admitted that he got his feel-good attitude from spending the entire week hooking up with Morgan Ennis, another ASB participant.

“It was really cool to get my hands dirty building homes for low-income families in Kentucky for a week,” Jensen said. “But nothing compares to meeting sweet, innocent virgin do-gooders at the same time. Not that they return to Pitt as virgins...”

Many Pitt students have been participating in the increasingly popular program, which also saw students tutoring Navajo children in Arizona and preparing and delivering meals to AIDS/HIV patients in Denver, among other projects.

Jensen wasn’t concerned that ASB is an alcohol and drug-free program.

“Girls like Morgan are interested in meeting guys who share their love for community service, not drunken frat boys. I can pretend for a week while we're away from campus. She’ll never know the difference anyway – I don’t plan on seeing her again.”

Jensen is already planning on participating in the program again next year.

“Hey, let’s face it. Ninety-nine percent of guys go on Spring Break shooting their mouths off about meeting hot women and tagging them before coming home,” he said. “At least when I come home, I’ve actually done it.”

Pitt Nerds In Paradise

Each March, thousands of college students head to Florida for one glorious week – spring break. Now, spring break has once again come and gone. In the past, spring break has traditionally brought about such activities as excessive and dangerous binge drinking, and sloppy, unprotected sex with faceless strangers, whose names slowly fade away with the next day’s hangovers. This year was no different as perennial hot-spot Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was overrun for a week by hoards of buff and sexy college co-eds. And nerds.

Yes, among the fun and sun-seeking beautiful students, a contingent of Pitt’s finest nerds made their way down the east coast, seeking the same memories of sex, drugs, and rock n’roll that their attractive, more popular fellow students sought. Among them: robotics fanatics, child-prodigy aerodynamic experts, slobs, and a gay man.

“Spring break rules!” exclaimed nerd Louis Skolnik. “Man, the stories I could tell! I totally got the cute girl who worked at a hotel to fall for me, we transformed the Hotel Coral Essex’s neon sign to say ‘Hot oral sex’ for a party montage segment, and we even got stranded on an island by some jocks.”

Using their brains and ingenuity, the Pitt nerds got off the island. The nerds had their revenge though, when the rest of the spring break party-goers came to their defense at the hotel, throwing the cooler, meaner jocks into the swimming pool. Reportedly, jock and Pitt tackle Rob “Ogre” Petitti befriended them and became a nerd himself by trip’s end.

“Even Booger [fellow nerd Dudley Dawson] met some guy to be a mentor- guru-type there,” continued Skolnik. “He kind of looked like Lopan from Big Trouble in Little China.”

Sadly, fellow nerd Gilbert White was forced to stay in Pittsburgh with a broken leg, reportedly caused by a freak chess accident. Added Skolnik, “it was a very tricky [chess] move.”

Dejected Film Studies Grad Finally Lands Role In Entertainment Industry

Since her graduation from Pitt’s Film School in 2001, Kelly Redmond has been looking for a job in the entertainment industry. Now, after a two-year search, she finally has a starring role.

Redmond will be a lead clerk at the new Blockbuster Video located in the recently opened University of Pittsburgh building, Sennott Square.

“I worked so hard for this!” Redmond said tearfully. “From my extensive knowledge of Federico Fellini films to all those drunken nights playing ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,’ my hard work is finally paying off!”

Redmond’s duties include cleaning and stocking shelves, working the cash register, and taking out the garbage, but it’s her extensive knowledge of movie trivia that showcases Redmond’s true artistic talent.

“I bet you guys can’t guess who played the corpse in 1983’s The Big Chill?” Redmond challenged a group of apparently uninterested teens ogling the Playstation 2 rack. “Come on take a guess, I bet you’ve heard of this guy before. You’re going to kick yourself when you find out...Do you give up? It was Kevin Costner! Seriously, Lawrence Kasdan edited out his face in the final cut.”

Redmond is hopeful that with hard work and a little Hollywood-brand optimism, she can turn her minimum wage job into a career. “You know, Quentin Tarantino was a video store clerk before he became a director,” she said. “I’m just using this Blockbuster until I can release my blockbuster.”

Irish Car Bomb Explodes Outside Denny's Bar

Larry Campbell and Simon Jones have been gearing up for St. Patrick's Day at Denny’s Bar. After finishing their fifth round of green beer, Campbell suggested that they do an Irish Car Bomb.

“I wasn’t really sure what it was,” Jones admitted, “but it sounded like a good Celtic drink so I said ‘cool.’”

Raising their half pints of Guinness, the two drinking buddies clinked glasses, dropped a mixture of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jameson’s whiskey into the thick, black stout and chugged.

By last call, Campbell and Jones had each consumed seven Irish Car Bombs. When they stepped out into the chilly March air, the bombs began to detonate.

“My stomach just exploded!” Campbell said. “I could not stop puking!”

“I know, dude,” Jones added, “I felt like the IRA was holding a protest rally inside my fuckin’ guts!”

“We just wanna be ready for all the boozin we’re gonna do,” explained Jones. “Small price to pay for a St. Paddy’s champ out!”

Medics were called in to defuse the situation.

“God, do I hate St. Patrick’s Day!” said EMS Todd Peterson. “It’s like a designated holiday for amateur drinkers and assholes! And that’s a bad combo.”

Women's History Month Celebrated With Issues Of Barely Legal

Women’s groups across the country are celebrating. Every March since 1987, America has celebrated Women’s History Month. And this March is no exception.

From Carnegie Mellon’s Women’s Center to Pitt’s Campus Women’s Organization (CWO), Women’s groups around Pittsburgh are holding conferences, listening to speakers, and having rallies to celebrate women’s history and to fight for equality on campus, at the workplace, and all over the world.

“We’re trying to raise awareness that women are still underrepresented in everything,” said CWO president Alison Bodenhemier.

“In addition to raising awareness, we’re trying to raise a few bucks by selling our ‘Finer-er Things’ calendar.” In addition to major women’s groups celebrating Women’s History Month, students all over South Oakland have been holding festivities honoring women as well.

Josh Holden of Atwood Street told us that his friends have decided not to hook-up with any girls at their parties throughout the month of March. Scott Yerwood of Parkview Avenue said that girls get five free throws in naked beer pong all month. Alex Ustinavich, however, is taking this month very seriously.

“My girlfriend is in CWO, so I went to some stuff to like show my support,” said Ustinavich. “You know, like Take Back the Night and shit. Get involved. I guess I’m kinda the sensitive type sometimes.”

Ustinavich decided that in honor of womankind, he’d begin the arduous task of sorting his porno collection. “Yeah, I got tons a mags and shit, and like 40 or so videos. I figure maybe I’ll sell or give away the old stuff, or the stuff with Jenna [Jameson], she turns me off these days. I’m much more into Kobe Tai – something about Asian poon that’s been getting me going lately.”

“Holy shit, dude, I just totally found my Barely Legal with that chick I love!” exclaimed Ustinavich as he rifled through his stack of Purely 18, Penthouse, Hustler, Jugs, and Barely Legal magazines. “Fuck, dude. Look at her tits – they’re perfect. And that landing strip…fuck! Denys Defrancesco, I wish I was you!”

Judging by the various stacks of porn littering the bedroom of Mr. Ustinavich, it looks like he’ll have his work cut out for him this March.

“I’m totally going to enjoy every page of this shit before it’s gone – especially my Barely Legals. I love women!”

Point / Weaker Point: Row Reform

We Need To Reform The Row Offices
By Jim Roddy, Allegheny County Chief Executive

In this time of tight financial constraint for all organizations, it is necessary for all of us to do differently then we did before. Certainly, Allegheny County is no exception. That is why I am encouraging the county to undertake Row Office Reform.

Row Office Reform makes sense. It streamlines government to provide a more efficient and less costly method of doing business. If we consolidate our offices, we can save the county as much as $15 million per year. Additionally, we stop the duplication and triplication of services, which is both embarrassing and crippling to our government.

This proposal is non-partisan, and appeals to common sense. It helps the government be more accountable for its actions and also gives voters the chance to restructure and reorganize their elected officials. If Allegheny County is going to continue to be a leader in the 21st century, we need to adopt Row Office Reform.

I Need To Re-Form My Cornrows
By Thomas Jones, East Hills

In this time of lean sexual happenings, it is necessary for the Big Dawg to make a little transformation of his appearance. Apparently, the ladies aren’t biting on the corn rows, but that’s all right, ain’t gonna keep the Big Dawg down. I’ll just simply take them out and go au natural again.

I guess maybe things are starting to change. Ladies aren’t liking the Iverson anymore, and want a man more like Kobe. That’s all right, I can dig it. Ain’t no shame in trying new things and trying to be more effective in the hair care styling department. Just got to go with what works. I’m tired of looking like everyone else on the damn block, anyway. Cornrows are starting to get played out.

I think it’s for the best that the cornrows go. It just makes sense. If I’m gonna continue to be a player on the scene, I just got to adapt and change with the times. Can’t be having no punk-ass hairstyle. I guess, regardless, don’t matter what my hair style is, as long as I be working it.

Stevie Leiter's Head's Up!

Hi, how is everybody? Me, I’'m fabulous!

So, I'’m sure you’re wondering what is going on in Stevie's life these days. Well, let me just tell you.

First of all, I've been nothing but a big’ole poop ever since Pitt lost to West Virginia. Nothing makes me sadder than watching grown men cry. Then, there’s the Steelers losing in the playoffs. Poor boys. Stevie’ll take care of you.

Second, I've been very cold and lonely. All this ice and snow makes it so hard to find good company to just relax with. You know what I mean? I've been just too blah to even want to go to the Holiday, let alone anywhere else.

Speaking of holidays, I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day. You know, despite all of my complaining, I really had a great V-D. Ooops, just kidding. I've been V.D. free for over a year now!

Did you see that fat girl fall off the stage on American Idol? It was traumatic, yet funny.

I can't wait for St. Patrick's Day to come! Green boys, dressed in green, drinking green beer... Who wants one of Stevie's famous car bombs? It will just explode inside of you!

I totally saw Sophie Masloff at the Benedum last weekend. Yoi!

Does anyone know where I can get a good price for this old end table? The doily marks will come off with some sandpaper. Don’t worry.

Any gossip, Stevie? OK, but you didn’t hear this from me: During the off-season, Brian Giles has been catching balls in more places than his hands, let me tell you. Oh, I’m so bad.

Mr. Jerome Bettis is a sweet man, but that Amos Zereoue can run 100 yards a week for me any day. And I'm afraid it’s time Coach Cowher figured that out (sorry Jerome).

I almost forgot: Brandin Knight. Good bye, seniors. You may be a small point guard, but you're the biggest black man I've never met.

Okay, this is one silly goose who's off to watch some South Park. Bye bye!

South Oakland Zoo Secedes From Zoo Union

Approximately 1,300 members of the 5,000 member University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball fan club, The Oakland Zoo, are in the process of seceding from the main body of the organization. Starting next “Midnight Madness,” South Oakland Zoo members will withdraw their names from the men’s basketball season ticket lottery and give up their fanatic t-shirts.

The group cited a number of reasons for the secession. “Primarily, we are disenfranchised by the noon start of many of the Panthers’ Saturday games,” said South Oakland Zoo President John Mullins. “We find the athletic policy biased against South Oakland residents who do not usually get up until two or three in the afternoon. Noon Saturday start times hardly give us enough time to get a six-pack in our system. We are petitioning the athletic department to demand they schedule night games in the future.”

The South Oakland Zoo members also expressed dissatisfaction with other Zoo policies such as the constant jumping up and down during games, and a 12% Pitt Stop tariff levied on Oakland Zoo T-Shirts. While the South Oakland Zoo is insistent on their withdrawal from the union, the main body of the Zoo is attempting to block secession.

“Four years ago, we brought forth on Oakland a new basketball pride, conceived in alcohol, and dedicated to the proposition that all Oaklanders can be basketball fanatics. Now we are engaged in the great secession, testing whether basketball in the city of Pittsburgh can endure. It is up to us to ensure that the Zoo shall have a new rebirth as we back our team all the way to the Big Dance in New Orleans. Put plain and simple, a zoo divided can not stand,” declared Zoo founder and President Matt Cohen in his now famous Louisa Street Address.

In spite of Zoo opposition, the South Oakland Zoo plans to make secession complete in the fall of 2003. The South Oakland Zoo instead plans to throw its support to womens’ volleyball.

“Think about it,” questioned Mullins. “Would you rather watch Julius Page in knee hugging shorts, or twelve 5’10” females in hip-hugging shorts?”

UPMC Seeks Cure For March Madness

The University of Pittsburgh has produced many innovative medical products – from Starzl’s organ transplant techniques to Salk’s Polio vaccine. Now, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is working on its biggest project of the new millennium. UPMC doctors and researchers are looking for a cure for March Madness.

“The ‘February Sweeps’ were an easy cure,” explained Dr. Richard Huggins, the Principal Investigator and Head Researcher for the March Madness project, co-sponsored by UPMC and Pitt’s Psychology Department. “For that, we just made sure people got enough Friends to balance out their Seinfeld intake and that was that – America survived. But March Madness… this is a tough sonovabitch.”

March Madness refers to the time in mid-March when people around the country go into fits of anger and convulsions of disgust, as well as experiencing moments of extreme happiness. The symptoms are similar to bi-polar disorder, with patients suffering euphoric highs and depressing lows. It mainly affects men between the ages of 14 and 72.

“I get March Madness myself,” explained Huggins. “Dr. Bentley has a NCAA Tournament Pool that we’ve shown will make even women go mad – though for some reason, they tend to win more than we do. But that question is for a different study – it’s really beyond our scope.”

As the team progresses through their research and clinical tests, they hope to develop a drug that will take some of the edge off. “The goal is first to calm people down,” illustrated Huggins, using a large chart featuring the Petersen Events Center with a long and winding road to New Orleans.

“We hope the drug will let people watch the games with less anxiety. This would make a loss more bearable and a win less overwhelming. I mean, we gotta work fast, especially with the Panthers playing so well. We could have an epidemic on our hands.”

“Thank God March Madness gets pushed back later every year, because we need the time,” said Huggins. “Maybe ‘April Madness’ will be easier to cure.”