Quote of the Week I
"If the public loses confidence in professional football, it will be like wrestling.''
--Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who wants to see Congress further investigate Spygate, so fans can be assured football is on the level.
Quote of the Week II
"That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard. It's not going to get to that, ever. I don't understand how someone could make a statement like that. Has he ever watched professional wrestling? The pressure to win is football is so big on everyone. The film we watch, coaches watch. There's no way it could ever get to that point.''
--Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, on Specter's statement.
Quote of the Week III
"That's laughable. This game is as pure as any game can be.''
--Free-agent quarterback Trent Dilfer, on Specter's statement.
Cool Academic Tradition of the Week
As incoming freshmen, Colgate University students are led up the tall hill on campus in a processional by upperclassmen. As outgoing seniors, they walk down the hill ... in a really impressive display. On Saturday night, the night before Colgate's annual commencement, the 715 graduates -- including Mary Beth King -- were handed lit kerosene torches at the end of long wooden sticks, and proceeded single-file down the hill, dressed in their graduation gowns, and through a gauntlet of cheering and photo-taking parents, siblings, classmates, friends and townspeople, while traditional bagpipers played. The torchbearers ringed the lake on campus. The Colgate school song got sung. Then the torchbearers threw their torches into a huge bonfire and hugged and cried.
It is one of the many things we've liked about Colgate over the past four years.
By the way, at this time of year, with so many of you either graduating or having kids graduating from high school or college, I'd love to hear about your favorite graduation traditions. It's such a fun time of year, an emotional time for so many people. I'll run some of the best and most heartfelt traditions in the column Tuesday.
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
Places come and go as you go through life. But driving away from Colgate Sunday evening, I felt sad that I wouldn't be taking two or three trips a year there anymore. It's one of the truly great American spots. You don't often look forward to a three-hour, 40-minute drive, but I liked every trip we ever made to Colgate.
College, to me, is best when you go to a place where the students have to make the community, rather than where the students fit into a larger community. I know lots of people who thrived in city-campus environments and wouldn't have traded it for anything. But at tiny-town Colgate, an hour's drive southeast of Syracuse and 90 minutes west of Albany, the bucolic, postcardy campus is everything. There's only one of Mary Beth's college acquaintances -- out of maybe 30 or 40 -- who didn't love the place.
Three quick thanks: to Judy Schenk, manager of my favorite coffee house in America, The Barge, for her friendship to the Kings and for being a good working mentor to Mary Beth, and for introducing me to coffee-perfection Colgate Blend as we went out the door Sunday. Also to Dave Roach, Colgate athletic director and fellow Nutmeg-Stater, and wife, Anne, for opening their beautiful home adjacent to campus to us so we wouldn't have to schlep 35 minutes to a hotel. And to Gary Ross, dean of admissions at Colgate and one of the most caring bureaucrats I've ever met, for opening the door to such a rich college experience for Mary Beth. Great people make a great place. It's easy to see why Colgate's such a good school, with people like those running the place.