NOTHING TO CROW ABOUT
Members of the Seymour ( Ind.) Middle School football team, which is nicknamed the Owls, were naturally unhappy when, during a game at Jeffersonville River Valley, a student working the P.A. system kept referring to the visitors as the Roosters. Not until the Seymour coach went to the press box to complain was the matter cleared up. It seems that both the P.A. announcer and his faculty adviser had misread a line above the list of visiting-team players that said "The Seymour Roster."
Last week Seattle Mariner pitcher Mark Langston, a devotee of horror flicks, was pictured in this magazine tossing a tomato in the air in front of a movie marquee bearing the words Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (SI, Oct. 1). That's the title of a 1979 so-bad-it's-good cult film in which monstrous tomatoes chase and devour human victims, slurping ravenously during each meal. Sounds silly? Maybe so, but the film is the reason the defensive unit of Santa Clara University's unbeaten football team, which has outscored opponents this season 108-49, is known as the Killer Tomatoes.
The nickname is the brainstorm of the Broncos' linebacker coach, Ron DeMonner, who got the idea after catching the movie on TV last summer. "At practice I just saw all those red shirts [the team's colors are cardinal and white] running around out there, and something clicked." Something also clicked with the Del Monte packing plant 10 miles from campus, which is eyeing various promotional tie-ins with the Broncos. So now the Santa Clara linebackers are referred to as the beefsteaks, the secondary as the cherry tomatoes, the interior linemen as the plump tomatoes and so on.
"Killer Tomatoes are what we want these guys to be," says DeMonner. "They catch you, eat you, burp twice and keep going. That's it. You're gone." DeMonner is understandably excited about the nickname. A few years ago, taking his cue from the Star Wars saga, he'd tried to name the boys the Defenders of the Empire, but the name didn't stick to their jerseys the way a tomato stain does.
Now that the Oakland Invaders and the Oklahoma Outlaws of the USFL have agreed to merge, there's a suggestion that the combined team be renamed the Inlaws.
METAPHORICALLY YOURS, RON MEYER
On the principle that rhetorical daring should have the widest possible audience, we pass along what New England Patriot coach Ron Meyer said the other day in an interview with WBZ-TV in Boston about reserve running back Mosi Tatupu: "He's more valuable coming to us out of the bullpen. He gives us such a change of pace. When our great offensive line is knocking the dog out of the defense—now he comes in and it's almost like another breath of fresh life. And he's the coup d'�tat. He's the guy that puts the sword in the heart."