(vol. 16W, no. 6; newsletter by b.n.)
Not since November of 2000 has an event occurred that has so polarized the nation. No, I'm not talking about Dave & Tammi's upcoming nuptials. Surely you have not forgotten the chaos that gripped the nation when Al Gore — realizing that he was about to lose the election for President of the United States — decided to head to the courts to try to “change the rules of the game,” while at the same time he tried (very successfully, I must add) to convince the nation that George W. Bush was trying to “steal the election.” The world has changed profoundly in the three years in which that took place; but while we now have to get to the airport two hours before a flight that might only last 45 minutes, and we may be forced to take off our shoes and be the target of random strip searches, the human spirit has not wavered since that cold November night. For those of you not paying attention (Mike), the “Fiasco in Florida” can best be summed-up in the following manner: There were two major groups of people that clashed in the waning months of 2000; there were those that wanted George W. Bush to win the election (most of whom were Republicans) and another group of people (mostly Democrats) that wanted Al Gore to be President; There was another group of people who wanted Ralph Nader to be president, but let's not let things get out of hand. Anyway, to keep things simple, we'll ignore all the legal wrangling and get to the heart of the conflict. For the Republicans, it was the rule of law: From there perspective, when you perform your civic duty you should first study the candidates, go to your polling place, review the ballot and then head into your polling booth and cast your ballot. The Democrats, while agreeing with all the above, decided that the ballot in some Florida counties was confusing and some people may have voted for the wrong person. Egads! How horrible! As things starting spiraling out of control, the Democrats seemed to want to tally the ballots, not by how the people voted, but by how someone sitting at a little table staring at a punch card ballot with a magnifying glass thought the person intended to vote. Like “The Shadow” people wanted to peer into the minds of man — spooky stuff really. Why do I mention any of this? (Other than to write yet another newsletter that goes beyond Harris's limit of 600 lines, of course?) Well, someone very great used to say: “Those who do not learn from History are doomed to repeat it.” Unfortunately, people are imperfect (just look at Dave Matthews) and according to another famous person, it is impossible for something that is imperfect to create something that is perfect. (Trust me, I took Philosophy 101. I know someone said that). Therefore, given the fact that no one is perfect, and given the fact that we are doomed to a world where it is impossible to create something that is perfect, we will just have to accept the fact that whatever we create can never be perfect. Did someone say “Pine Tar”? That's another great example of things going too far. Everyone remembers that Billy Martin had one of George Brett's homeruns called back after Martin showed the home plate umpire that Brett had too much pine tar on the bat; so instead of hitting a game-winning homer, George Brett is called “out” and the Yankees go on to win the game. But wait! The Royals appeal and for some unknown reason Major League Baseball decides that yes indeed, the home plate umpire made the wrong call and the homerun was reinstated— not only that, but the Yankees and Royals had to replay the end of the game at a later date. What a mess. No, hockey and football have it right — they use instant replay, but once the next play begins, the call stands. There is no going back.

What does any of this have to do with anything? Well, let me just begin by saying that I see my role on the Coastal Pirates as a window to the future. Somewhere in the future, people will look back and read about the exploits of Wildman and Chris Goione, as well as the rest of the crew, and I feel it is my duty to capture the essence of their characters. Sure, box scores are nice, but I see my job as trying to capture their spirit and let it carry on to future generations. I really can't be bothered by accuracy. Sometimes the quest for accuracy gets in the way of capturing the whole picture. Besides, Harris always edits these things anyway, so I have always felt free to explore all avenues of thought , while I know Harris will be there to fill in the proper street name. Or at least that is how it always used to work. Until last week. I approach each newsletter as if I were an artist approaching a canvas. I write. I rewrite. I touch things up. But once I am done with a piece of art, I send it off to Harris and I am done with it. I never go back and rewrite something (except for that one time that Harris wanted me to zing Russ — and I have regretted that moment ever since) once it is sent out. After all, did anyone ever see Van Gogh in the Louvre touching-up the Mona Lisa? (editor's note: DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa.) No of course not. Once it is done, that's it. But of course, Harris does not agree with me. Go back and reread last week's newsletter? Notice anything different about it? No? Most people wouldn't, there was only one small change. I pleaded with Harris not to make the change, but like the Democrats in Florida and the executives of Major League Baseball, he felt that it was the “right” thing to do. I say bullshit. People make mistakes and just like football and hockey — once that next play begins — things should not be changed. It should be the same way with the Coastal Pirates: Once the “Skulls” are handed out, they should stand — good, bad or indifferent. For the really sharp readers of the newsletter, they will notice that the original version of last week's newsletter indicated that Evan was the #1 star of the game. The star was determined when I sent my nominations to Harris; Harris looked at them, passed them on to someone else who shall remain nameless (C.G.); that someone agreed with the selections and that is how they were posted. It wasn't until Tuesday morning that it was realized that when I nominated Evan for the #1 star, I did so based on his two-goal performance. As his brother Scott was extremely quick to point out, it wasn't Evan who scored twice, but Scott himself. Whoops. Sorry about that Scott. However, even though it was obvious that a mistake was made, it does not change the fact that Evan was voted the #1 star. The team should have left things the way they were and issued Scott Miller an apology. It also shows how important your participation in nominating the stars of the game is. If more people voted, perhaps mistakes like this won't happen again in the future.

The game? Oh yeah, we lost 3-2.
(editor's note: It was 4-2) And in a rather sick sense, I hope no one voted for Evan Miller for a star of the game, so we can all watch as Harris confiscates his helmet before the next game and removes the Skull he gave him last week, and then gives it to his brother Scott.



LOST 4-2


His 2nd period goal (assist to Keith) brought us within striking distance at one point.

He subs, he scores!

For graciously (albeit he was a bit confused as to why) accepting a Skull for last week's performance.