Hockey: Let the fights..ahem, games begin!

From spring of 2003 until my graduation in May 2006, I wrote many articles for several sections of my college newspaper, the Los Angeles Loyolan. Here's one of my Opinion articles.
Hockey: Let the fights..ahem, games begin!

Mark J. Lehman
Managing Editor


Originally Published: Wednesday, April 5, 2006

CRASH.

"What? Yeah, I'm at the hockey game!"

SLAM.

"The HOCKEY GAME!"

FWOOSH

"Yeah, we have a hockey team, can you believe that?"

This was only one of probably countless phone conversations having to do with LMU's brand new ice hockey team overheard at Culver Ice Arena last Thursday night as the Lions beat the living daylights out of the USC Trojans in one of the most memorable and entertaining sporting events I've attended during my time at this university.

A brief explanation: for those who are unaware and who missed the article last week in the Loyolan sports section, LMU Ice Hockey has made a comeback this year after a more than 60-year hiatus. Although the season began back in November, all the hard work and dedication of the players culminated in one night of wild, nail-biting, splendidly violent glory -- a glory only hockey can provide.

Let me first add a disclaimer that I am not, nor have I ever been a die-hard ice hockey fan. Sure, I've played my share of ice hockey video games like "Blades of Steel" or any of the Wayne Gretzky games, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't seen "D2: The Mighty Ducks" more than a couple of times, but I've never been to an actual ice hockey event, and I've never even watched a game in its entirety on television. That said, as of last Thursday, I'm a convert to the religion of the stick and puck.

While most official LMU sports see fans number in the high teens on a regular basis, Thursday's game against USC filled all of the stands at the small ice rink with screaming fans, forcing the rest to crowd around the plexi-glass wall and stand for the entire match, cheering for our boys and jeering at the players on the opposing squad. Maybe it was the SoCal matchup that drew such crowds, or perhaps it was the lack of an entrance fee, but I have my own theory: we like violence.

Think about it. The biggest turnouts at LMU where sporting events are concerned happen at the basketball games, and that's usually only against Pepperdine or when a game is televised, which shows not that we care about basketball, but that we hate Pepperdine and that we're starved for attention. This is nothing against our basketball team, but it's just the nature of the sport-it's not really brutal or violent, and the little bit of hostility that occurs usually is hidden, as to avoid getting called for a foul.

In fact, most sports at LMU are this way -- either they are not inherently filled with aggression and physical contact, such as baseball or volleyball, or the contact is purposely hidden, like in water polo or soccer.

This is why we love hockey. There is no pretense, no hidden agenda, no sneakiness. There is only hitting, and a lot of it. And unlike rugby, which is also violent, most everyone can understand the basic objective of hockey: hit the little round disc in the goal.

LMU Athletics should jump on the hockey bandwagon immediately, because this could be huge. Not only was it the most fun I've had at any sporting event all four years I've been here, but the team beat a supposedly much better USC squad 2-0, and the game ended in a fistfight, with hundreds of fans screaming, yelling and jumping around.

It really doesn't get any better than that.
[via Los Angeles Loyolan: http://www.laloyolan.com/opinion/1.398315]

Sweet Considerations Considering Sweets

From spring of 2003 until my graduation in May 2006, I wrote many articles for several sections of my college newspaper, the Los Angeles Loyolan. Here's one of my articles from the now-defunct humor section, Tangent.
Sweet Considerations Considering Sweets

Mark J. Lehman
Managing Editor

Originally Published: Tuesday, April 4, 2006

I remember it well. It was a Saturday. No, a Sunday. The sun was just setting over the horizon, its last rays unwilling to extinguish as they singed the edges of the impending night sky. This type of cosmic battle always stirs deep within my soul a desire to know the world more fully and to understand it more completely, and this desire drives me to ponder the deeper questions that man may never answer but will continually strive to understand.

What is my purpose? Is there life after death? What should I eat for dinner this evening?

But on this fine April evening, a more distressing thought kept me perplexed; nay, it gnawed at my very soul like some carnivorous hamsters on a spiritual feeding frenzy.

What is a Tootsie Roll?

This question did not involve the simple answer of identifying Tootsie Rolls as such. From living on this planet for a number of years and participating in my fair share of trick-or-treating events, I'm fairly certain I am able to differentiate between a Tootsie Roll and inferior candies such as Mr. Goodbar or Twix. Yes, despite the catchy 80s commercial jingle, I know that we live not in an ideal world and thus, "Whatever it is I think I see" most definitely does NOT "become a Tootsie Roll to me."

Rather, the mystifying question that plagued me dealt more with the consistency and genetic makeup of the Tootsie Roll.

Is it chocolate? Is it taffy? Is it both? Is it neither? What precisely is "tootsie," and what ingenious mastermind first opted to craft this strange blend into roll form?

These are the types of dilemmas that generate the existential crises which make up the very fabric of what compels social change and reform for the good of all humanity. And yet, these specific questions, it seems, can only be answered in the simple terms of the infamous ad campaign by Tootsie Roll's bastard cousin, Tootsie Pop-namely, "The world may never know."
[via Los Angeles Loyolan: http://www.laloyolan.com/2.4416/1.398347]
From spring of 2003 until my graduation in May 2006, I wrote many articles for several sections of my college newspaper, the Los Angeles Loyolan. Here's one of my articles from the now-defunct humor section, Tangent.
(non)Appliance of the Month
The Tangent Flips Off Microwave

Mark J. Lehman
Managing Editor

Originally Published: Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The movie has just started, but I can already smell your stench. How foolish was I to have pushed the "popcorn" button and trusted that you would know what to do and when to stop doing it. Now, half of the bag contains burnt brown kernels and I'm forced to eat healthier but less mentally nourishing snacks like carrots or sloe gin. For this reason and more, Microwave, I'm using this typically praising column to point out your failures as the antithesis of the appliance of the month.

Microwave, even when you don't burn my popcorn or you're not cooking day-old burritos, there is little about you that doesn't stink. When I asked you to reheat my pizza the other day, you only melted half the cheese, leaving the rest cold and clammy and making the bottom all soggy, like a wet sponge made of flour and ambition. Heck, despite its obvious inferiority to the Toaster, even the toaster oven can do a better job than that.

Microwave, you're so bad, I'm not only disqualifying you from being in the running for appliance of the month, I won't even let you be a write-in. (As if anyone would write you in, anyway, chump.)

Not only are you a poor excuse for an appliance, Microwave, but you're also a bigot. What have you got against metal, anyway? Why does it get you so fired up? Don't be exclusive, Microwave; after all, you don't see Stove or Oven kicking silverware out into the cold. Get with the times, Microwave. It's a different world than when you were born, so start acting like it.

Besides, think about this: if you suck, then you aren't allowed to be selective. That's like uglies only willing to hook up with devilishly attractive people like Brad Pitt or Keira Knightley -- it ain't gonna happen, folks.

Even meals created specifically to be cooked by you turn out nasty, usually in some combination of hardened and crusty or soupy and soggy. Sure, you can make food faster than any other appliance… you want a medal for it? If I gave you one, you'd just catch fire anyway, because it'd be made out of metal. And anyway, a 12 year old failing the third grade can probably make a finger painting pretty quick, but it doesn't mean it'll be any damn good. In fact, if he's failing third grade, chances are it will suck pretty bad. Just like you.

Microwave, it's time to shape up or ship out. Toaster, Blender, Garbage Disposal and I are sick of you always wanting to join our elite group. Why don't you "wave" goodbye to any hope of joining the appliance of the month club, because starting today, there's a new law in appliance land: no Microwaves.

Stick that in yourself and smoke it. Oh, wait, you can't do that either, ya useless bastard.
[via Los Angeles Loyolan: http://www.laloyolan.com/2.4416/1.398345]
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