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Paul Turner: Duke? Ducks? Hokies? How to pick

Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

If you have no particular interest in the local college team but still like watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on TV, how do you arrive at a rooting interest?

Let’s consider the 16 schools remaining. Well, 15, if you don’t count our North Side church academy.

Duke: It has long been fashionable to root against Duke. So that might be one reason to cheer for the Blue Devils.

Virginia Tech: What exactly is a Hokie?

LSU: If you’ve read about how little that school’s fan base appears to care about playing by the rules (as in, not paying the families of athletic recruits) you will know how to proceed.

Michigan State: Chances are, you either think the MSU coach is a sincere molder of young men or a seething bully who jokes with the national media when it serves him.

Florida State: (See penultimate item below.)

Texas Tech: Buddy Holly was from Lubbock.

Michigan: Maybe you have a former colleague, a nice, beer drinking guy, who went to school in Ann Arbor.

Virginia: Do WSU fans root for onetime WSU coaches?

Oregon: Maybe you once worked with a Duck who seriously annoyed you. Or maybe you worked with one you genuinely liked.

Purdue: The first man on the moon went there.

Tennessee: “Rocky Top” is a fun fight song.

North Carolina: Doesn’t “Tar Heels” celebrate diehard Confederates?

Auburn: At least they don’t say “Roll Tide!”

Houston: Is it fair to blame Houston for global warming?

Kentucky: Perhaps most residents of the Bluegrass State don’t usually vote in a manner you approve of.

Enjoy the show.

Being able to hit “pause” and ask a question

I recently had the pleasure of watching an HBO documentary on a national blood testing scam in the company of a retired friend who is an expert in that field.

His insights and observations provided a valuable layer of understanding as the stunning saga of the house-of-cards Theranos company played out in the two-hour documentary.

It made me wonder. About what subject would you be able to provide expert commentary if a documentary on your special topic were to show up on TV?

Citizen’s arrest

Do you recall that episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” in which Gomer Pyle spots Deputy Barney Fife committing a traffic infraction and proceeds to chase him, shouting “Citizen’s arrest!”

Well, have you ever been tempted to do that when, after the Washington deadline for removing studded tires has passed, you heard a vehicle roar by with its studded tires still very much in use?

Is this a trend or a perennial issue?

A reader told me he has observed the following sequence of events play out more than once in Spokane.

Longtime homeowners move out of their house.

They give the house to a grandchild.

Grandchild immediately begins hosting loud, late parties that go on into the wee hours.

Neighbors talk to grandchild.

Grandchild laughs at their complaints and parties on.

Police say nuisance noise complaints aren’t their highest priority.

Seemingly annual reminder

Graduates of Florida State University wind up in prison. At least that’s my takeaway from yet another viewing of the noirish 1981 movie “Body Heat.”

William Hurt plays FSU grad Ned Racine, who murders the husband of a woman with whom he is involved (Kathleen Turner). By the time Racine figures out that he has been totally played by her, it’s too late. He’s behind bars and she’s on a beach in Kauai.

Now, you might ask, what does this have to do with college basketball?

Maybe nothing. I leave it to you to decide. Let’s move on.

End note

Several readers of Sunday’s column wrote to argue that the state of Florida actually does exist. Lorri Stonehocker was among them.

“Good morning! Or should I say ‘Greetings from Florida!’ Yes, it does in fact exist. I can say this with complete confidence as I am presently reading the hometown paper (S-R online) in Ponce Inlet, Florida.”

This came up as a result of the whole “Florida Man” vs. “Spokane Man” discussion.

Lorri said her agenda for the day included walking on the beach, hunting for sea shells and watching pelicans.

A bit closer to home, a former colleague weighed in.

“Paul, much rarer and more coveted than stories about Florida or Spokane men are stories about Burley woman (from the town in Idaho).

“On the copy desk years ago we had lots of fun imagining headlines for stories that came across the wire, ‘Governor appoints Burley woman,’ ‘Burley woman accused of intimidating witness,’ et cetera. Most of them never saw the light of day.”

Columnist Paul Turner can be reached at

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