Greeson: Another obtuse miss by PETA, more words to be banished, Saturday star

Bevo, the Texas mascot, stands near the stands during the second half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game between Texas and Georgia in New Orleans, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

One of the intensely discussed issues of the bowl season was Bevo vs. Uga.

Yes, the 1,600-pound Longhorn from Texas against the 60-pound bulldog from Georgia. It was a video clip that thankfully did not produce blood or a bulldog pelt. Let's face it, as one-sided as Texas' upset win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl was, Bevo over Uga is a textbook definition of a mismatch. One of Bevo's horns likely weighs as much as Uga.

Everything ended peacefully. Well, until PETA poked its beak into things.

PETA is now calling for colleges to do away with live animal mascots. Why, you may ask?

Not for increased safety on the sideline. After all, Bevo almost impaled a photographer on the sideline as it was swinging at Uga. No, it's about the travel and stress and the uncomfortable environments on the sideline for those animals.

Say what? Bevo and Uga are treated more like kings than animals. Yes, kings.

Each animal - just like Mike the Tiger at LSU and Ralph the Buffalo at Colorado - is tended to by several students and people who in a lot of ways resemble a staff of servants. Heck, Bevo gets a $3,000-per-appearance fee, so he's likely making more than most Americans. When it gets too hot for Uga, he gets to watch the game from the sideline on a bag of ice in an air-conditioned doghouse field-side.

How much would boosters pay for that kind of "stress" and "uncomfortable environments" for a Georgia-Auburn game?

Exactly.

Colluding to change the diction

For the 44th consecutive year, the wordsmiths from Lake Superior State University in Michigan released their suggestions on the "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness."

The most notable was collusion, which became the lightning-rod allegation against Donald Trump. Also on the list were "wheelhouse," and acronyms ending with "OTUS" as in POTUS (president of the United States) or SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States). Some of my other favorites are "legally drunk" because legally drunk should be fine, but "illegally drunk" would mean arrested. "Optics," which is tired and haughty, and the phrase "Most important election of our time," which completely should be eschewed - eschew was also on the list - because isn't the next election almost always the most important election of our time?

But they left a few off the list (and don't even get us started with the slang words that social media has made commonplace).

Let's start with bipartisanship, which is as extinct as the dodo or the T-Rex.

We can go to phrases like "makes my skin crawl" or "thinking outside the box" because, well, you know. We might also agree that we no longer need anyone to inform us that "adulting" is hard. Being an adult may be challenging, but "adulting" is simply not a thing. There is a certain amount of irony in the fact that almost no one uses "ironically" correctly. Also, it's literally impossible not to sound foolish when you say literally.

But hey, at least the good folks at LSSU have a sense of humor about banning words. Up the road in Knoxville when they talk about banning words, it normally centers on gender-offensive pronouns like "he" and "she."

Saturday star

Let's go with Tyler Trent.

Trent, the Purdue University superfan who got much-deserved national attention this football season, died on New Year's Day. He was 20.

Trent battled a rare form of bone cancer, but an ESPN feature on his love for the Boilermakers and his bold and accurate prediction that Purdue would upset Ohio State made him one of the more famous figures of the college football season.

Before his death, Trent got to be an honorary captain for Purdue before last week's Music City Bowl game against Auburn in Nashville.

Rest easy, Tyler. You left it better than you found it, and you gave way better than you received.

Contact Jay Greeson at 423-757-6343 or [email protected]