This photo has nothing to do with anything except that I just think it’s hilarious. It’s the Saint Louis Billikens mascot riding the subway in Brooklyn after the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn the other day. The woman next to him is such a true New Yorker: She doesn’t even look up. I’m sure she sees three weirder sights every day.
If you haven’t been following the rape trial of two teenage football stars in Steubenville, Ohio, it’s been fascinating to watch.
Most of the particulars are sadly familiar: Small town that has very little to look forward to except Friday night football games; a high school with a great tradition of winning and a community treating the players like gods led to those teenaged boys thinking they could do anything, and get away with anything.
So last summer two of them, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, decided that it was OK to take a drunk and mostly passed out 16-year-old girl who was at a party they were at, take her clothes off, and rape her. As some of their friends watched and, even more disgustingly, took photos while hooting and hollering.
Courageously, the girl and her family decided to press charges, and after a week-long trial filled with despicable testimony details from the victim herself and other witnesses, the judge found Richmond and Mays guilty, and sentenced them to one year (for Richmond) and two years (for Mays, because he got an extra year for taking pictures of the victim and distributing them) in prison.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports has done an outstanding job covering the trial; I urge you to read his column here on the outcome and what effect this trial had on Steubenville.
But I also wanted to point out the below clip on CNN, and how a once-proud news channel continues to sink even lower. Listen to Candy Crowley and the CNN reporter Poppy Harlow talk about what a terrible burden this conviction will be for the two boys, and how awful it is that they’ll have this stigma for the rest of their lives. Harlow practically tears up in sympathy for Mays and Richmond!
Crowley, for God’s sakes, even asked concerningly about the “lasting effect” the rape conviction will have on them.
Hey Candy, how about the lasting effect on the VICTIM??? How about the nightmares and horrors that she’s undergone over the past several months, and the nightmares that surely lie ahead? How about spending a few minutes talking about her trauma, and her future?
Just despicable. CNN ought to be ashamed of themselves, if they’re capable of shame anymore.
**Next, a little lighter story. One of my favorite parts of the first few days of the NCAA Tournament is when CBS shows us the “school profiles” with facts about Southeast Missouri State or Northwest Louisiana or whereever the heck the school that’s playing is from. And my favorite random fact is always the “famous alumni” section.
Well, the good folks at SI.com have already done CBS’ work for them, compiling this awesome list of 68 celebrities who attended each of this year’s Tournament schools. Check out the whole list here:
My favorite random ones” have to be Robert Guillaume of “Benson” fame going to Saint Louis University, Madonna going to University of Michigan (she never graduated, shockingly), and the great actor/director Penny Marshall went to New Mexico.
Who knew Laverne was a Lobo? I love this stuff.
**Finally today, remember that Michigan high school team from last week that basically re-created the famous Christian Laettner/Grant Hill 1992 shot for Duke that beat Kentucky? Well, a girls high school team has re-enacted another famous March Madness moment; Middletown Mercy High of Connecticut used the exact same play Valparaiso did in 1998 to win an NCAA Tournament game over Ole Miss.
Check out the amazing shot by Maria Weselyj to lift Middletown Mercy to the title; what makes it even sweeter is that Mercy has lost in the state title game the previous three years.
And of course, here’s the play that inspired it, from Bryce Drew and Valpo.