Monthly Archives: June 2006

Miami’s 7th Floor Crew honored with Pulitzer for Faulkner biography

New York, N.Y. – As they have since bursting into the American cultural landscape in 2004, members of the University of Miami’s 7th Floor Crew chose to remain anonymous even during Columbia University’s annual Pulitzer Prize ceremony and luncheon held at the Manhattan campus’ Low Library. The secretive and highly regarded literary group was honored for its New York Times bestselling 2006 biography Between Grief and Nothing: William Cuthbert Faulkner, 1897-1962 but maintained its strict policy of anonymity despite a multitude of media and book publishing insiders who turned up for the event.

That didn’t stop those present from singing their praises, however.

“For their tireless contributions to literary theory and understanding, and particularly to the fields of Southern gothic and mythic urbania, for their humanitarian efforts in modern day Appalachia, for their dissemination of tolerance and equality, for their efforts in preventing domestic abuse, for their pursuit of the causes of education, enlightenment and preservation of the unique cultures of the American southeast, the 7th Floor Crew deserves our thanks and our loyalty. Columbia University and the members of the Pulitzer Prize Board can only offer this small gesture, but we hope and we trust that the world all over can recognize the gifts this small but dedicated fellowship has bestowed on us,” Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger read in his presentation speech.

“Plus they have the sickest beats. If anyone in this audience knows anyone in the industry, anyone at all, even if he’s just a coffee runner, make sure you give them this sample. These guys are going to be huge. Aaliyah’s never sounded so goddamned good!” Bollinger added, swaying and gyrating to the sounds of Low Library’s public address system as it played the 7th Floor Crew’s music.

Faulkner.

An artists rendering of possible 7th Floor Crew members.

Essayist and novelist Gore Vidal, himself the author of fictional biographies like Lincoln (1984) and Burr (1973), was on hand for the ceremony and said that the 7th Floor Crew was “already the foremost point of the dawning American millennial spear of exposition and lyricism. They are truly the caretakers of our newest, fiercest dreams.”

“Is there a more beloved literary figure in the deep south, outside of perhaps Mark Twain, than William Faulkner? There’ve been so many books and essays written about him and yet it is no surprise to me that [the 7th Floor Crew has] managed, in the space of just a few months, to pen the most authoritative and insightful work on the man ever,” Vidal said.

“Those who complain that the youth of today lack in anything, especially eloquence and an appreciation of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, had better take a look at the University of Miami’s football players. When I am dust and gone, their words will still be inspiring generations.”

Though much is still unknown as to their methods and numbers, it has been confirmed by multiple sources that several University of Miami football players were or are members of the 7th Floor Crew. The group has issued various statements over the past two years indicating that anonymity is important to the artistic and academic integrity of their work, noting that “fame has long been the chosen or thrust upon’d hemlock of our star cross’d generation”. Others have speculated that the 7th Floor Crew wishes to avoid enmity like other literary or artistic groups throughout history.

“The Pre-Raphaelites were condemned for their rejection of ‘classical’ artistic ideals and for their emphasis on color, detail and lushness. There are a lot of people, even in the avant garde world, who would love nothing more than to bring down the 7th Floor Crew out of sheer jealousy, and even out of a lack of understanding of what they mean. They paint, they sculpt, they produce films and art exhibitions. They put on poetry slams and live performance pieces, and now they write Pulitzer Prize winning biographies. If you ask me, they’re silencing their critics at every turn. The whole world’s gonna know about these guys soon enough. It’s just like the Italian Renaissance all over again,” University of Miami head coach Larry Coker said.

“They’re once in a lifetime artists and they’re good people. They told Sinorice Moss to tell me that if I ever needed a place to crash at, their South Beach art studio was always open to me. I don’t take handouts or use other people’s recruits to win national championships or anything like that, but I thought it was a nice gesture. Real classy. You couldn’t give a Pulitzer to a nicer, more deserving group of guys,” Coker added.

“Say, you wouldn’t happen to know if anyone’s been shopping around for a head coach?”

Most critics agree that, despite the short period of time the 7th Floor Crew has been operating, the Pulitzer Prize represents something akin to a lifetime achievement award for the mysterious artistic collaborators.

“It’s impossible to categorize them. They refuse boundaries. One minute they’re producing industrial fusion ambient music with John Cale, the next they’re writing op-ed pieces for the Atlantic. I hope this is just the first of many awards coming their way. They really are the Leonardo of our generation: jack of many trades, and master of all,” ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit said.

“Well, maybe not master of all. If winning the new ACC was a trade they’d still be an apprentice. And then there’s that whole Fiesta Bowl thing,” Herbstreit said, referring to the 2002-2003 BCS national championship game Miami lost to underdog Ohio State. “But if you’re looking for cutting edge art, expansive knowledge of the classics, challenging and exploratory creative output and a fearless willingness to embrace the possibilities of transcendent humanism then you need look no further than the ‘Canes and the 7th Floor Crew,” Herbstreit noted.

Noted classical scholar and third world philanthropist Kellen Winslow, Jr. has long been a modern day Renaissance man, dabbling in biochemistry, architecture and soljah-ing.

The 7th Floor Crew has been well regarded in many critical circles but, prior to the Pulitzer ceremony, none of the well known, mainstream award committees have paid any public attention to the enigmatic artistic collective. Instead they’ve become known for a wide ranging interest in the liberal arts and the humanities, as well as philanthropic work in the areas of education and women’s rights. In particular Vidal praised their ground breaking eponymous debut spoken word piece “7th Floor Crew”, an allusion to both the University of Miami’s Mahoney Residential Hall and Søren Kierkegaard’s proposition of the teleological suspension of the ethical.

“Kierkegaard’s defense of the story of Abraham and Isaac is a controversial lateral step in existentialism, and one which the 7th Floor Crew have finally proved tenable. I admire them for their boldness and the elegant simplicity of their arguments. How could you not? Just listen to the rhetorical build up: ‘If your ho the one gettin’ fucked on the 7th flo’ / Then you would know, cuz the bitch don’t want you no mo’ / She’d tell you she met a guy who was nice and candid / I think they call him T-Good, or the ‘big dick bandit’,” Vidal said, emphasizing certain points during his recital of the song by biting his lower lip and moving his hands, arms and shoulders in circular, downward motions.

“If that doesn’t bridge the gap between [Immanuel] Kant’s Categorical Imperative and the Good of Socrates, I don’t know what does. They’ve deserved recognition for a long while now. It’s good to know that artists can be appreciated in their own day. Damn, this flow is smooth, yo,” Vidal added.

Faulkner experts and literary reviewers alike were stunned when advanced copies of Between Grief and Nothing arrived. In an unprecedented move publishing house Simon and Schuster agreed to the 7th Floor Crew’s contractual stipulation that no advertising take place for the book; this was part of the winning bid to represent the experimental group’s publishing interests after a fierce six month battle between Simon and Schuster, Random House and HarperCollins.

“Frankly, [the publishing of Between Grief and Nothing] was perhaps one of the most depressing things to ever happen to me. The book itself is a marvel of scholarship. Their attention to detail, their implacable pursuit of the truth and their unearthing of the lost Oxford-Faulkner manuscripts are wonderful things, don’t get me wrong. But I feel the way woolly mammoths must’ve felt when they first glimpsed spear wielding humans: my time here is done,” Faulkner expert and University of Virginia literature professor Alfred Mannering said.

“I’ve built my career around discovering the inner mysteries of Faulkner’s life, from his views on his great-grandfather William Clark Falkner to his time spent in Hollywood as a screenwriter. Well, that’s a whole thirty-two years down the drain. [The 7th Floor Crew has] written what is essentially the most comprehensive, well researched and insightful work on Faulkner ever. Maybe even the best biography anywhere, ever. I might as well have been picking my nose and eating my findings for the past three decades for all the recognition I’m going to get after this,” Mannering said.

The four volume, 3,700 page biography has some critics, though – even from within The U’s literary circles.

“Frankly, I found the prose dry. Though not altogether unexpected considering the form and genre, I had higher hopes from the Crew. I do not doubt the authenticity nor the meticulousness of their research; I do, however, call into question their choice in observing the metre and not the heart. I would also note that some could take issue with their positioning of Faulkner’s formative years and the newly discovered Oxford papers. Though I support their general hypothesis concerning the impact his childhood had on his writings, I hold the influences of the European modernists in far greater value, particularly Joyce and Proust,” former Miami and current Washington Redskins’ tailback Clinton Portis said.

“And none of the Crew, no matter how I beg, will tell me anything concerning the whereabouts of Southeast Jerome. It pains me that we are here in New York, site of Jerome’s brutal slaying, and we cannot forge ahead because of their stubborn, willful refusal to part ways with their ideas of anonymity. Thankfully Sherriff Gonna Getcha and Sir Lend-Me-A-Hand are on the case,” the white jumpsuited, gold afro bedecked Portis added.

Sherriff Gonna Getcha was also present for the Pulitzer ceremony but talked very little with the media, noting only that his current case had “nothing to do with [former Hurricane quarterback Ken] Dorsey’s brutal conquering of the Miami women’s soccer team.”

Miami redshirt freshman linebacker Willie Williams disagreed.

“Firstly, it was clear when [the 7th Floor Crew] discovered Faulkner was physically abused as a child that much of the inherent madness suffusing his greatest works was derived from those early traumatic experiences. In particular, the iconography of spiritual dissolution found in his best works – As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom! Absalom! - have their roots in the harrowing trials of Faulkner’s Mississippi childhood. To believe otherwise would simply be a useless gesture in reductio ad absurdum, and I know good Clinton is better than that,” Williams said.

Williams also noted that while the 7th Floor Crew has thus far refused to cooperate with both Sherriff Gonna Getcha and Sir-Lend-Me-A-Hand, the enigmatic artistic enclave was last seen talking with Coach Janky Spanky in what many insiders presume was either detective work to undercover more clues in the 2005 slaying of Southeast Jerome, or else the beginnings of an elaborate performance art piece centered on the theme of “the dehumanization of the global hegemony of fantastic realism.”

“Don’t think for a moment that we ‘Canes may become complacent, even after a Pulitzer. We seek to transcribe the utmost bounds of human thought, and to expand our communal conceptions of what is possible. As Blake said, ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite,'” Williams said as he consumed four lobster tails, two steaks, a shrimp scampi and a battered edition of Horace: Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica.

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Kansas State set to play 1988 Kansas State squad in ’09, ’10

Manhattan, Kansas – The Ron Prince era has yet to officially begin, but that hasn’t cooled off the expectations of Kansas State football fans. Promising “a return to form”, Prince has ignited hope in the Wildcat fan base by agreeing to a home and home series with the 1988 Kansas State Wildcats football team to be set in 2009 and 2010. Both games will be played in Manhattan, but each team will only be allowed to choose “heads” once during the opening coin flips.

Prince has stated that he believes strongly in cupcakes, cupcakage and cupcake tradition – the question now is, can he also make a young Wildcats team believe?

“We are excited to get back to our roots. [Recently retired Kansas State head coach] Bill Snyder built this program on a philosophy of solid football and playing teams that were just shy of being declared lepers. By signing this deal we feel we have honored the memory of one of college football’s greatest pioneers in cupcakery. Here’s to you, Bill,” Kansas State athletic director Tim Weiser said.

From 1989 to 2005, Snyder turned around one of college football’s most moribund and mediocre programs by concentrating on junior college recruiting, sound fundamentals and a voracious eye for scheduling other moribund and mediocre programs. The Wildcats played in eleven straight bowl games during Snyder’s final years, compiling an impressive record against non-Big 12 opponents like Indiana State, Idaho State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Montana, Temple, Utah State, UNLV, Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice, Northern Iowa, North Texas, Cincinnati, Akron, Ohio, Bowling Green, Louisiana-Monroe, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, Ball State, Eastern Illinois, Troy State, McNeese State, Massachusetts, Marshall, Florida International, Sister Mary’s School for the Blind Yet Technically Gifted, and Sister Mary’s School for the Blind Yet Technically Gifted State.

“The Wildcats have a proud history of playing anyone with slightly more than a pulse but less than what could be characterized as a healthy heart rate,” Prince said.

“We are excited to continue that tradition of scheduling like there’s no tomorrow, ‘tomorrow’ being the operative word for ‘national governing body designed in part to make sure football programs don’t play all-girl Catholic schools’. We always knew we could do it, but this just proves that our hearts and our heads are in the right place,” the first year coach continued.

“A place devoid of traditional football powers, that is, and, preferably, completely lacking in BCS teams,” Prince added.

The 1988 Wildcats are widely considered one of the worst college football teams ever, having gone 0-11 in the midst of a twenty game losing streak that didn’t end until the fourth game of Snyder’s first year in Manhattan after the iconic Kansas State coach replaced Stan Parrish (2-30-1 in three years). They were outscored 448 to 171, inviting comparisons to the 1981 Northwestern Wildcats (0-11), the 1985 Columbia Lions (0-10), the 1991 Prairie View Panthers (0-11), the 1997 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (0-11), the 2000 Duke Blue Devils (0-11) and the 2001 Houston Cougars (0-11) as the sorriest accumulation of college football non-talent of all time.

“We were in talks with both ’91 Prairie View and ’00 Duke but, in the end, we felt that this was the only choice anyone would be satisfied with. It has a nice, circuitous feeling to it, like coming back home again. I mean, we are literally going to be playing the worst team in the history of our traditionally awful program. Not only do we get to complete the historic circle, as it were, but we’re pretty much guaranteed a win. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised Bill didn’t do this when he was still coach,” Weiser said.

Though both teams were still unsure whether the actual 1988 Kansas State team or the older version of that squad would play, Weiser was “confident” that the decision would be announced soon.

“We’re going to explore all the avenues on that one. To the average college football fan it’d seem pretty obvious that playing the older version of the ’88 squad would be an easier win. After all, they’ve aged eighteen years since that horrible season and it’s even possible some of them have died already,” Weiser noted.

“Kansas State football is about more than that, though. We like to take our time and really figure out all the factors in trying to find out who would be the easiest out of conference opponent out there. If you’ve ever watched a nature program there’s always this point where you can tell the crocodile or lion or whatever has settled on the youngest, slowest wildebeest in sight. By 2009 those God-awful former Wildcat footballers will be that much older and we’ll have a pretty good gauge as to whether they’re cagier with age or just more arthritic. Think of this as stalking our prey,” Weiser said.

Both Weiser and Prince would not comment on rumors of a possible home and home with the French military.

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Mark Richt breaks long silence on breasts or ass debate: “I’m definitely an ass man”

Athens, Ga.- Apparently wishing to dispel years of speculation, University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt left little room for doubt as to his stance in the long running and controversial breasts or ass debate after Monday’s press conference at Sanford Stadium.

“I’m most definitely an ass man,” Richt said.

Most analysts and critics were shocked that Richt – known as a relatively quiet bystander in the millennial old question of bum cakes or cans – would so decisively and unequivocally place himself in the backdoor camp. Richt (52-13 in five years at Georgia) was emphatic on Monday, however.

“I love the female derriere. If pressed, I’d have to say it’s what gets me up in the morning. I like them large and I even like them small. Every man can enjoy a double handful of bubble butt, sure, but it takes a discerning eye and a connouiseur’s knowledge to really appreciate the apple behind. I have that eye and I have that knowledge,” Richt said.

Richt is a staunch proponent of glutius maximus curvature.

Under his leadership the Bulldogs have consistently turned in some of the best seasons in the nation, winning two Southeastern Conference titles and playing for a third. Richt has done this with an eye towards solid defense and an offense predicated on interchangeability and productive depth. Since his hiring in 2001, Georgia has become a perennial popular pick to win the SEC East; so much so, in fact, that the question on many people’s mind isn’t so much how many games the Bulldogs will win but whether or not divisional rivals Florida or Tennessee can keep Georgia from playing in Atlanta, the site of the SEC’s annual conference championship game.

“At this point everyone sorta figures Georgia’s gonna get to ten wins at a minimum. When they don’t it’s a surprise, but seeing as they have going on four or five years now the right bet’s to always pick with ‘em and not against ‘em. Whether Mark was a tits or ass man, however, was something we were always asking each other,” ESPN college football analyst Mike Gottfried said.

“I used to always say, ‘Fellas, if I wasn’t such a raging drunk I’d have gone straight up to Mark and asked him to his face, ‘Are you a fan of the boobies or are you a fan of the rump, and don’t give me that rootin’ for both teams thing neither.’ Course, as I said, I am a raging drunk and I’d just as likely shine his shoes with my vomit as remember his answer.”

Though Richt was firm in his declaration of undying love for the female posterior, he was conciliatory towards the breast contingent on Monday.

“I wish to make this as clear as possible: I love breasts as much as the next guy. They are fabulous, wondrous creations, sculpted by the hand of God and the scalpels of the finest surgeons in our good country. As with asses, I enjoy them big and small. Not freakishly big, of course. I’m not asking for two full trash bags dangling off of some poor woman. I just want to make it perfectly clear that I am a fan of the torpedo look, the skittle tits, the high ones and the low ones, the saucer nipples and those awesome areolas that have that nib in the center. And side boobs. I’m definitely a fan of the side boobs,” Richt said.

“But when it comes down to it, I love ass. I love everything surrounding the ass: a nice toned stomach, long lean legs that curve slightly inward right near the top so that they have this kind of double tapered look and there’s that sort of ‘v’ shape inbetween….”

At that point in the press conference Richt paused for nearly half a minute, staring off into the distance with his right hand poised in a slight but definite cupping motion. When the attendant reporters started asking questions again Richt looked noticeably startled and resumed his presumably pre-prepared statement.

“Though I strongly believe in offensive and defensive balance, particularly on those ever critical first and second downs, I have chosen to cast my lot with the ass lovers of the world out of a sense of brotherhood and common understanding. Theirs is a plight I know all too well, and silence helps no one. The tidal force of heart stoppingly rounded cheeks is rising, but we have a long way to go to catch up to those who enjoy a great rack and perfectly presented cleavage,” Richt said.

“[Breast lovers] even have the ability to pluralize any noun to describe their favorite anatomical features: cans, trays, lamps, drawers, windows, monitors. It doesn’t stop at physical objects either, because they can refer to breasts as a fantastic personality, a great set of morals, efficiently conjugated verbs and so on and so forth. It’s a distinct advantage and while I don’t begrudge them that, I feel there is no shame in working towards equality,” he added.

Richt also noted that he is a happily married man and the proud father of four children, but that none of those things ought to mean his preference for the female rear end need go unvoiced.

“The day you stop looking is the day you die,” Richt said as his final statement.

Since Monday’s press conference sources have reported that Richt has been the lead singer for an alt-country band named the Downstair Dimples since 1995. Other members include current North Carolina State head coach and former Florida State defensive assistant Chuck Amato (drums), current Seminoles defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Mickey Andrews (slide guitar), current Florida State associate head coach Jim Gladden (lead guitar) and both Terry (bass) and Tommy Bowden (backup guitar). According to current Florida State offensive coordinator and Downstair Dimples understudy Jeff Bowden (backup vocals), the group only plays three songs: Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”, Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and fictional rock group Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom”.

“They’ve been working on [Sir Mix-A-Lot's] ‘Baby Got Back’ but the only one who could ever make that song work was [current Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden]. Poppa always did love his rear ends and it really showed in his music. Mark’s not there yet, but he’s damn close. Give him a decade or two more down in Athens and you’ll really be able to hear that deep down booty love that can only come from the soul,” Jeff Bowden said.

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