Double Secret Probation
Greetings From The Booth!
Well, we’re now in the so-called “dog days” of August, a hot month filled with county fairs, football practice, and thoughts of back-to-school. And for soon-to-be college freshmen, the butterflies in the stomach are as big as 747’s, as they go from BMOC’s to the bottom of the totem pole at our institutions of higher learning. We’ll get back to that…
But first, a quick snapshot of my Washington Nationals shows that they are tied with the Phillies and Cubs for the top NL Wild Card spot at 57-51. On May 24th, when the Nats were 19-31, we would have gladly taken that. It’s gonna be a fun August and September.
Finally, this week marks the 41st anniversary of what has become a film classic, National Lampoon’s Animal House. 41 is not a milestone per se, but I never turn down a chance to talk or write about Animal House. I’m not sure I can tie the movie into anything sports related, except to mention that my Shenandoah University football broadcast partner Scott Musa (who does the road games with me) and yours truly rattle off about 1000 lines from Animal House as we travel to the Faber-like campus of Hampden-Sydney every other season.
Animal House stands the test of time for many reasons. It has a great cast and soundtrack. And, I think John Landis tapped into the anxiety that most of us felt when we went off to college. We were on our own for the very first time and were homesick and lonely. The remedy was to pledge a fraternity or sorority. That feeling of belonging got a lot of us through college, especially that first year.
Animal House also put on display the comic genius of John Belushi. Belushi lived a short and sometime troubled life, and was one of those stars that shone bright and burned out quickly. He parlayed his SNL success into a film career that included starring roles in “The Blues Brothers” and “Animal House.”
In the latter, Belushi stole the show. His character “Bluto” didn’t have many lines, but when he uttered something it was memorable (“was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor”, “see if you can guess what I am now…a zit…get it?”). What made his performance great in Animal House was the physical comedy. Who can forget the cafeteria line, Belushi on the ladder outside the girl’s dorm, or the guitar-smashing scene at the frat house?
The characters were fantastic, and I’m sure you can all remember a Dean Wormer from your college days, or a Niedermeyer, maybe even a pot-smoking, apple-crunching professor (played by the great Donald Sutherland).
Filled with road trips, Otis Day & The Knights, the Death Float, and toga parties, National Lampoon’s Animal House remains a classic that is worth revisiting, especially this time of year. It almost makes me want to make that winding trip on Route 50 back to Alderson-Broaddus College, just in time for the Sunday frat football game.
Until next time from the Booth…you’re all on Double Secret Probation!