Today I have decided to sally forth into an area where the media seldom go. I'll try to actually write something positive for a change.
I'll call this column "Kudos and Raspberries." The kudos are praises for people who deserve them. The raspberries are razzes, boos and hisses for those who don't, because this simply wouldn't be a media column without something bad being in it.
First on the kudos list is Charlotte Wing Brown, the principal of Baltimore's Dunbar High School. Last week, Dunbar's basketball team lost the city championship to Douglass High School. Dunbar's team was minus the services of all-Metro player Tim Lyles. Dunbar beat Douglass by 17 points earlier in the season with Lyles playing. Without him, Dunbar lost by four. We can safely surmise the services of young Lyles were sorely needed.
But Lyles has been under suspension for two weeks, according to Sun sports reporters. He hasn't played during that time. It would have been easy for Brown to reinstate Lyles for the city championship game. By continuing the suspension, she has shown that there are more important things than athletics and championships. Things like discipline and character. There are scores of principals in Baltimore schools who do good work daily, receiving little or no praise for it. Let something bad happen and we media types are sure to be there. So here's to Charlotte Wing Brown for a job well done.
Second on the list is that Douglass basketball team. They scoffed at the notion of any Dunbar basketball mystique and went out and pulled off the upset of the year. In doing so, they took me back to the days of yesteryear and forced me to wax nostalgic. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, this Dunbar-Douglass basketball game was one of the city's most intense rivalries. Douglass' upset may be an indication that the rivalry is about to be renewed.
But let's not forget the 1978-1979 high school basketball season. When Douglass beat Dunbar last week, it served as a reminder that the 1997-1998 basketball season was one in which there has been no real dominant team. In 1979, no fewer than seven teams had the talent to win the city championship: Dunbar, Douglass, Lake Clifton, Southwestern, Northern, Carver and Walbrook. Such balance made for one of city high school basketball's most exciting seasons.
Third on the list is Cathy Hughes. That's right. The owner of Radio One. The same woman I've referred to as "loony" in previous columns. But you have to give credit where it's due. I learned from Boyse Mosley, administrator of the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School, that he plans to install a radio station at the school. Hughes donated the equipment for the station. It's a magnanimous gesture, one Hughes could have taken to the airwaves and crowed about. That she didn't shows the woman can have class when she wants to.
Now, if we could only get her to sign an affidavit swearing she'll never take to the airwaves again.
Now, for the raspberries. Those are reserved for those mischief makers -- most of them here at The Sun -- who insist I look like the Moorish officer in the painting by Bartholomeus Maton. It ran in last Sunday's paper. I've been taking ribbing ever since.
Glenn McNatt, our arts columnist par excellence, started this. He came to me one day, insisting the Moorish officer was the spitting image of me. Now, all of you who saw this picture know this Moorish officer was one UGLY guy.
Now I know I am, to put it delicately, seriously aesthetically challenged. But I look nothing like this Moorish officer character. His is a should-not-be-allowed-to-breed type of ugly. Mine is more of a drives-women-to-celibacy type of ugly. There is a distinct difference. The Moorish officer's eyes look nothing like mine. I'm wearing glasses, he's not. He has a small goatee. I have a beard. Between the glasses and the beard, no one knows what my face actually looks like. And believe me, you don't want to.
But McNatt should be careful of making analogies. More than one caller and letter writer feel Glenn McNatt and Gregory Kane look alike.
Soon Steve Proctor, an editor in features, got in on the act. Did I pose for the Maton picture, Proctor wanted to know. McNatt and Proctor work in features, leading me to believe folks there must have had a bit more libation than normal this week.
What, exactly, is going on here? Is this "Diss the Ugly" week? I did notice one similarity between the Moorish officer and myself: the forehead. We both have large foreheads. What are folks saying? That all ugly people look alike? That all large-foreheaded people look alike? That all ugly, large-foreheaded people look alike?
There's an "ism" at work here, but I haven't figured out quite what the "ism" is. But the Moorish officer and I look nothing alike. should know. I have to look at this kisser more than anyone else.
Pub Date: 2/28/98