Your genial Verse or Worse host must make an embarrassing admission: Last week’s competition produced only two entries.
And this was a contest your genial host thought was easier than many, with zillions more possible entries, so he allowed himself the luxury of providing seven amusing examples instead of his usual two or three. (At least he was amused by them.)
Of course, that only two examples came in the other direction precludes your genial host from undertaking his usual practice at this time. He cannot select the top five (from which the wider world would then select the finest entry, awarding it the heartbreakingly presentable MinnPost T-shirt).
Your genial host can conclude only that the lack of entries was caused by post-Easter letdown (sharp peak in chocolate-bunny consumption, followed immediately by several days utterly devoid of chocolate bunnies and the certain knowledge that there would be no more chocolate bunnies for at least 11 months).
Either that or the previously undeniable appeal of a lovely MinnPost T-shirt as a grand prize has become . . . deniable.
Anyway, your genial host has consulted with the powers that be (Aye! There be powers, right enough!) and has extended the deadline on the current competition until 5 p.m. Thursday, April 3.
And what is that current competition? Your genial host is glad you asked. To recap:
Several weeks ago, the Florida Marlins baseball team, which has some pretty sad attendance numbers, held tryouts for a new gimmick: an overweight male dance/cheerleading squad. The group is to be known as the Marlin Manatees (after the large and not instantly lovable aquatic mammal).
That led your genial host to wonder what other teams — major, minor or imagined — might put forth squads of shall-we-say “unusual” cheerleaders, the idea being that those groups of cheerleaders could have names that are amusing.
If, for example, performers from a local strip club were the cheerleaders for a team from the maker of Macintosh computers, they could be the Apple Peelers. (If a team from Manhattan had such a squad of cheerleaders, they could be the New York Strips.)
A group of rural, aged and unshaven father-figures cheering for the Detroit Tigers could be the Detroit Tiger Paws. (Their wives, the Detroit Tiger Maws, aren’t as funny.)
If a team from a city in western Pennsylvania were cheered on by a squad of poets, those rhymesters might be the Erie Versibles.
With a slightly different twist, heavyset folks cheering for a team from one of Iowa’s Quad Cities could be the DavenPortlies.
So, to clarify: Name oddly-constituted squads of cheerleaders for teams, real or imagined, of any sport, including company teams.
Here are others your genial host suggested last week:
Professorial types, seriously dressed and reading important books while they lead cheers for a team fronted by a major computer-chip-maker: The Intel Igentsia.
Overweight folks cheering for the team from some mobile home park could be their Double-Wides.
Guys from Asia, cheering for a team from Kodak: The Eastman Eastmen.
Female opera stars: The New York Mets Osopranos.
A squad of very assorted folks, who break the rules by booing their team (employees of a major maker of office equipment) and cheering for the other one: The IKON Oclasts
Clear enough? Please submit no more than three. (But please submit at least one.) Email them to asicherman [at] minnpost [dot] com by 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 3.
At 5:01, your genial host will crawl under the tarp at MinnPost Field, hoping to stay hidden until he has chosen the best five of what will surely be thousands of entries.
On Monday, April 7, he will light up the MinnPost scoreboard and display those five top entries. You’ll have until Thursday, April 10, to vote for the best of the best, which will win that cunningly decorative MinnPost T-shirt.
The winning name will be posted on Monday, April 14, along with a new challenge.
OK, let’s begin. Again.