We Are The Champions
"What we do in life, echoes for an eternity."
- Maximus Decimus Meridus, "Gladiator"
Bugs Bunny has Elmer Fudd. Batman has the Joker. Twinkies have Ho-Hos.
We have Generation.
They are the self-proclaimed "largest student-run magazine on the East Coast." East coast of what? Lake Erie?
I don't know what they are. I don't think they know either. One week they run a cover story about the Center for the Arts, a building they magically discovered despite its existence for almost a decade. Then it's a poorly-constructed article about William Greiner's tenure as president of UB.
As for myself, I have a special relationship with their editor in chief, Christopher Davis. We've traded verbal jabs back and forth across our respective pages for a while. Last week he asked why this column is called "Feet First." Because "Life of Reilly" was already taken.
I have questions of my own. How does it feel to produce 20-plus pages of text, and have students only read the frequently incoherent personals? What good is a literary editor if he's the only one who writes anything? Isn't Pulse just a poor man's Prodigal Sun? Why do your graphics obscure your text so much? Is it to distract us from the lackluster quality of the articles?
I won't even mention the fact our staff is far more attractive than Generation's.
We made the offer to face them on LaserTron's field of combat in the spirit of friendship and "bipartisanshipfulness."
That was before Tuesday's issue.
"Marv Letrinski?" "Geeky Republican?" "Erica Scot-Daniels?" "Liddy" is not my woman, but I'd rather wear a T-shirt emblazoned "Visualize Peace" for the rest of my days than let any member of Generation lay their greasy, nicotine-stained hands on her.
Now it's war.
For those unfamiliar, LaserTron is a game where two teams compete using laser guns to tag each other and score points. A player receives 25 points for hitting an opponent and 100 or 200 points for hitting the enemy base, depending on which sensor you shoot. Each game is six minutes long, four games per session.
(Imagine the following in the voice of NFL Films' John Facenda.)
"On one side of the field of battle, the wide-eyed, valiant Spectrumites - the green team - stand as the pinnacle of excellence in writing and reporting on campus. They are the best UB has to offer.
"On the other side slouches the bleary-eyed, mouth-breathing, slack-jawed troglodytes of Generation. They stumble into their offices and half-assly slap together an issue where the text doesn't even fit straight on the page. They are a cautionary tale warning pregnant women about standing too close to microwaves.
"Let the games begin."
Our strategy, developed by Copy Editor Phil Manijak and myself with the original idea graciously provided by my brother Steve, involved four Spectrum folk defending our two bases. The rest of us mass into the Wall of Infinite Justice and charge one of their bases.
Their plan, as I later found out, was to show up with more people and overwhelm us. Thirteen Spectrum folk showed up. Eleven Generation did.
Ulysses S. Grant they are not.
Their tactical and numerical deficiency was readily apparent in Game One. We crushed them 56,535 to 33,960. Editorial Editor Dylan "Fred Savage" Hall obtained the high score with 13,460; Contributing Editor Stefanie "Slalaimo" Alaimo ran a close second with 10,710.
Spectrum 1. Generation 0.
Game Two was only worse, a Spectrum blowout, 88,570 to 61,600. Yours truly - code name "Dubya" - racked up a session-high 22,870, with the machine named Hall scoring another 18,715. We were greatly assisted by "Phil" Manijak who, when in "Energizer" mode, continually replenished our dwindling ammunition and life count.
Spectrum 2. Generation 0.
At this point, the best Generation could hope for was a 2-2 tie. We needed one more win for assured victory. However, we failed to follow our plan and lost Game Three 88,685 to 75,610. Generation Editor in Chief Christopher "Core" Davis scored a game-high 20,210. I did best for The Spectrum with 13,700.
Spectrum 2. Generation 1.
This was it. Game Four. A tie, or unambiguous victory. The score started close, with no more points separating our teams than Bush from Gore in Florida. However, as Game Four wore on, that gap grew wider and wider. Again, Davis got the game high score with 11,890. Editorial Editor Gene "Shaft" Park tallied a Spectrum high of 10,520.
Final score - Spectrum 83,215, Generation 64,875.
Spectrum 3. Generation 1.
As we exited, flush in our moment of triumph, Asst. Sports Editor Michael "Ritalin" Goldberg captured the moment eloquently. "Who's got my pills?" he bellowed with glee.
Monday night was the most fun I've had in a long time. I would be remiss in not extending my heartfelt thanks to all the staff who participated Monday. With the exception of the third game, you all played your parts perfectly. Any general is only as good as his troops. You had faith in me because I had faith you.
A cinematic moment leapt into my head Monday evening. It's a little silly, but endearing. After He-Man casts Skeletor into the abyss in "Masters of the Universe," his companions exult and rejoice. "Victory!" they holler. "Victory," he smiled, quite contentedly.
Watching friends celebrate, my reaction was similar.
Victory and friendship. The two sweetest words in the English language.