Tuesday, March 25, 2008


As has become a tradition here at "Bitterness", we will now look at some of the famous alums who may be celebrating their alma mater's run to the Sweet Sixteen. Let's kick it off with the West Region:

There have been several Musketeers who have run for office, and some, like House of Representatives minority leader John Boehner, have even won those offices. But we here at "Bitterness" have never been big politicos and so of course our favorite former Musketeer would have to be Robert Romanus. Now for those of you who are not super cinema geeks, we will clarify. Robert is none other than the sleazy Mike Damone, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He also parlayed that role into a sweet part in Styx's rock opera music video for Kilroy was Here. Now while Romanus may be our top alum, we would be remiss to mention the next man on our list, Vice Chairman of Hershey Foods, Joseph Viviano. Oddly enough it's Mars, not Hershey, that produces the Three Musketeers bar. We're sure, however, that Viviano will be hoping that Xavier will "Rolo" over their opponents, perhaps putting up a "Whopper"of a "Skor".

Now it's not the first time the Mountaineers have made the Sweet 16 since we began "Alum-inating", so our loyal readers already know that Mr. Furley, aka Don Knotts, is an alum, but let's dig even deeper. More than MIT President Charles M. "Sweater" Vest, The Assassin, Darryl Talley, or former National Champion Syracuse University football coach Floyd B."Ben" Schwartzwelder. No, no, we went even deeper, and came up with Michael James Zinn of Hallmark greetings cards. Yes,"MJ", as he's rarely called, helps people all over the world find cards for all occasions, whether for Grief, Sympathy, or Pet's Birthday, they have it all. And those Shoebox Greetings? Forget about it! The ultimate in humorous cards.

Well there are a few notable Hilltoppers that caught our eyes, including Duncan Hines. Yes, THE, Duncan Hines. Notable writer and namesake for the Betty Crocker's arch nemesis bakery company, Duncan Hines. While WKU was also home to the Nappy Roots, that is not our top alum. Oh no, we have something much, much better. You see, the most celebrated alum would have to be the incomparable, David Schramm. You may know Mr. Schramm better, as Roy Biggins, owner and operator of Aeromass Airlines on the wildly popular NBC sitcom, Wings. There are not a lot of shows that we would even put in the same class as Wings, and naturally that makes Schramm our top Hilltopper alumnist.

The Bruins are in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season, but luckily UCLA has produced many a famous alum, including Freaks and Geeks alum, James Franco and O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark and defender Johnnie Cochran. O.J. of course attended rival USC. Interesting, no? But this year's most notable alum, is none other than the late Peter Tomarken, the host of the game show, Press Your Luck. Yes, Peter will be looking down upon his Bruins, hoping that they will see no whammies en route to a National Championship.

While the list of notable Cougars (nope, no attractive middle aged women on this list, sorry) does include Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers, he is not our go to alum here. You see, Washington State was also, at one time, home to one of the most brilliant minds of all time. That's right, Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson. Larson has been keeping us tickled with his delightful cartoons for over two decade, and for that we say thank you.

The tar heels are another squad that is a frequenter of the "Alum-inating" series, so we need to keep delving deeper and deeper into the notable alumni. So this year we are gonna focus on some political alumni. Chapel Hill after all was was once home to former U.S. President James K. Polk, who of course was the namesake for Al Bundy's alma mater, Polk High on the television show, Married with Children. But that's not all! It also housed former Democratic Presidential candidate and Senator, John Edwards.

Some famous Cardinals include Donald Elbert, who led the team of engineers that gave us AstroTurf. So for all those sufferers of Turf toe, here's who to blame. U of L also produced the co-founder of Long John Silvers, James Patterson. Yes, Patterson has helped folks nationwide satisfy their cravings for fast food fish and seafood, and that's a gift that keeps on giving all year round.

We'll get right to the "roots" of UT alumni, by letting you know that Alex Haley was a Volunteer. But Haley's not the only notable Volunteer author, oh no. Kurt Vonnegut also spent some time attending school in Knoxville. As did Desperate Housewives' James Denton. But, another interesting alum is Jeff Baxter. Who? Jeff Baxter. He is a Nike designer. One of the men responsible for some of the most ridiculous looking, overpriced "kicks" around. But hey, he is doing more for children than you. In our country we still don't give children the right to work at all, so there.

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