Thursday, January 27, 2005

Wedding Advice from Jackie Manuel

If you were thinking about asking for your girlfriend's hand in marriage but just didn't know how, consider this your lucky day. Jackie Manuel recently got engaged and he's here to share his secret with you! (I suddenly feel like Tony Robbins)

Anyway, the News & Observer has the play-by-play and while it's great that Jackie wants to settle down, it still doesn't change the fact that his buddies will be busting his chops at every opportunity. Here are the specifics:
To build a future with the woman he loves, North Carolina basketball player Jackie Manuel first had to build a bear.

The night before the defensive-minded senior tied a season high with 14 points Saturday in UNC's victory over Miami, Manuel proposed to his girlfriend, Ronda Norman, using a plush toy he created in the Build-A-Bear Workshop store at The Streets at Southpoint Mall.

He picked out the bear's clothes -- red shirt, black pants, red shoes, red bow -- then recorded the message that would play when she squeezed it: "Will you marry me?"

"I was going to take her out to Angus Barn and do it that way, but she had to work," Manuel said Tuesday. "She got in about 1 in the morning. ... I gave her the bear, and I said, 'Close your eyes and squeeze the bear's arm, and your wish will come true.' And she did it and when she opened her eyes, I was on my knees, and I asked her to marry me."
Note to self: while doing romantic stuff is cool -- and greatly appreciated by your wife -- try to keep it out of the newspapers. While I never built a bear, I've done plenty of things my wife appreciated, but would probably result in a lifetime of ridicule for me if these secrets fell into the wrong hands.

If you don't believe me, just listen to Melvin Scott giving Manuel the business:
Ever the jokester, Melvin Scott has certain attack points for everyone in the Tar Heel locker room.

When Carolina's three seniors sat for a group interview in October, his tactic with Jackie Manuel quickly became clear. Manuel was describing where he might be in ten years and mentioned that he thought he'd be married. Scott quickly interrupted.

"Ten years?" the Baltimore native said. "More like ten months. Or maybe ten days."

As it turns out, Scott was right. Jackie Manuel might have had a posse for over a year, but now he's got something even better--a fiancée.

"My teammates would always say, 'Jackie's going to be the first one to get engaged,'" Manuel says. "I'd just laugh. But inside I knew they were right."
And Melvin was just getting warmed up because the press confercent took place three months before the whole build-a-bear incident. In all seriousness, good for Jackie ... until of course they play Duke and all the fans are waving build-a-bears at him.

(Completely changing gears)
Sometimes I get the impression that Ed Bouchette takes himself a little too seriously when he pens articles and then tries to pass them off as "analysis." Here's a headline in the pay section of yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Black & Gold Insider):
BGI Analysis: A midget did it
On what planet this headline passes for analysis I'm not sure, but I do know that the politically correct term is little people (at least I think it is). Anyway, here's the insight Bouchette offers while managing to offend a subset of the population:
"The rumors about Ben's thumb won't stop, now we're getting details -- his dog bit it, a midget dropped a whiskey bottle on it, he was playing catch with the midget's dad. It won't be long before someone knows someone who saw Ben in Schenley Park, where he hurt his thumb, golfing."
Riveting. Instead of "BGI Analysis" they should instead retitle it "BGI: Things Bouchette Made Up Because He Was Too Lazy To Write A Real Story." At least then I wouldn't expect to actually read something having to do with the Steelers. Just a thought.