Sunday, April 15, 2007
Never leave off the last "s" for savings, or "Nobody ever died for dear old Rutger Hauer"
This tastefully typeset block of type about ignorance appears this morning in the center of an otherwise blank page of this morning's New York Times. The only other items printed on the page are the header for page 5 of the April 15, 2007 Sports Sunday section and a small Nike swoosh at the foot of the page.
First of all, the sentiment is fine and should, at this point, be universal.
However, the University from which we graduated was named after Col. Henry Rutgers, and not Rutger Hauer, so line three of Nike's public service announcement should salute "the Rutgers team" and not "Rutger's team". Of course this is probably just an example of faulty copyediting (the same line ends with a sentence fragment and the first line is punctuated to make us believe that ignorance is thanking the reader rather than Nike thanking ignorance) or the same inexplicable theory of punctuation that leads people to put signs that say "The Smith's" rather than "The Smiths" on their front lawns and RVs. However, we can't help thinking Nike's mistaken belief that the team we root for is the "Rutger Scarlet Knights" is due to the fact Rutgers' athletic program still isn't high on Nike's radar screen. After all, we can't imagine America's big sneaker company making a similar mistake when writing about the Louisville Cardinals (little birds) and the Stanford Cardinal (like Scarlet and Crimson, a shade of red).
Despite the recent surge of notoriety, we may have to wait for the 2007 football season before that widespread ignorance about the school on the banks of the old Raritan finally changes forever.