Arne snaps, calls for Final Four ‘do over’

In the wake of the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday loss to Kentucky in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Gov. Arne Carlson once again used his office to meddle in University affairs, calling for an immediate ‘do over’ of the Final Four. In a post-game press conference the governor cited poor officiating as the cause of the loss and announced the formation of a three-member blue-ribbon panel to investigate the matter.
To the casual observer, Carlson’s impromptu speech appeared a simple, if sad attempt to get media attention. But sources close to the administration say the incident was proof that the governor has, in clinical terms, “lost his marbles” and entered what psychologists commonly refer to as a “second childhood.” The diagnosis was evident at the conclusion of the press conference, when Carlson repeatedly said, “It’s not fair,” then jumped up and down, chanting “Do over! Do over! Do over!”
The press conference was not the only manifestation of the governor’s mental condition on the trip. Prior to the game, Carlson refused to shake hands with Wildcats coach Rick Pitino, reportedly for fear of getting “Kentucky Cooties.” After the game, the gubernatorial motorcade made an unscheduled stop at an area McDonalds after Carlson spotted a large, colorful “Playland” billboard. While slurping a shake on the Playland slide, Carlson expanded the blue-ribbon panel to include Mayor McCheese.
The governor’s Final Four shenanigans bring to mind another recent debacle in the ongoing Twins stadium debate. While addressing a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature last month, Carlson threatened to hold his breath indefinitely unless the Senate and House immediately passed Twins owner Carl Pohlad’s proposed funding package. Crisis was averted when Twins Executive Vice President Kirby Puckett promised to play catch with the governor if he resumed normal breathing.
Whenever high-ranking government officials show signs of mental deterioration, serious questions about their abilities to govern effectively must be raised. Minnesotans are understandably concerned about Carlson’s pattern of immature, childish behavior. Reassuring, then, was the response of noted Minnesota humorist Garrison Keillor. In a recent broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion,” Keillor mused, ever so slowly, “Up here in Minnesota, where the women are strong and the men are good looking, the governors have always been loopy. There was Rudy Perpich, an Iron Range boy who grew up to be Governor Goofy. There was Wendell Anderson, who thought it might be kinda fun to be senator. And of course there was Al Quie, a funny name if ever there was one. Sometimes, on a cold winter night, I chuckle as I repeat his name. Quie. Quie. Quie.”
President Bill Clinton also laid fears to rest in his weekly radio address. “I feel your pain,” said Clinton, “or maybe it’s just my knee. Anyway, I want to reassure the people of Minnesota, and indeed, throughout the great state of Montana, that Arne Carlson is as sane as any Republican in the nation. Tee-hee.” But despite the executive endorsement, Carlson’s NCAA panel remains dubious. Though the body has no real authority, it has dire and far-reaching ramifications — ones that can only be truly appreciated on April Fool’s Day.