Eva Knott 6:37 p.m., May 25
Guest Column: Norv Turner's "Notes on Camp" - Day 2
Back again, ruminating on Chargers Training Camp 2011 as illuminated by Sontag's immortal essay...
Yesterday, I promised that I would reveal my plan for resolving the stadium situation, now that Uncle Sam has closed the Velcro tab on his tacky little wallet. It's not a particularly subtle solution, but bold simplicity has its virtues, especially when attacking the Gordian knot that binds government and private enterprise.
Interestingly, it was a government figure who provided the inspiration for my inspiration, who served as the Muse to my musings, if you'll pardon the expression (and I think you will). President Calvin Coolidge famously quipped that "the business of America is business," and it was that double deployment that gave the the idea of bringing in a corporate partner for San Diego's NFL franchise. Not someone to name the stadium or the halftime show - someone to actually put their logo on the side of the helmet. The solution was almost too easy: The San Diego Dodge Chargers.
Hear me out. We want team mascots to be powerful. How does 465 horsepower grab you? We want team mascots to be evocative - what red-blooded football fan doesn't smile at the sight of an American muscle car? And at a time when American manufacturing is seen as crucial to the restoration of our faltering economy, who wouldn't feel good about rooting for a team linked to a company that the American government couldn't bear to see disappear? And think of the mascot!
The company, of course, could begin marketing a special "Charger blue" edition, complete with lightning bolts stenciled over the wheel wells. A guaranteed seller. All it would cost them is a one-time fee to help build a stadium worthy of their brand. Everybody wins.
And how, you ask, does all this relate to the Sontag essay? I will note her concluding line - "The ultimate Camp statement: it's good because it's awful" - and let the reader judge whether or not my idea fits this particular bill.