Volume 96, Issue 100
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

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The Purple Pipe finale: Gazette sports picks 'em

By Jordan Bell, Ryan Hickman and Benjamin Mills
Gazette Staff

Beth Kerim/Gazette
THE PURPLE PIPE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. Squash coach Jack Fairs shows the grin of a lifetime.

The ballots are in, the votes have been counted, and the winners announced – the inaugural Purple Pipe Awards Banquet was the gala to end all galas.

This being the first year of the big show, we should explain that the Purple Pipe Award is to the Western Athletic Banquet what the Screen Actors Guild Awards are to the Oscars – inferior, but not by much. The "celebrities" that showed up were few and far between. We did manage to corral The Gazette's own Gambling Man, even though he was initially too busy getting lap dances to hand out an award. So, to bridge the gap, we brought the show to him.

The venue for this auspicious awards show was an upstanding "gentleman's club" located in the classiest part of The Forest City. And although the bouncers did hassle the Gambling Man for his repeated accosting of the female dancers, his rowdiness was soon quelled with a little help from a friend – let's call him – "ether."

Beth Kerim/Gazette
THE PIPE IS EASY TO HANDLE. Anne Benedetti adds the pinnacle of awards to her accolades.

After the red carpet was rolled out – actually it was one of those plastic carpet protectors you'd find at your grandmother's house coloured with red marker – and the several audience members had taken their seats, the lights hit the stage, and we were ready to go.

The Masters of Ceremonies were the three bumbling Sports editors who haphazardly put the awards show together and started handing out cylindrical Purple Pipes like they were slangin' crack rock on a street corner.

First to receive an award was Western men's basketball team point guard Jimmy Grozelle – the man who dropped 50 points on the University of Waterloo. Coincidentally, 50 is the same number of people at Waterloo with actual social lives. Unfortunately, the podium was too high for Mr. Grozelle, so his acceptance speech was not picked-up by the microphone – but we're sure it was short and sweet (pun intended).

Niru Somayajula/Gazette
OH DAMN, IS THAT TWO ROB NIGROS? The country's best university squasher gets the highest athletic award ever.

As a consolation prize, The Gazette's own Opinions editor, Tait Simpson, received a pair of pants for his gold medal performance at The Gazette's annual ping-pong tournament held in Collingwood.

Next up was Jack Fairs, coach of the world-renowned Western squash team. He received the Purple Pipe's Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in coaching. His speech had to be cut short after 15 hours and 36 minutes, so we started blaring Helix's "Rock You."

Another consolation award was given to The Gazette's Deputy editor, Kristina Lundblad, for her complete lack of sporting and coaching knowledge that helped lift The Gazette over University Students' Council President Chris Sinal and his minions in the annual Gazette/USC football game. Thanks to Kristina saying things like, "What's a down?" and "What part of the chicken is bacon?" the USC cronies were too confused to realize that a football game was going on, so we kicked their fence-sitting asses. Gazette football rules!

Other awards were to be handed out, but one of the masters of ceremonies, Ben Mills, stole the remaining Purple Pipes and used them for hooter-shooters. He was found hours later with the Pipe in one hand and The Gambling Man in the other.

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2002 THE GAZETTE