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The Rahooligan: A Most Sincere Apology

By Rahul Rohatgi, Crimson Staff Writer

Despite the best efforts of my editors, something incorrect, unnecessarily malicious or even libelous ends up on these pages under my byline. I know this happens because I purposely insert such items and dare the powers-that-be to catch them.

Did I mention I’m not one of the more popular writers at 14 Plympton St.?

Unfortunately, retirement is almost upon me. With graduation comes the possibility of re-establishing a positive credit rating and even earning real income. Since I want to avoid having to shuffle all that new cash into legal fees, I’m apologizing to people I may have insulted in the hundreds of stories and thousands of inches of newsprint I’ve produced in the past four years.

Please, please, don’t sue me.

NCWO Chairwoman Martha Burk, whom I recently referred to as “Generalissimo” (April 10, 2003). Since your protest at the Masters golf tournament only attracted 40 or so women, I really should have called you a “Corporal-issimo.” Sorry.

The Princeton University men’s basketball team, which I have insulted on occasion as a white-bread team full of sissies and weaklings. Uh, if you would just stop beating us, it would really help my credibility.

Senators Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond, whom I lampooned in mid-December 2002. Really, I don’t know how “racist hicks” got through the night editor.

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, for a remark in a recent column that he was a “king of deception.” Actually, it turns out, Saddam is the “Ace of Spades.”

Harvard quarterback Neil Rose, whom I called a “wise old man” in a feature about the 23-year-old captain (Nov. 22, 2002). Reports from the field say that Rose is now working for a hedge fund in Hawaii, so I amend my phrase to “wise, rich old man.”

Harvard point guard Elliott Prasse-Freeman, for quoting him as saying he’s “one of the worst Division I athletes to play basketball” (Nov. 20, 2002). Elliott, if I really thought the quote would have cost you a shot with that hot chick from Brazil, I never would have published it. My bad.

Harvard President Larry Summers, for jokes about his girth, mental prowess and decision-making ability when it comes to Harvard athletics. Luckily, the line “Summers was too busy eating and watching Fear Factor to vote ‘No’ on the 7-week rule” never made it into print.

Angry and nerdy Earth and Planetary Sciences concentrators, who took issue with an article where I characterized the Harvard men’s tennis team as “deeper than the Mariana Trench” (June 6, 2002). I also apologize to Earth and Planetary Science professors, who have to deal with these jerks.

Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, for not giving her credit where credit is due. Turns out her new TV show, “Mr. Personality,” rates higher than Bill Clinton’s spots on “60 Minutes II.” Monica, may your star shine brighter than ever.

American track and field Olympians, for insinuating that stronger drug testing would probably show them to be as guilty as other nations when it comes to using performance-enhancing drugs (Feb. 7, 2002). Oh, wait, I was right.

The University of Pennsylvania, which I joked acted, “at best, as Penn State’s Philadelphia campus” (Nov. 9, 2001). Well, it turns out Penn State already has a Philadelphia campus, which it built when it realized Penn really does suck.

And finally, let me apologize to my readers, whom I hope will forgive my inability to string together complete, coherent sentences. The truth is, I’ve had a crippling addiction to sentence fragments ever since I flunked Expository Writing.

Of course, I still have over a month to mess up some more.

—Staff writer Rahul Rohatgi can be reached at rohatgi@fas.harvard.edu.

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