Alternative title: “In Which I Rename My BALLZ.”
About that stuffed basketball pictured above, and in the new Pioneer
Post Pulse masthead image… a bit of backstory is needed, for readers who aren’t familiar with Kyle Whelliston (primer here) and the official mascot of his Mid-Majority blog, Bally B. Basketball.
Bally, you see, has been Kyle’s faithful companion on the road for years, and has visited countless arenas, and mid-major basketball games, all around the country. He’s been featured in many cartoons, and he has his own book. And of course, he’s on Twitter. Bally is absolutely beloved among Kyle’s fans. He’s an Internet celebrity!
In the beginning, there was Bally — just one, the original, one Bally to boing them all. But then, by popular demand, Kyle made more Ballys, and started giving them away as prizes for blog contests… and then later, selling them as fundraisers. In all, 100 Ballys were created, including #100, a Giant Bally, who now lives in Merry Old England, where he collects from the public dole and worsens the U.K.’s slide into debt-laden oblivion. (Okay, I made that last part up.) Most Ballys live in the United States, though, and have been to basketball games featuring “Other 25″ sub-Red Line teams from sea to shining sea. Last year, six Ballys gathered at the WAC Tournament! And of course, many Ballys have also been to other locales, like Chuck Norris’s star on the walk of fame, as seen at right. (Photo courtesy the queen of subtle.) Bally owners love their Ballys.
Alas, the manufacturer of the part that makes Bally’s (or rather, Ballys’) signature “boing” recently stopped making that part. As a result of that fact — plus a desire to maintain the exclusivity of the original 100, which was a key selling point — Kyle says there will be no more Ballys ever made.
However, last March, to commemorate Butler’s run to the National Championship Game, and (again) as a fundraiser, Kyle created a limited edition of seven Butler-colored blue-and-white “FYNNAL FOR BALLZ” (so named for trademark infringement avoidance reasons). Instead of a “boing-box,” they contained a sort of rattle thingy, which makes these BALLZ very popular with the under-3 set (I speak from experience).
Anyway, FYNNAL FOR BALLZ were a hit, so in the run-up to Season 7 of The Mid-Majority, Kyle started offering made-to-order BALLZ to TMM members, painted in each member’s desired school colors. I signed up for a TMM membership (you should too!) during one of the BALLZ promotions, and ordered a BALLZ in Denver’s colors. This decision, and investment, helped inspire me to create
The Pioneer Post Pioneer Pulse, believe it or not. Anyway, DU BALLZ arrived last week, just hours before DU tipped off its first game of the season.
Here’s the thing, though. I understand that, in the official Mid-Majority lexicon, my DU-colored stuffed basketball is undeniably a BALLZ, not a Bally. There were only 100 Ballys, sequentially numbered, and BALLZ is not one of them. He doesn’t boing, he rattles. Ergo, he is a BALLZ. But… in the Loy household, we don’t call him a BALLZ. My almost-3-year-old, blog-nickname “Loyette,” who was utterly obsessed with Bally’s Dream during and after last year’s NCAA Tournament, immediately started calling BALLZ “Bally” upon his arrival. She talks about “Bally” all the time. She and her 16-month-old sister, blog-nickname “Loyacita,” have sparred over who gets to hold “Bally” in the car while we’re driving around. They freakin’ love “Bally.” And as far as they (or at least Loyette) are concerned, his name isn’t “BALLZ” — it’s “Bally.” Just like in the book, and on the Interwebs.
And honestly, I sort of agree with them. I mean, as much fun as it is to write blog posts with titles like “A Brief History of BALLZ” and “Schrödinger’s BALLZ” — both of which, come to think of it, are physics references; I’m such a nerd — it’s a bit awkward to discuss DU BALLZ in real life, in conversation, when his name includes the word “BALLZ,” which loses its marks of distinctive silliness (all-caps and “Z”) when said out loud. Spoken aloud, “my BALLZ” sounds more like something a TSA agent might grope than like something you might find on the sidelines of a basketball game.
So I’m announcing a decision. Just like John Lee, proud owner of a
William & Mary Western Michigan BALLZ, who yesterday posted a picture captioned “@ballybasketball and WMU bally,” I am going to start referring to DU BALLZ as “DU Bally.” This is technically incorrect, but it just sounds so much better.
For purposes of Kyle’s lexicon, DU Bally is and will always remain a BALLZ. But for purposes of this blog, and the Loy family, the mascot of
The Pioneer Post Pioneer Pulse is now officially “DU Bally.”
I know. Now you can sleep at night.
More on actual DU basketball coming a bit later.